Once Upon a Time in the Kitchen

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SKU: 9781585365180 Category: Tags: , , ,

Inspired by classic stories from the world of children’s literature, cookbook author Carol Odell creates simple and tasty treats for cooks (and readers) of all ages to enjoy. Enhanced by softly colored illustrations, story excerpts from more than 20 children’s books (including Huckleberry Finn, Little Women, and Treasure Island) are accompanied by original, easy-to-follow recipes. From breakfast items (Doctor Doolittle Do-very-little Sausages) and sandwiches (Treasure Island Marooned Cheese Toast), to main meals (Robin Hood Sherwood Forest Chicken) and desserts (The Fir Tree Shortbread Stars), young readers will enjoy making and eating these scrumptious delights!

Like Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple’s Fairy Tale Feasts (2006), this picture book combines excerpts from the children’s literature canon with kid-friendly recipes. Here, though, the majority of the texts are drawn from classic fiction, rather than folktales, and each short scene features the characters enjoying a culinary treat. The story and recipe pairings are creative. In a passage from Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, for example, Baloo tells Mowgli that “honey and nuts” are “just as pleasant to eat as . . . meat,” and on the accompanying page, children will find instructions for stirring up the honey-nut concoction Mowgli Magnificent Muesli. Each literary selection includes a brief introduction, but with such short excerpts, children may still feel a bit disoriented as they try to connect with the characters and action. The whimsical ink-and-watercolor images will pull readers’ attention into both the stories and the recipes, though, and some kids may want to move on from here to the original texts. Safety and equipment tips complete this welcome addition to children’s cookery titles. Grades 1-3. –Gillian Engberg

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