From the Publisher
Smell it! It’s gonna be delicious! —Kate
Be careful because this might be too yummy for me to eat! —Theo
More please! I really liked it. —Andrew
“Play Points: 5 (out of 5). A delectable starter!” Nick Jr. Magazine
“This is the best book to date on cooking with preschoolers.” Scholastic Parent & Child
“A winner!” School Library Journal
“You can toss a coin whether to give this charming cookbook, for preschoolers and up, to your favorite kid or to a food-loving adult who deals with children.” San Francisco Chronicle
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
The celebrated author of The Moosewood cookbooks offers deliciously healthy recipes for young chefs in this attractive and kid-friendly cookbook. Each recipe (there are nineteen plus a few extra ideas) has three parts: an adult preparation section, a printed version of the recipe, and a two-page comic-like sequence showing the steps from "Beginning" to "Eat!" Along the way chef Katzen and preschool teacher Henderson share their wisdom about kids in the kitchen, kids being safe, and kids' relationship with food. Try it all-the food-the kitchen tips-the advice-it's all delicious-even if it isn't all as easy as it looks.
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
Ann Henderson's and co-author/ illustrator Mollie Katzen's colorful Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes is filled with directions for nutritious snacks, salads, and simple entrees preschoolers can prepare with parental or older-sibling assistance. The fun-to-make foods, among them ""Number Salad" and "Hide and Seek Muffins" are practicable for the youngest chefs, once their seniors have prepared everything. The recipes are written out for "grown-ups" and pictured in a series of numbered illustrations for little ones.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-The theme of this fine cookbook is that cooking is a many-splendored thing. The book's purpose is ``to enable very young children to cook as independently as possible under the gentle guidance of an adult partner.'' Each of the 17 recipes appears twice, once in words and once in full-color pictures. The child is the focus here: attention is paid to physical ability, comfortable work levels, and variety of tactile experience. A long list of skills and attitudes children can gain from cooking supports the idea that the process is more important than the product. Quotes reflect the young cooks' keen observation and joyful participation. Parents' Nursery School's Kids Are Natural Cooks (Houghton, 1974) also uses natural foods and has the same intent as this title. That book is arranged by season and contains more recipes; Pretend Soup focuses more on the processes. Anyone who works or plays with young children would benefit by having both.-Carolyn Jenks, First Parish Unitarian Church, Portland, ME
Katzen (of "Moosewood Cookbook" fame) teamed up with educator Henderson to produce this cookbook directed to very young children. It includes wonderful input from kids who've found their way into the kitchen: "I thought it was going to be gross, but it turned out good!" "I smell some pizza, dudes!" But the real joy is in the shared experience the book promotes. Each recipe begins with instructions to grown-ups, who function mainly as kitchen helpers and safety monitors. Kids can really do most of the work themselves by referring to simple, carefully sequenced sketches designed especially for them. As far as the recipes are concerned, kids and parents will be in for a nice surprise, for there's not a hot dog or chicken finger in evidence. Instead, we're talking real food--popovers, homemade lemon-lime soda pop, noodle soup, and quesadillas--delivered in recipes nicely scaled down for children to manage easily.
Read an Excerpt
The Critics Rave:
We’re gonna make people out of food! jack
I’m gonna make my sister. theo
Maybe I should make a carrot zipper. simone
Strawberry hair! serafina
To the Grown-ups:
Children will get deeply involved with this concept, which is all about creating a miniature person out of cheese, fruit, vegetables, and perhaps even pasta. In addition to being a cross between an art project and a great snack or lunch, this recipe presents a wonderful opportunity to introduce new foodsor at least new food combinationsto young children.
There is no right or wrong way to make a Salad Person. In fact, if your child doesn’t feel like making something representational, it’s fine to make a food design instead. In either case, let your youngster guide the experience as inspiration occurs.
Cooking Hints and Safety Tips
Children can help with some of the preparations, such as slicing strawberries and bananas, grating carrots, or spreading peanut butter into celery. They also enjoy helping place all the various components in small bowls and setting everything up.
The Salad Person’s face can be made with cottage cheese or yogurt. Children of color might prefer to use coffee or chocolate yogurt so the Salad Person can look like family.
You can firm up any flavor of yogurt by placing it in a paper-lined cone coffee filter over a bowl for a few hoursor even overnight. The whey will drip out of the yogurt, leaving behind a firmer curd, often referred to as “yogurt cheese.” Keep in mind that you’ll end up with only about 60 percent of the original volume.
The amounts are quite flexible, so just estimate the quantities.
Children’s Tools: Cutting boards and child-appropriate knives (if the children are going to help with the cutting); spoons for scooping; a plate and fork for each person
Salad People Recipe
Cored pear halves, peel optional (fresh and ripe, or canned and drained)
Cottage cheese or very firm yogurt
Strips of cheese (cut wide and thin, to be limbs)
Sliced bananas (cut into vertical spears as well as rounds)
Cantaloupe or honeydew
(cut into 4-inch slices)
Celery sticks (plain or stuffed with nut butter)
(in long strands, if possible)
1) Place a pear half in the center of each plate, flat side down.
2) Arrange a round scoop of cottage cheese or very firm yogurt above the narrow top of the pear, so that the cheese or yogurt looks like a head and the pear looks like a torso.
3) Create arms and legs from strips of cheese, banana spears, melon slices, or celery sticks (stuffed or plain).
4) Create hair, facial features, hands, feet, buttons, zippers, hats, and so forth from any combination of the remaining ingredients.
5) Name it and eat!
yield: Flexible! Just put out a lot of food. Store the leftovers for next time, which will likely be soon.