Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

20 Recipes Kids Should Know

20 Recipes Kids Should Know

Esme Washburn
Photographer: Calista Washburn
For ages 8 to 12
Prestel Junior, 2019   ISBN: 978-3791385075

When she was little, Esme spent many happy hours cooking with her grandma and learning how to make delicious dishes. When other children her age were reading chapter books, Esme was reading cookbooks from cover to cover. As she read these books, she noticed that many of the titles that we written for children did not teach them how to create a complete meal. In response to this situation Esme decided, at the tender age of twelve, to write a cookbook of her own.

Esme begins by giving her readers information about weights and measures, safety tips, a glossary, and more tidbits of information that young cooks will find useful. She then provides children with three breakfast recipes. They will learn how to make pancakes “two ways,” banana bread, and a classic cheese omelet.

Next we go on to lunchtime dishes such as mac and cheese, a grilled cheese sandwich, and black bean soup. These are followed by two recipes for appetizers.

Then there are the main dishes, all of which will surely appeal to young cooks and young diners. For the breaded chicken and the marinated steak meals Esme provides us with recipes for side dishes that perfectly complement these main courses.

No main meal is complete without something sweet to follow and Esme gives us recipes for a chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry shortcake, and apple pie.

Every recipe is prefaced by a note in which Esme tells us about the recipe. These notes will give readers cooking tips, and many include personal reflections that children will enjoy reading. Next there is an ingredient list, which is followed by directions on how to make the recipe from start to finish. The directions are carefully written so that they are easy to follow. Wonderful photographs accompany the recipes so that readers can see what the finished dishes look like.

Written by a young cook for other young cooks, this book is the kind of title that every child should have on their bookshelf or in their kitchen. The recipes and techniques will give children an excellent grounding in cooking that will serve them well.