Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Plant, Cook, Eat!: A Children's Cookbook

Plant, Cook, Eat!: A Children's Cookbook

Joe Archer, Caroline Craig
For ages 7 to 10
Charlesbridge, 2018   ISBN: 978-1580898171

Many people know very little about the food that they eat. They don’t know where the tomatoes they buy come from, or how they grow. They don’t know that a carrot is a root that grows underground, and that broccoli florets, the part we eat, is actually a flower.

The authors of this book tell us about all these things and so much more. On the pages we learn, and even see, how a seed sprouts and grows, and how a plant reproduces. We find out what plants need to grow and what compost is. Best of all, the authors show us how to create our own garden. We learn what tools we are going to need, how to make compost and where to use it, and how to get a garden bed ready for planting. Then we learn how to sow seeds indoors and outside, and how to plant baby plants in the beds that we have prepared.

All of this is a lot of work, but there is still more to do because the garden needs to be watered, weeded, and fed, and when the fruits and veggies are ready we need to harvest them. This is perhaps the most satisfying part of the process so far, but more fun awaits us as we get ready to prepare the food we have grown so that we can eat it.

In all the authors show us how to make sixteen dishes out of the plants that we have grown. Some of the dishes we will make will be familiar; things like pizza with tomato, feta and basil, bean burgers, and potato pancakes. Others will be new to us; things like pea gnocchi, kale pesto, and chocolate beet cake.

All the recipes include a list of ingredients, and then a carefully written description of the preparation process. This description is easy to understand and follow. With a little help from their grownups, children will have no difficulty making the dishes, and they will surely enjoy eating the food that they have prepared. It will be very satisfying for them to know that they grew the food they are eaten, and they will have a new appreciation for both gardening and cooking.