Synopses & Reviews
"The theme of this fine cookbook is that cooking is a many-splendored thing. The book's purpose is "to enable very young children to cook as independently as possible under the gentle guidance of an adult partner." Each of the 17 recipes appears twice, once in words and once in full-color pictures. The child is the focus here: attention is paid to physical ability, comfortable work levels, and variety of tactile experience. A long list of skills and attitudes children can gain from cooking supports the idea that the process is more important than the product. Quotes reflect the young cooks' keen observation and joyful participation. Parents' Nursery School's Kids Are Natural Cooks (Houghton, 1974) also uses natural foods and has the same intent as this title. That book is arranged by season and contains more recipes; Pretend Soup focuses more on the processes. Anyone who works or plays with young children would benefit by having both." School Library Journal
"Katzen (of Moosewood Cookbook fame) teamed up with educator Henderson to produce this cookbook directed to very young children. It includes wonderful input from kids who've found their way into the kitchen: 'I thought it was going to be gross, but it turned out good!' 'I smell some pizza, dudes!' But the real joy is in the shared experience the book promotes. Each recipe begins with instructions to grown-ups, who function mainly as kitchen helpers and safety monitors. Kids can really do most of the work themselves by referring to simple, carefully sequenced sketches designed especially for them. As far as the recipes are concerned, kids and parents will be in for a nice surprise, for there's not a hot dog or chicken finger in evidence. Instead, we're talking real food — popovers, homemade lemon-lime soda pop, noodle soup, and quesadillas — delivered in recipes nicely scaled down for children to manage easily. Booklist
About the Author
Ann Henderson is a credentialed early childhood education specialist and is co-director of the Child Education Center in Berkeley, California.
Mollie Katzen is a cookbook author and artist who has profoundly shaped the way America eats. Mollie is a consultant and cocreator of Harvard's groundbreaking Food Literacy Project. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.