So… I ended up buying this book…
(Because I had a store credit at Williams-Sonoma and I really don’t need anything from the store right now.)
My son’s reaction as he unwrapped the gift and saw the book cover picking through the paper wrap was “Is this a gift for me or for my sister?” Hmm, it pretty much confirmed my concerns—I have anticipated this.
Later that day I encouraged him to look inside. He browsed through the pages but overall the book received a chilled response and was left on the floor until I picked it up and put it on the cookbooks shelf. Unlike the enthusiasm with which he greeted the 6 Lego sets and other gifts he got from his friends.
I think the book is beautiful. I love the choice of recipes and they are the kind that an 8 years old can make. Even younger kids can make most of the recipes.
However, browsing through many kids cookbooks I found out that many lack originality and there’s a major repetition in the choice of “kids” recipes like muffins, pancakes, chicken pot pies, pasta with meatballs, pizza—of course!, burgers/sloppy Joes, chicken nuggets, brownies, cupcakes… and this book has them too.
Many of the children cookbooks I’ve seen had a messy layout with crazy fonts and scattered photos and doodles all over the page which gave a sense of chaos and a slight headache for Mama. This book is very nicely organized. They did a great job in the layout.
I really like that the recipes are written for adults and children (Well, they do call it “Cooking together”) and have separate preparation steps for the kids and the parents which you can tell by the different font they use. This was particularly important in my decision to buy this book after hearing my son declare recently that he has “Only 4 more things left to learn about cooking and then I’ll know everything”. Yeah, dude, that’s right.
The photos are gorgeous but they are of children who look younger than 8 years and most are of girls, and in most of the photos the girls are cooking and the boys are eating… We have discussed that.
Bottom line, I like the book but—I knew it!—I should have saved it for my little girl.
There are other choices of cookbooks for boys he might have liked better like the Star Trek cookbook he brought from the school’s library last week. He made Yoda Soda…