Reviews

Nerd desserts: The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook

Pansino, Rosanna. The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us. Atria Books, 2015. 256 pages. Hardcover $25.64, ISBN 978-1-50110-401-5

Interest Level: AD

Cuisine: Desserts

“Nerdy Nummies” is a popular YouTube cooking channel and show. While the recipes in this book are a bit beyond most tweens’ baking skills, this is a good title to consider for the adult collection, as it has quite a bit of “flip through” value for younger bakers. The pictures are stunning, and the attention to detail that Pansino displays in her recipes and process are good skills for young chefs to aspire to! Recipes include Apple Pi Pie (the apple pieces are cut with number-shaped cookie cutters before being seasoned and placed in the pie to make for even more mathematical fun!), Moon Phase Macarons (each phase of the moon is displayed on the top of each macaron, one phase per cookie!), Chemistry Lab Cake, and more.

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Reviews

ChopChop — the book!

Sampson, Sally. ChopChop: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2013. 185 pages. Tr. $17.04, ISBN 978-1-45168587-9

Interest Level: 3-6

Cuisine: Varied

This book is by Sally Sampson, the founder of the organization that publishes the previous entry, ChopChop the magazine. This book has great photographs, encouraging language when telling children that they can cook even difficult dishes, and also talks about food realistically (i.e., that breakfast on a school day can be a rushed meal!). The book also addresses children as equals (rather than being a book talking down to young chefs), so the tone was enjoyable. The reason I chose this book despite already opting to pay for a subscription by the same group (ChopChop Kids, founded by Sally Sampson) is that some children would feel better having another book to reference rather than just the rotating selection of magazines. I also count this separately from the magazines as it comes in a different format, so I would want to budget those two items differently.

Reviews

Mini-desserts: Mug Cakes

Bilderback, Leslie. Mug Cakes: 100 Speedy Microwave Treats to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013. 168 pages. Tr. $19.59, ISBN 978-1-25002-658-3

Interest Level: AD

Cuisine: Desserts

Another dessert cookbook aimed at adults, Mug Cakes aligns perfectly with tweens’ desire to have quick and easy desserts available. Add to that the portion of a mug cake (a cake in a mug? Adorable!), and this book for adult bakers will be popular with younger readers. The book also has great “flip through” potential as the mugs in which cakes are prepared often match their contents; for example, the Victorian Rose mug cake is in a delightfully dainty looking mug. This book also covers “basics” of mug cakes before diving into the more sophisticated flavors and decoration options, so any interested tweens can get their bearings before jumping straight into the more complicated mug cakes.

Reviews

Hit it out of the park: The Ballpark Cookbook

Jorgensen, Katrina. Ballpark Cookbook: The American League: Recipes Inspired by Baseball Stadium Foods. Capstone Press (a Capstone Imprint), 2016. 63 pages. PLB $24.04, ISBN 978-1-49148-232-2

Interest Level: 3-6

Cuisine: Fast Food

This book contains recipes for foods inspired by snacks available at various baseball stadiums. While I was not able to evaluate this book in person, it sounded like a wonderful addition to any collection, especially in a library where some readers might want to learn more about foods but not necessarily prepare them (as Horn Book Guide points out, this book is “not for novice cooks”). The recipes that I could see on an Amazon book preview looked varied and interesting, and the photographs looked clear. It sounded like a fun and interesting addition to this purchase order, especially as I have already planned on ordering other themed cookbooks (Harry Potter, the “Gross” cakes, and the U.S. History themed cookbook). This book will have factoids to satisfy our Weird But True fans, and the actual recipes will be exciting experiments for our young chefs, particularly sports fans who might not yet have had a chance to visit other stadiums.

