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Lima’s Red Hot Chilli

David Mills, ill. Derek Brazell
Mantra Lingua
Age 3-7

Lima arrives home from school feeling really hungry. Her mother tells her there is plenty of food in the kitchen – but she is not to eat the red-hot chilli! It is not hard to guess what happens next – in no time at al Lima has crunched the chilli and her mouth is on fire. It takes the efforts of Lima’s whole family to solve the problem.

Written over twenty years ago this picturebook continues to be popular and well-loved. It is an amusing warmly illustrated story, available in a wide range of dual language versions.

Watch the story read aloud


Share the story

Read Aloud
Before reading the book to your child look through it yourself and think about how you will read it – the more dramatic the better to show

Read aloud
Read the story aloud to your child either in English or in your home language.

Join in
When reading the book again encourage your child to join in with the text, for example with the ‘too hard’ or ‘too high’   or the cries of ‘Water, water, try some water!’

Join in
You could encourage two- and three-year-olds to join in as you read, shouting ‘banana’ and saying ‘please.’

Talk about the book
▪︎ Which page did you like best?
▪︎ Have you tasted any of the foods in the story?
▪︎ What would you tell Lima if you met her?

Things to make and do

Play a word game
With your child play a call and response game – taking turns with one of you suggesting something Lima might have tried and the other one replying with how it tasted. You could use foods mentioned in the story and add your own ideas, for example:

1st person – Lima tried the coconut, 2nd person – But it was too hard.

1st person – Lima tried the lemon, 2nd person – But it was too bitter.

Visit a food market
If possible, visit a local fruit and vegetable market and look at the foods on display and talk about what you see.

Taste some of the foods mentioned in the story eg mango, coconut, jelly. Taste some other foods that are new to your child too (perhaps something you found at the market and talk together about how they taste.

Cook with chilli together
Cook a chilli recipe together – here are two options

Chilli con carne for kids recipe | Cooking with my kids

Kid Friendly, Easy Vegetarian Chili Recipe (

Vegetable Chilli | Parent Club

Paint a fiery picture
Give your child some paper and yellow and red paint and encourage them to paint a picture in fiery colours, reds, yellows and oranges – talk about how you mix the orange as you do so.

Find out More

See our Food section for more stories about food

Find out how to grow chilli peppers CBeebies | How to Grow Chilli Peppers | Down on the Farm – Bing video

Find out about the world’s hottest chilli Carolina Reaper: 5 facts about the world’s hottest chilli – CBBC Newsround