Monday, March 16, 2009

NonFiction Monday: Cookbooks

Dewey: 641.5

My experiences as a school librarian have taught me the importance of having kid friendly cookbooks in a library's collection.

These cookbooks are not geared towards a very young chef but they are engaging to peruse and with some adult support in the kitchen, they would be fun to use and would produce some yummy food.

Cakes for Kids: 35 Colorful Recipes with Easy-to-Follow Tips & Techniques by Matthew Mead, Chronicle Books, 2008

I absolutely love fancy decorated cakes, birthday or otherwise. This cookbook offers basic cake recipes for chocolate, yellow and marble cake. There are also recipes for royal icing, icing glaze, creamy white icing and Seven Minute icing. Personally, I cannot make seven minute icing without adult supervision but otherwise, the instructions are kid friendly and easy to follow.

Choosing which cake to build is the challenge. There is a pirate's treasure chest, an Easter Egg, a royal crown, a rainbow, a robot, a giraffe, a castle with ice cream cone turrets, a ghost cake with soft peaks of seven minute icing ghosts festooning the layers. Clown face cupcakes, ladybug cupcakes, a moose cake made up of cupcakes...hmmmm...

Cereal, candy and cookies are used to embellish to great effect. OK, seriously, I want to go mix up some icing and lick the beaters now.

Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook: recipes inspired by Dr. Seuss concocted by Georgeanne Brennan and photographed by Frankie Frankeny, Random House, 2006

A quote from a Dr. Seuss book introduces each recipe. These are serious recipes for real-we-can-eat-that-for-dinner meals. The recipes are framed with characters from various Dr.Seuss books such as Cat's Mac and Cheese (made with ricotta and Parmesan cheese) and the Grinch serving Who-Roast-Beast which is a recipe for roast chicken.

Not all the recipes require a stove or oven but most of them do. A great deal of the cooking would require an adult to oversee the process. Hoop-Soup-Snoop Group Potato Soup calls for peeling and boiling potatoes, chopping an onion, crisply cooking bacon and grating cheese (hmm, that sounds good) which means an adult needs to be on hand but in a time when I'm trying to shop on the perimeter of my grocery store where the whole foods are, it is not a bad thing for kids to realize that soup does not have to arrive in the bowl from a can

The nice spiral binding allows the book to lie flat for frequent consultation and the theme should engage kids.

Nonfiction Monday round-up is over at L. L. Owens!


Ladytink_534 said...

I picked up the Cakes for Kids back when I was a teacher in my Early Childhood Education class (it's a preschool pretty much where the high school students teach the 3-4 year olds). We made the lady bug cupcakes. :)

I want that Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook! I love cookbooks based on "classic" books. I know there is an Oz one, a Winnie-the-Pooh, and quite a few others as well.

Camille said...

I am like you. I adore cookbooks based on "literature."

anne said...

have you seen the awesome Little House cookbook? It has quotes and bits from the books, and background on cooking of the period, plus use-able recipes!! Author is Barbara Muhs Walker. my family loved reading it/using after when we were all reading the little house books together! (boys included)

Camille said...

I love the Little House cookbook!

Rawley said...

Just ordered the Cakes for Kids cookbook! Another fun one is Gruesome Grub and Disgusting Dishes. My kids love the cowpie pudding!

lillibet said...

Surferdude is getting a basic Betty Crocker cookbook for his birthday. He is going to be responsible for one dinner a week. I think it's really important for kids cookbooks to be written in recipe format. That is such a skill set (much like map reading) that school curriculums never spend enough time on.