 

Reviews Referenced:

Horn Book Guide. (2016). (untitled) (Review of the book Ballpark Cookbook: The American League: Recipes Inspired by Baseball Stadium Foods). Horn Book      Guide, 27(2). Retrieved from http://www.hbook.com/horn-book-guide/

Willey, P. (2016, Apr. 12). Make me! Arts & activities | Series nonfiction. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/2016/04/reviews/series-  made-simple/make-me-arts-activities-series-nonfiction/

Reviews

Show ’em how it’s done: Cooking for Kids

Cooking for Kids: Complete Volume 1. DVDTransfer.com, 2006. 254 minutes. 4 DVDs, $69.05. ISBN 978-0-9726945-8-2

Interest Level: 5-8

Cuisine: Varied

This video set includes six episodes of Desiree Dorwart, an instructor of culinary arts at The Art Institute International Minnesota, teaching children how to cook. I was not able to view the entire set, but I did find and watch a clip of the sushi episode. I really enjoyed how Dorwart teaches kids the steps in preparing sushi, and what I saw in that nearly nine-minute clip reinforced what I read in Stephanie Bange’s review of this series for School Library Journal: Dorwart is clear in her explanations, and when she talks to kids, she makes sure to tell them what they need to know without ever being condescending (Bange notes this in her review, too). The video I watched was well lit, and the camera angles are good and allow viewers to see what is happening and understand what they need to do at home. Viewers also get to see kids cooking, so it is not just a video of an adult cooking while children watch. The reason I chose this video series was because some young chefs would prefer to have a video to watch rather than trying to teach themselves how to cook out of a book. It is helpful to see what a process is like before doing it oneself, and for kids who want to figure out cooking on their own, having a video to watch will help them be more independent in their cooking journeys.

 

Review referenced:

Bange, S. (2006, Dec. 1). Cooking for kids (Review of the video Cooking for Kids). School Library Journal 52(12). Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/

 

Video watched:

Cooking.For.Kids (screen name). (n. d.). Sushi roll recipe. ifood.tv. Retrieved from             http://ifood.tv/cooking/13545-sushi-roll-recipe

Reviews

Oh, yuck! Gross-Out cakes!

Barlow, Kathleen. Gross-Out Cakes: The Kitty Litter Cake and Other Classics. Silverleaf Press, 2006. 64 pages. Tr. $11.06, ISBN 978-1-933317-48-9

Interest Level: 5-8

Cuisine: Desserts

This book is disgusting. Flipping through the book is a truly amazing experience in gross-out foods. The photographs are clear, and more complicated processes have step-by-step photographs, which are hugely helpful given that this cookbook is all about making foods look like other things. Recipes include the infamous Kitty Litter Cake (complete with recommendations for varying levels of “grossness”), Toenail Torte, and Phlegm Brulée, amongst many, many others. Many recipes call for box cake mix, pudding mix, and store-bought cookies, but this helps make some of the complicated recipes easier for younger grossologist chefs; one does not need to know how to bake a cake from scratch to make these cakes, especially if the cake in question is going to be crumbled to make kitty litter “sand.” The reason that I chose this book was that it is so perfectly disgusting. Kids will find the illustrations nasty and giggle-worthy even if they do not wish to attempt a Blood Clot Cake, and I cannot build a cookbook selection without including this one. In a world filled with Pinkalicious Cupcake books, I have to balance out a collection with a “gross-out” collection, too. It might also entice some of my younger chefs who might not want to pick up a traditional cookbook just yet.

 

Review referenced: I turned to Amazon to see if book purchasers found this book useful, and found it to have 67% of all of its ratings be a 5-star review rating.

 

The SuiteQueen (screen name). (2006, Sept. 30). Perfectly gross!!! (Review of the book    Gross-Out Cakes: The Kitty Litter Cake and Other Classics). Amazon.com. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Gross-Out-Cakes-Kitty-Litter- Classics/dp/1933317485

Reviews

Grow your greens: Garden to Table

Hengel, Katherine. Garden To Table: A Kid’s Guide to Planting, Growing, and Preparing Food. Scarletta Junior Readers, 2014. 144 pages. Tr. $13.61, ISBN 978-1-938063-42-8

Interest Level: 3-6

Cuisine: American New – NOT vegetarian

This book not only provides recipes for foods kids can make, but it also gives detailed instructions as to how kids can plant, nurture, and grow different herbs and vegetables. “Farm to Table” is something that I know many California schools are trying to teach their students more about, and having a book in the collection that will give students a “garden to table” experience can help kids figure out what goes into growing your own food and feeding your family. The photographs are amazing and give quite a bit of detail, and the instructions for both the planting and food preparation activities are clear and easy to follow. Each “planting” section includes graphics that show how deep seeds should be planted and how one’s pot should look inside (i.e., layers of soil, plant food, etc.). This book also includes allergy warnings where appropriate, explaining to readers what allergies are and why it is important to be aware of others’ allergies when preparing food for other people. Recipes in this book include ideas for Basil Parmesan Dip, Caprese Melts, Green Bean Salad, Potato Cakes, and more. This book leans towards savory dishes, but some cake recipes are included, so our young farmers can also make themselves some dessert. The reason that I chose this book was that it includes information not only on how to cook but also how to grow things that you can cook.

