CM January 26, 
1996. Vol. 2, Number 15

image Alphabake:
A Cookbook and Cookie Cutter Set.

Debora Pearson. Illustrated by Jane Kurisu.
Toronto, Somerville House Publishing, 1995. 32pp, spiral-bound paper, $19.95.
ISBN 1-895897-52-1.

Subject Headings:
Cookies-Juvenile literature.
English language-Alphabet-Juvenile literature.

Preschool - grade 6 / Ages 3 - 11.
Review by Kenneth Field.

 The other night my six-year-old daughter and I embarked on a culinary adventure with Alphabake. Our goal was to bake cookies, using a recipe from the cookbook, in the shape of the letters of the first initials of all of her classmates and her teacher. She would then take the cookies to school for show-and-tell and share the fruits of her labours with her classmates. I can't think of a more critical audience, but this very discerning group received the cookies with acclaim.

This package, which includes the cookbook, twenty-six cookie cutters for all the letters of the alphabet, and a cookie sheet, is marvellous. The cookbook is well designed, with ring binding, which means it stays open easily while one is cooking, and heavy, coated paper that will withstand the rigors of children baking cookies. The recipes are well laid out, with the ingredients in a box labelled "WHAT YOU NEED," and the instructions under "WHAT YOU DO." The methods are illustrated so there can be no confusion about what the instructions mean, and every step is described in detail.

At the beginning of the book there is a "Safety Reminder" that details the dos and don'ts of safe cooking. This is important since children will be directly involved in the preparation and cooking. There is also an illustrated guide of all the equipment necessary to prepare the items in the book.

The recipes in Alphabake run the gamut from plain sugar cookies to savory biscuits that can be eaten with spreads or floated in soup. There are Silly Snake Spice Cookies, Cocoa Cookie Kisses, Rolled-oat Riddle cookies, Play-b-c dough, and Hey Diddle Diddle Dough from which one can make inedible words and ornaments. The book also includes activities that use either the cookies baked or the cookie cutters. For instance, one can make question-and-answer cookies using the "Q" and the "A." The author has included three riddles that children can have fun with.

Overall, this package is wonderful. It provides much scope for both having fun in the kitchen and enjoying the results.

Highly recommended.

Kenneth Field is a librarian for Traill College at Trent University in Peterborough, ON.

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Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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