Magazine! ChopChop

ChopChop Magazine. Belmont, MA: ChopChop Kids. 4 issues yearly. $14.95 per year

Interest Level: 3-8

Cuisine: Varied

This magazine is a resource for families who want to get cooking together. The issues include wonderful columns such as ideas for being more active (“Lead the Way—Take a Walk After Dinner” is one in the Fall 2016 issue), interviews with young activists or food experts, and fun food-themed puzzles and games such as mazes and word searches. Recipes include many great photos, including step-by-step photos for more complex actions in recipes (i.e., how to flip a quesadilla in the pan). Children of varying ages are shown doing age-appropriate cooking tasks; for example, photos of a little boy named Liam show him helping to shake something up and do other tasks safe for a very young child to do in the kitchen. Older children are shown using blenders and chopping vegetables. Captions also explain what each child is doing, naming children by name so that the information is made more concrete rather than a more abstract direction (i.e., “Liam is mixing…” instead of “Mix the ingredients”). The reason I chose to add this subscription is because it has a lot to offer a library collection. Not only is it endorsed and reviewed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, it was also named “publication of the year” by the James Beard Foundation, an honor that Judy Bolton-Fasman of Huffington Post points out is “the equivalent of an Oscar in the food world” (2013). Each issue has a theme, and it is filled with recipes and ideas based on that quarter’s cooking theme. This means that plenty of new recipes will be coming in every few months for kids to try. It also shows children of varying ages cooking; this helps reinforce the idea that kids are able to cook, and this may help children stick with wanting to learn even when new recipes are hard. Finally, the interviews and other supplementary material give kids something else to look at while flipping through; they can learn other things about nutrition as they browse recipes.


Review referenced:

Bolton-Fasman, J. (2013, Sept. 9). Cooking fun, cooking healthy with ChopChop Magazine and Cookbook. Huffington Post. Retrieved from     healt_b_3893517.html


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.) Retrieved from  Delicious-Exciting/dp/0471136026

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   

Library Media Connection. (2005, April/May). (untitled) (Review of the book The            International Cookbook for Kids). Library Media Connection, 23(7). Retrieved          from

Publishers Weekly. (2005, Jan. 10). The international cookbook for kids (Review of the     book The International Cookbook for Kids). Publishers Weekly. Retrieved from  

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