Bucholz, Dinah. The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory—More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-Wizards Alike. Adams Media, 2010. 239 pages. Hardcover $17.11, ISBN 978-1-44050-325-2
Interest Level: AD according to Titlewave; SFPL has it shelved in the Children’s Section, and I found it to be appropriate for tween readers and relevant to their interests; I would list this as “Interest Level: 6-8”.
This book is perfect for older tweens who have read the Harry Potter series and are not eager to leave Hogwarts anytime soon. Recipes include Petunia’s Pudding, Acid Drops, Fizzy Sherbet Pouches, and, of course, pumpkin juice! These recipes allow Muggle readers to experience the food from Harry’s world rather than only dreaming about the pudding that Dobby throws to the ground when Uncle Vernon’s boss is visiting on Harry’s twelfth birthday! This book also includes savory recipes in addition to the many desserts and snacks described in Rowling’s books, so this is not simply a dessert cookbook. Unfortunately, this book has no photographs of the recipes, so this is not great for flipping through, nor is this for beginning cooks. For older tweens with some cooking and baking experience, however, the lack of photographs should not be a problem. At the end of the book, interested readers and chefs can find a list of the sources Bucholz utilized when creating this cookbook and adapting these recipes. The reason I selected this book is because it seems like a very fun book for young readers to enjoy as they finish the Harry Potter books and are looking for something else to keep them “at” Hogwarts. Sometimes “fandom” texts can be a bit lackluster, but Bucholz has done her homework, and the recipes are interesting even if the tweens cannot make them alone.
Reviews referenced: This book was not reviewed by School Library Journal or other publications that I usually turn to. In this case (and in several others included in this assignment), I looked for user reviews at Amazon to see how people feel about this book after purchasing it and, presumably, attempting a recipe or two. 70% of this book’s ratings are 5 stars. Two percent of the reviews are one star; since I agree with some of each of the “top” reviews (positive and critical), I will reference both here.
Aviva (screen name). (2010, Sept. 6). The cookbook we’ve all been waiting for! (Review of the book The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory—More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non- Wizards Alike). Amazon.com. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/product- reviews/1440503257
PenP (screen name). (2011, Feb. 11). Disappointing (Review of the book The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory—More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Wizards and Non-Wizards Alike). Amazon.com. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/1440503257