I Will Never, NOT EVER, Eat a Tomato (Hardback) by Lauren Child. Candlewick, 2000. ISBN: 0763611883. pp: 32. Ages: 4-8, gr: k-3.
Paperback (Reprint edition September 15, 2003) ISBN: 0763621803



Charlie uses creative thinking to entice his fussy-eater sister to try the foods he’s been asked to give her for dinner. But in the end, Lola shows him that she’s onto his game by giving the tomatoes an inventive name of her own, and in so doing, can eat them ("You didn’t think they were tomatoes, did you?"). One of the Charlie and Lois series of books.


  1. Charlie and Lola have their own website for you to explore.

  2. Graph Goodies has four food graphs. Study a graph and answer the questions.
    • Erica Riccardi, grade 2
    • Rosemarie Guinn, grade k
    • Danielle Damush, grade 2
    • Pam Chartier, grade 1
  3. (class activity) Ask each person in the class, "What is your least favorite food that you hope never to have to dinner?" Make a graph. To the teacher: With more advanced students, you might use Create A Graph and make the graph together.

  4. Find places on the globe:
    • Lauren Child lives in London, England, Find London on the globe.
    • The tomato was first grown in Mexico and Peru. Find these countries on the globe.
  5. (class activity) Discuss the food pyramid using printout of the simplified MyPyramid for Kids Poster (pdf). With advanced students, print out the advanced MyPyramid for Kids Poster and play the MyPyramid Blast Off Game.

  6. Lola names 17 foods she does not eat. Place each of these on the food pyramid (pdf).

  7. Lola was born March 29, 2003. (a) How old is she now? (b) How much older are you than Lola?

  8. Write a letter to Totally Tomatoes requesting a catalog. (334 W. Stroud Street, Randolph WI 53956) Which kind of tomato would you plant?
    Class extension: Give 2 or 3 seeds to each student with adult permission from home to plant in space or container.
    • Method 1: Purchase a packet of seeds. Purchase a roll of crepe paper party streamers, the kind that is not crinkly (white is good); or cut streamers from tissue paper. Cut 2 lengths allowing 4 to 6 inches per seed. Make a paste of flour and water the consistency of gravy. Stretch a cut streamer across a table. Put the glue in a plastic squeeze bottle (the type used to dispense mustard or ketchup) and place a thin line of glue along the tape. Place the seeds in a spoon. Using a pointed knifeblade, flick seeds onto the glue line at the desired spacing. Cover with the other half of the cut streamer and press the sides together. Allow to dry, cut into individual seed holders, and place in a plastic sandwich bag to send home.
    • Method 2: Purchase preseeded paper tapes from a garden supplier.

  9. Draw a line down the center of a sheet of paper to make two columns. Write "Lola" as a heading on one column and "Charlie" as a heading on the other. Find out what these big-time words mean. Write each of these words under the name of the person it describes.
    • clever
    • determined
    • finicky
    • inventive
    • obstinate
    • persnickety
    Hint: Could a word appear in both columns?
  10. Discuss: Is there a finicky person at your house?

  11. Make a plate so pretty that Lola will keep eating these healthy foods. Make a 12-inch circle from a 12x18 sheet of light blue construction paper. Use black marker to design a dinner plate. Cut shapes from appropriate color paper to make the foods that Lola ate for her dinner and paste them to the plate.

  12. Lola might also be fussy about what she wears. Think of three items of clothing that Lola will never not ever wear. What can you say to make each one sound like something Lola will love to wear?

  13. Is there a place in your community that gives food to people who don’t have enough? Interview someone at this place to find out what they need. Organize a food drive in your classroom. To the teacher: Check first with your administrator and if this service project is ok then students can write a letter to the administrator requesting permission. When the project is completed then students can write a letter to the person interviewed letting him/her know to pick up the collected items.

  14. Lauren Child must have liked Charlie and Lola in this first book because she has written several more books about them. Read another book about Charlie and Lola.
    • I Am NOT Sleepy and WILL NOT Go To Bed. Candlewick, 2001. (Paperback Reprint edition, 2005)
    • I Am TOO Absolutely Small for School. Candlewick, 2004. (Paperback Reprint edition, 2005)
    • I've Won, No I've Won, No I've Won. Puffin, 2005. (paperback, Grosset & Dunlap, 2006)
    • But Excuse Me That Is My Book. Puffin, 2005. (Paperback Reprint edition, 2006)
    • My Wobbly Tooth Must Not Ever Fall Out. Puffin, 2006. (paperback Grosset & Dunlap, 2006)
    • We Honestly Can Look After Your Dog. Puffin, 2006. (paperback Grosset & Dunlap, 2006)
    • Whoops! But It Wasn't Me. (paperback), Grosset & Dunlap, 2006
    • Snow is My Favorite and My Best. Dial, 2006
    • Say Cheese!. Dial, 2007
    • Boo! Made You Jump!. (paperback), Grosset & Dunlap, 2007
    • This Is Actually My Party. (paperback), Grosset & Dunlap, 2007
    • But I Am an Alligator (paperback), Grosset & Dunlap, 2008
    • I Want to Be Much More Bigger Like You. (paperback), Grosset & Dunlap, 2008

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I Will Never, NOT EVER, Eat a Tomato. Accelerated Reader: Quiz #43542; Book Level 2.7; Points= 0.5
Reading Counts: Reading Level 2.8; Points= 1.0
Lexile Level 370
Flesch/Kincaid 2.7

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