Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up

( 5 )


In this sequel to her classic Pretend Soup—considered by many to be the gold standard of children’s cookbooks—award-winning author/illustrator Mollie Katzen works her magic with 20 new, child-tested recipes including such delicacies as Counting Soup, Chewy Energy Circles, and Polka Dot Rice. Each illustrated recipe offers the child chef the opportunity to count, measure, mix, assemble, and most important, have fun. Designed as do-together projects—with the child as chef and the adult as assistant—these kitchen ...

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In this sequel to her classic Pretend Soup—considered by many to be the gold standard of children’s cookbooks—award-winning author/illustrator Mollie Katzen works her magic with 20 new, child-tested recipes including such delicacies as Counting Soup, Chewy Energy Circles, and Polka Dot Rice. Each illustrated recipe offers the child chef the opportunity to count, measure, mix, assemble, and most important, have fun. Designed as do-together projects—with the child as chef and the adult as assistant—these kitchen adventures will give children confidence in their cooking skills and inspire a life-long healthy relationship with food. With Salad People and a little time in the kitchen, budding chefs will cheer: “I like it because I made it myself!”

Pretend Soup lets young children put on the chef's hat with a grown-up there to help and guide. Together with an early childhood educator, Mollie Katzen combines her renowned cooking talents and her whimsical artistry in a recipe collection that is sure to excite budding young chefs--and teach them a thing or two along the way.

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Editorial Reviews

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
Stephanie Zvirin
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781883672065
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1994
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 107,645
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.32 (w) x 10.29 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

ANN HENDERSON is a credentialed early childhood education specialist and is co-director of the Child Education Center in Berkeley, California.
MOLLIE KATZEN is a cookbook author and artist who has profoundly shaped the way America eats. Mollie is a consultant and cocreator of Harvard's groundbreaking Food Literacy Project. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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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 foods—or at least new food combinations—to 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 hours—or 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)
Shredded carrots
(in long strands, if possible)
Sliced strawberries

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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 3, 2015

    Excellent for poor readers who are interested in cooking

    I work with special needs children and they are not always good readers. Most of them love to eat though and this is filled with easy picture recipes that they can learn. They gain pride in their accomplishments as well as practical life skills.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    a good, fun children's cookbook!

    My nine year old son is looking forward to trying many of the recipes in this book...from Homeade Lemon-Lime Soda Pop to Green Hide and Seek Bright Pink Fruit Dip to many other fun recipes. He had checked this cook book out from his school's library and he didn't want to turn it back in so we bought him his very own copy. The recipes are creative and appealing with simple instructions and colorful pictures that a young child can follow. I would certianly recommend this book to others. We're planning to play in the kitchen over summer break!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2006

    Perfect for Encouraging Healthy Eating for Toddlers

    This cookbook is a wonderful way to get children involved with Family meals, and by doing so, open their minds and palates to healthier ways of eating. I am a Mother to a 3 year old girl who is an adventurous eater, and a 4.5 year old boy who is quite the opposite of his sister. We're vegetarians and encourage our kids to eat plenty of fruits and veggies (as any family should, regardless of diet). The kids have a few standbys that we can fall back on, but it's important to me to add variety for their diet. It's tough with a picky eater, and even my adventuresome daughter turn's her nose up at certain things. However, all of this has changed with the introduction of 'Pretend Soup'. My kids help with the menu selection for the week and choose a recipe from the book to make. 'Green Spaghetti' was a big hit, with both kids asking for second helpings, though they would touch pesto a week before. Not only were they enthusiastic about the dish they helped to prepare, but they were more open to the other dishes at the meal, and both kids also happily ate beets for the first time! The book is laid out with a set of written instructions with helpful tips for parents, but the following pages contain simple pictoral directions that even my toddlers can follow. It helps the kids have more ownership of their food to be able to not only help prepare it, but be able to follow along and tell Mom what has to happen next. Katzen includes tips on how to make each recipe age appropriate for both younger and older children, so this cookbook can work for families with kids of any age. I highly reccomend Katzen's kids cookbooks to any family who wants to cultivate healthy eating and a love of food and cooking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2000

    One of the best children's cookbooks I have seen

    Being a professional and working with special needs kids, I have found the layout of this book to be fantastic for those who need a lot of visual information to learn. Excellent!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2009

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