 

Reviews referenced:

Booklist. (2014, Feb. 15). (untitled) (Review of the book Garden To Table: A Kid’s Guide to Planting, Growing, and Preparing Food).   Booklist, 110(12). Retrieved from http://www.booklistonline.com/

Gueorguiev, R. (2014, June 1). Garden to table: A kid’s guide to planting, growing, and     preparing food (Review of the book Garden To Table: A Kid’s Guide to Planting, Growing, and Preparing Food). School Library Journal, 60(6). Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/

Kirkus Reviews. (2014, May 1). Garden to table: A kid’s guide to planting, growing, and   preparing food (Review of the book Garden To Table: A Kid’s Guide to Planting, Growing, and Preparing Food). Library Media Connection. Retrieved from       https://www.kirkusreviews.com/

Library Media Connection. (2015, March/April). (untitled) (Review of the book    Garden To Table: A Kid’s Guide to Planting, Growing, and Preparing Food). Library Media Connection, 33(5). Retrieved from http://www.abc- clio.com/LibrariesUnlimited.aspx

Reviews

Historical Flavor: The U. S. History Cookbook

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

Reviews

Bust out the butterbeer: The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

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”.

Cuisine: English

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

Reviews · Uncategorized

The International Cookbooks

The International Cookbooks

Locricchio, Matthew. The International Cookbook for Kids. Illustrated by Jack McConnell. Two Lions (Amazon Children’s Publishing Imprint), c2004, p2012. 175 pages. Tr. $11.09, ISBN 978-0-7614-6313-9

Interest Level: 5-8

Locricchio, Matthew. The 2nd International Cookbook for Kids. Illustrated by Jack McConnell. Two Lions, 2008. 176 pages. Tr. $11.09, ISBN 978-1-50394-648-4

Interest Level: 3-6

Cuisine: Varied

These are two cookbooks that introduce children to different cultures as well as foods from those cultures. Each book includes introductory information on various places, ingredients from those places that are most commonly used in cooking there, and other cultural information. Then, recipes from those places (i.e., Greece, Italy, Mexico, China) are featured. There are no step-by-step photos for the preparation of these recipes, but the photographs included are very clear and engaging. The photographs also do not look “dated” as some children’s cookbooks occasionally do (for example, the Cooking the ____ Way series). Furthermore, backmatter for the first book includes tips on kitchen safety, cooking terms, and what tools are used in the kitchen; all of these sections are great ways for kids to learn more about what is involved in cooking. The reason I opted to include these two cookbooks is because the books themselves are fairly large and easy to read, a very important element for any cookbook, but especially for younger chefs who may need to take time going through recipes more than once. Tiny print in a tiny book that refuses to stay open is useless, so this book’s large format and print make this a great book for tweens who are just getting started.

 

Reviews Referenced:

Horn Book Guide. (2005, Spring). (untitled) (Review of the book The International           Cookbook for Kids). Horn Book Guide, 81(2). Retrieved from             http://www.hbook.com/horn-book-guide/

Library Media Connection. (2005, April/May). (untitled) (Review of the book The            International Cookbook for Kids). Library Media Connection, 23(7). Retrieved          from http://www.abc-clio.com/LibrariesUnlimited.aspx

Publishers Weekly. (2005, Jan. 10). The international cookbook for kids (Review of the     book The International Cookbook for Kids). Publishers Weekly. Retrieved from            http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-7614-5185-3

Burner, J. A. (2005, Jan. 1). The international cookbook for kids (Review of the book The            International Cookbook for Kids). School Library Journal, 51(1). Retrieved from           http://www.slj.com/