Picture Books - Cooking Feed

A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies and Mark Herald

A First Book of NatureWalker Books, Place, Year

Hardback, 108 pages

ISBN: 978-1-4063-0491-6

Suggested reading age: 6+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: *****

I have to admit, it was the cute squirrel on the cover that got me to pick up this book.  And the collage style in which it is illustrated.  When I opened the book I wasn't disappointed. (see, you can judge a book by its cover!).  The gorgeous illustrations of Mark Herald are accompanied by beautiful prose from author Nicola Davies.  This is a book to dip into for inspiration and connection to the seasons.

Complete with recipes and activities based around each of the seasons this is a great book to have on your shelves at home.  Especially for those readers in the northern hemisphere.  Now if only there was a similar book for us antipodeans!  Leave me a comment if you know of one.

Eddie's Kitchen: And how to Make Good Things to Eat by Sarah Garland

Eddie's KitchenFrances Lincoln Publishers, London, 2008

Hardback, 40 pages

ISBN: 978-1-8450-7588-0

Suggested reading age: 4+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: *****

"Its good.  A bit funny." - Phoebe Perera, aged 5

In this charming book, Eddie's grandad is coming to dinner for his birthday.  Eddie, his mum and sister Lily have to hustle to get all the food cooked in time for the party.  While they are busy trying to cook, Mum has lots of interruptions.  First their neighbour with the new baby comes visiting, then the cat brings a mouse into the kitchen, next Mrs Beamish needs a band aid and finally Martin calls and needs to be cheered up. Luckily, Eddie knows just what to do and with some help from Lily they manage to get ready for the party just in time.

This is an inspiring read for kids who love to mess about in the kitchen.  The back of the book has recipes for all the food that Eddie makes as well as some tips for cooking with toddlers.

Other titles in this series: Eddie's Toolbox: And How To Make and Mend Things, Eddie's Garden: How To Make Things Grow

Let's Eat by Ana Zamorano and Julie Vivas

Let's Eat

Scholastic, New York, 2003

Paperback, 32 pages

ISBN: 978-0-4390-6758-4

Suggested reading age: 3+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: *****

Julie Vivas is one of my favourite illustrators and in Let's Eat she has teamed up with Ana Zamorano to create a gorgeous tale about Antonio and his family.  

Every day at 2pm, Antonio and his family gather at the big wooden table his Papa made to eat their lunch.  There are seven people in the family, soon to be eight as Antonio's mother is going to have a baby any day now.  I loved the family mealtimes with Alicia asking a thousand questions and Salvador wriggling off his chair to hide under the table.  This book is full of Spanish phrases and has a glossary at the back.

Mama Panya's Pancakes by Mary & Rich Chamberlin and Julia Cairns

Mama Panya's Pancakes

Barefoot Books, MA 2005

Hardcover, 40 pages

ISBN: 978-1-8414-8139-5

Suggested reading age: 3+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: ****

This gorgeous book is set in an African village.  It is about lively Adziki going to the market with his mother to buy flour for pancakes.  Along the way, Adziki invites everyone he knows to join them for pancakes.  "Aiii," says his mother "how many pancakes do you think I can make today, son?"  Adziki airily replies "Oh a little bit and a little bit more."  This is a lovely story about sharing, friendship and community.

It also has a wonderful recipe for pancakes, a map of Kenya, basic Kenyan facts and a Kiswahili glossary.