This book, part of the "I'm the Chef" series, is a good introduction to making a variety of dishes. The utensils and ingredients are shown in photos, making it easy to get all supplies ready (as a cooking impaired adult, I really appreciated having everything set out for me). Step-by-step instructions are easy to follow for dishes as simple as vegetables with oyster sauce to the more complicated chicken porridge. A wide selection of dishes are offered, from the familiar spring rolls to the colorful and not well known four color soup (carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach supply the colors). Readers will learn what various foods are meant to symbolize. For instance, at Chinese New Year, chicken means prosperity and fish represents togetherness and abundance. Noodles are always served at birthdays because they are believed to be the symbols of long life. (Which explains to this Californian why we have a chain called Long Life Noodle restaurants.) Desserts represent a happy life and a dumpling stuffed with a sweet filling of peanuts or sesame is often eaten on the last day of the Chinese New Year. The book includes a legend about a monster named Nian to explain why red paper is hung during new year. (It scares him away.) The disclaimer in the front of the book recommends these recipes for ages 9 and up with adult supervision. With adult participation (handling the hot dishes, doing whatever frying needs to be done), you could start using the book with children as young as five. 2001, Crabtree, $22.60 and $8.95. Ages 5 to 14. Reviewer: Sharon Levin<%ISBN%>0778702804
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-These delightful cookbooks are a feast for the eye and the palate. Each offers 15 easy recipes representative of the featured cuisine, ranging from appetizers to main dishes, soups, side dishes, and desserts. The emphasis is on fun and the large, colorful photographs that are liberally splashed across each spread depict children enthusiastically engaged in preparing delectable dishes. Each volume includes a description of a festival, some background on the observance, and a special food associated with it. The recipes are clearly written and well illustrated. Kitchen safety is emphasized in the "Tips & Tricks" sidebars, and each book includes a disclaimer that while the recipes have been tested and declared safe for youngsters to prepare, adult supervision is strongly recommended. A glossary defines both cooking terms and words related to the cuisine.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.