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Oct 10, 2013 04:01 PM

Kids' Cookbook For My Granddaughter?

She's five years old, reads at second-grade level, and has been cooking for a little over a year. Her mom is teaching her knife skills now (which mine never did!). I want to find a children's cookbook, preferably at third or even fourth-grade level, since her reading ability will only accelerate and I don't want the book to get left behind too soon. The recipes should be interesting and a bit challenging, concentrating on fresh ingredients rather than boxed or canned - I'll teach her our tuna-noodle casserole in due time! - and of course well-written. I've got a query in to Powell's Books, and I'll ask at Vroman's here in Pasadena too, but I thought it'd be a good move to throw the question out here. Her family is omnivorous and they live in Nashville.

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    1. I'll be interested to see the responses. When I was a kid, someone gave me the Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls, and I'm sure my parents and older brother heaped curses on that person's head. I mean, it got my nascent interest going, but good lord the crap that book has you make... I still have it, and drag it out every now and then for a laugh. I sort of wish I could remember who gave it to me, but perhaps it's better that I can't.

      2 Replies
      1. re: monfrancisco

        Yes - I remember some of the rather awful "cookbooks" for children of my childhood, most all of them produced by food companies. I'm sort of hoping some better ones have come along. If not, maybe Felicity and I will just have to write one!

        1. re: Will Owen

          If you do, I'm sure I'll watch its progress up the Amazon charts! I remember begging my mom to buy canned pears for a particular "salad" recipe. I'm in California, so fruit and produce were never in short supply at the store or at home. Fortunately, I saw the light pretty quickly.

      2. Mollie Katzen has a great series of cookbooks for kids. "Pretend Soup" and "Salad People" are for preschoolers and up, and "Honest Pretzels" is for ages 8 and up. The recipes are healthy and interesting and concentrate on fresh ingredients. They use words as well as illustrations. My kids loved them and we still make some of the recipes even though my youngest is now 18.

        1. My son quite likes the Kids Kitchen recipie cards from Barefoot Books. He received them as a birthday present at 5 years old (though their recommended age is older) and loved to look at the pictures and pick thing for him and daddy to make together. Now that he is 7 and reading, they are even more useful. Its nice to be able to take an individual laminated card out and not worry about dirtying a page in a book.

          1. How about your (family's) favorite recipes, in a "homemade" cookbook? When my grandma was teaching me to bake, she had recipe cards printed with 'From the kitchen of [grandma]' and ordered a matching box. Each time she'd teach me a new recipe, we'd start with my own copy of it, and when we finished the card went in the box. A ring binder would work well too.

            1 Reply
            1. re: truman

              I'll want to pass along family recipes to her as she gets older. If I still lived nearby I think a collaborative project would be fun, and I might still propose that as her reading and writing skills progress and we can start connecting online. There are so few of these that are written directly TO children; most seem to address the grownup looking over the kid's shoulder, and invariably advise the child to ask a grownup to chop things, instead of asking one to help you chop things.

              Bloombee, I like those cards. I just got a DK book called "Cook It" that her mom will need to help her with, but it has very clear photos and drawings showing preparation and cooking techniques. I might get her those cards for Christmas, though - thanks!