D’Amico, Joan. The U. S. History Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Exciting Events from the Past. Illustrated by Jeff Cline. J. Wiley, 2003. 180 pages. Tr. $13.65, ISBN 978-0-471-13602-6
Interest Level: 3-6
Cuisine: American/American New
This book does a great job of combining United States history and foods from important moments and eras to give kids a chance to have a multi-sensory understanding of events in the United States. While this book has no photographs, it has a great introduction to what tools are in the kitchen as well as what basic ingredients young chefs should have on hand; each of these items is clearly illustrated in a cartoon style, but the cartoons are very realistic, and there is no confusion as to what each item is. Including recipes for foods such as Depression Cake, Mother Earth’s Zucchini Bread, Awesome Tacos, and Ralph’s Rib-Stickin’ Hot and Spicy Texas Ribs, there is something here for everyone. Instructions are clear, and the information on historical events is interesting. Readers may also find an “American Food and Cooking Timeline” at the back of the book, a fascinating look at ways that seemingly simple items (baking soda, canned goods, or margarine) affected the food and cooking world, particularly in America! The reason I chose this book was that tweens encounter U.S. History at least once in their tween years; many California schools cover U.S. History in fifth and eighth grades. By having a cookbook with information about the history that students are learning, the library can help kids interact with history in new ways. Much like how the Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook above is meant to help tweens imagine what life is like at Hogwarts, this book will help students think about life in different points of American History. It even talks about different advances in cooking appliances, which might give tweens something interesting to consider.
Review referenced: When I looked for reviews for this book, I did not find that it was reviewed by School Library Journal, so I checked for user reviews on Amazon. 82% of this book’s reviews are 5-star reviews.
JHB (screen name). (2006, May 29). Absolutely outstanding ! (Review of the book The U. S. History Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Exciting Events from the Past.) Amazon.com. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/U-S-History-Cookbook- Delicious-Exciting/dp/0471136026