Children's LiteratureElementary school-age boys must be interested in cooking, for Capstone Press has brought forth under the Blue Earth Books imprint a series called "Exploring History through Simple Recipes." This slim, 32-page book presents photographs and drawings of the forty-niners interspersed with a straightforward text that gives a clear and accurate idea of the hardships endured by our forebears who opened the west. The accompanying recipes are indeed simple and illustrate the basic fare that kept forty-niners going in those parlous days. They include some duds, like Sea Biscuits, whose recipe is almost identical to the library glue we once made out of flour and water in grammar school, but there's the more promising Hang Town Fry and Blueberry Peach Hand Pies. The tone is sober and factual, the sentences determinedly simple, too. Photographs, drawings and anecdotes in sidebars nicely complement the text, and a list of cooking equipment, a metric conversion guide and ten kitchen safety rules come first in this no-nonsense book. 2001, Blue Earth Books, $22.60. Ages 6 to 12. Reviewer: Nancy Tilly
School Library JournalGr 3-6-Eight or nine recipes are interspersed throughout these informative texts. All include full-page period photographs and illustrations. In Nineteenth-Century Whaling Ships, the first meal is cabbage and Irish potatoes, because it calls for what would be the freshest ingredients on board. Not to worry: no recipes call for whale blubber or oil. Most tend toward the complicated and adult help will be needed (and appreciated). Phrase origins for the likes of "slush fund" (money paid for leftover grease in whaler speak) and "skid row" (initially skid road in logging parlance) are included. Students might find it interesting to compare the information in these titles. For example, while the whaling ship's cooks were among the lowest ranked on board, the lumber camp's cook was the most important crew member, after the foreman. These books are just as tempting, perhaps more so, for their historical ingredients as for the recipes. Palatable history.-Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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