By: Jennifer S. Larson
Publisher: Millbrook Press
Publication Date: January 2013
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2013
Cooking can be fun, even if you aren’t a “real” chef. There are lots of recipes that you can make for a healthy meal or snack. Preparation comes first and there are a few things that you’ll need to do before you start. For example, you’ll need to “ask for permission to work in the kitchen.” Every now and then you’ll need to ask an adult for help, depending on the type of recipe you are preparing, you’ll need to formulate a plan of action, wash your hands thoroughly, and gather up everything you need before you start cooking. There’s nothing more frustrating than starting to cook only to discover you don’t have one of the ingredients or are missing your measuring cups.
You’ll also have to learn that safety pays in many ways and there are several safety tips you’ll have to think about each and every time you go into the kitchen to cook. For example, “If you have long hair, tie it back or wear a hat.” No way you’d want to catch your hair on fire if you are cooking with an open flame. There are all kinds of cooking tools used in the kitchen, including dry measuring cups, skewers, saucepans, knives, a colander, and many other ones you’ll learn to recognize. There are many techniques used in cooking, including things like chopping, mixing, grilling, and grating. You’ll also learn how to properly measure dry and liquid ingredients. Are you ready to put together some “tasty sandwiches?”
This is a fun, exciting book of vegetarian recipes and how to cook instructions for the young chef. Many youngsters love to help out in the kitchen and when they can work independently it’s even more fun. In the beginning of the book there are instructional materials that offer up things children need to consider before they start cooking, safety tips, a page with cooking tools (accompanied by visuals), a list of techniques, and a brief lesson on measuring cups and how to use them.
There are icons (stovetop, toaster, knives, microwave, and oven) that are in a sidebar that indicate the needed tools, the preparation time, cooking time, ingredients, and equipment. There are step-by-step instructions with colorful visuals and photographs of the end result. The level of difficulty varies, but even the youngest of children can learn to help prepare at least part of a meal with assistance. In the back of the book is an index, a list of special ingredients, and additional book and website resources to explore. There are additional complementary education resources on the publisher’s website.
Quill says: If you have a young "chef" in the family, this is one series that you may wish to add to your list!