Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Grow It, Cook It

Grow It, Cook It

From the editors and writers at DK
Photographer: Will Heap
For ages 6 to 12
DK Publishing, 2008   ISBN: 978-0756633677

A hundred and fifty years or so ago, many people worked on the land, or had small gardens that they tended. People grew their own food, and they turned what they grew into meals that sustained their families. They took their connection to the land for granted, and never imagined that there would come a time when people would not grow their own food and cook their own meals.

Nowadays many people in the western world never have the experience of eating something that they have grown themselves. They do not have that connection with the land, and this disconnect means that they miss out on one of life’s simplest and most rewarding pleasures: cooking food they have grown.

In this excellent title, young readers will find information that will help them create a successful garden of their own. The authors show readers what a garden needs, and how to provide it. They show would-be gardeners how plants grow and how fruits and veggies develop. There are tips on how to prepare the ground, pot a plant, compost and more.

There are planting projects that show readers how to plant tomatoes, eggplants, pumpkins, potatoes, carrots, mint, strawberries, and more. Mixed in with these projects, there are recipes that show readers how to turn their fruits and veggies into easy-to-make dishes. Readers will learn, among other things, how to make muffins, stirfry, pies, and bread.

Both the gardening projects and the cooking projects have easy to follow directions with lots of photographs, tips, and additional information.

What is wonderful about this book, is that it helps readers to better understand where their food comes from. Even if they don’t have the means or the inclination to grow their own tomatoes or potatoes, children can read about the planting process, and they will appreciate that a certain amount of effort goes into growing food plants.