________________ CM . . . . Volume XVII Number 20. . . .January 28th, 2010.


Backyard Cookbook. (Crabtree Connections).

Rob Rees.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2011.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $7.95 (pbk.), $18.36 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-9961-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-9939-9 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Cooking - Juvenile literature.
Gardening - Juvenile literature.

Preschool-grade 5 / Ages 4-10.

Review by Natalie Schembri.

*** / 4




Cooking and growing food can be a lot of fun. Sharing a meal with friends and family is also a good way to spend time together. Inside this book you will find a lot of fun recipes to make great dishes.

The recipes in this book use some of the fruits or vegetables from each of the four seasons: Spring, summer, fall, and winter. Simply follow the instructions on each page.

With easy-to-follow instructions for fun family recipe challenges and informative facts about fruits, vegetables, and vitamins, Rob Rees's Backyard Cookbook offers children, parents, and caregivers the opportunity to create healthy and delicious snacks by following the directions outlined in this "Crabtree Connections" text.

     Are you hungry for a hearty bowl of soup? Or, are you looking for a tasty treat to satisfy your sweet tooth? Backyard Cookbook provides eight recipes for children to create under adult supervision. Readers can follow the cartoon chef with the large cooking spoon and mustache, located on the left page of each recipe, to learn about serving tips and read witty cooking commentary as each recipe is discovered.

     Each of the eight recipes includes a list of ingredients, serving recommendations, clear and concise step-by-step instructions, and clever cooking tips to ensure a successful finished product. This children's cookbook provides a brilliant selection of seasonal recipes for young cooking newcomers.

     Backyard Cookbook provides an array of vibrant and especially appealing photographs of the ingredients used in the recipes and, of course, the scrumptious looking final products. The recipes are labeled according to the cooking difficulty level of creation and use the classifications of "Easy" and "A bit more challenging." Further, Rees includes "Chef's Tip" notes to ensure children engage in safe cooking that will yield quality cooking results. The "Did You Know?" sections of the text also provide a great factual element to the cookbook as they include health, historical, and cooking information on the fruits and vegetables used in the recipes.

     Rees's cookbook is a colorful, enjoyable educational read and cooking guide for children and families to follow along together in selecting snacks and meal options. The "Contents" lists an assortment of healthy seasonal recipes, such as leek and potato soup, asparagus and guacamole dip, sticky toffee pears, and mushy peas for children to make and share with family and friends. Additionally, each recipe includes bolded culinary terminology to assist the cooking process. Bolded vocabulary can be consulted in the "Glossary" and "Index" of Backyard Cookbook. And, the "Further Information" section includes web sites and books for children to research with parents, caregivers, and educators seeking additional reading on food, healthy eating, recipes, and cooking.

     Backyard Cookbook is a fabulous tool for children to learn about fruits, vegetables, and the art of cooking.


Natalie Schembri, a Masters student living in London, ON, enjoys leek and potato soup with crusty bread.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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