Children's Literature - Joan VogelParties and snack food are a great combination to capture children’s interest. This colorful and whimsically illustrated children’s hardback cookbook contains two pages on tips before starting to cook, 12 recipes, two pages of cooking terms, four pages of party planning ideas (including decorations and games), one page on additional sources, and one page on health tips. The recipes are appealing (like chicken nuggets and mini cheeseburgers) and, with one exception (puff pastry), do not require exotic or terribly expensive ingredients. The understated need for adult help is of concern. That tip is number six on the list of 12 suggestions in the opening section. Yet 11 of the 12 recipes contain either cutting, using a hot oven (400 degrees and above), frying in hot oil or butter, grating, and using an immersion blender. Only four recipes show an adult in the illustration. The concept of measuring also presents a problem, particularly as some of the measurements are vague or presume prior experience. The children in the illustrations appear to be five to six years old while the realistic age appropriateness is seven to nine. Additionally the party games (like pin the tail on the donkey) may seem quaint to today’s technically aware children or at least meant for a younger age group. Some reworking of this book with more emphasis on safety in the kitchen and upgraded activities could make it a desirable addition to a public or elementary school library collection. Reviewer: Joan Vogel; Ages 7 to 9.
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