If one wants to make Porridge and Cream like Shasta had or pack up some cold sliced chicken such as Prince Caspian carried,...

READ REVIEW

THE UNOFFICIAL NARNIA COOKBOOK

Bucholz, author of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook (2010), creates or re-creates Beautiful Breakfasts; Snacks, Teas, and Meals on the Run; Lunch and Dinner Menus; and Fabulous Feasts in four chapters.

Although she rates the recipes with stars by degree of difficulty, many of these are extremely complex. Each recipe is clearly tied to particular incidents and chapters in the books of Narnia. The font is rather small for a cookbook, and the instructions both exhaustive and full of warnings about alcohol and caffeine and techniques not for children. While she mostly uses real and fresh ingredients, periodically she recommends using premade cakes or instant puddings. There is also an amazing reliance on cooking spray. She very carefully defines and describes sauces and techniques but maintains an offhand, almost twee, tone in her introductions and commentary. While striving to stick to the actual meals in the stories (Eel Stew! Boar’s Head!), Bucholz periodically offer substitutions for hard-to-get ingredients; some of these may not be so hard-to-get, depending on location: goat meat, red currants and gooseberries, for example. Some of her culinary history is a little suspect, like a paragraph about medieval feasts that does not define “medieval” or specify country but merely states that rulers were indifferent toward the poor and ate magnificently while the poor starved.

If one wants to make Porridge and Cream like Shasta had or pack up some cold sliced chicken such as Prince Caspian carried, one can find that. Reading about it might be more fun. (sources, index [not seen]) (Cookbook. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4022-6641-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

In a large, handsome format, Tarnowska offers six tales plus an abbreviated version of the frame story, retold in formal but contemporary language and sandwiched between a note on the Nights’ place in her childhood in Lebanon and a page of glossary and source notes. Rather than preserve the traditional embedded structure and cliffhanger cutoffs, she keeps each story discrete and tones down the sex and violence. This structure begs the question of why Shahriyar lets Shahrazade [sic] live if she tells each evening’s tale complete, but it serves to simplify the reading for those who want just one tale at a time. Only the opener, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” is likely to be familiar to young readers; in others a prince learns to control a flying “Ebony Horse” by “twiddling” its ears, contending djinn argue whether “Prince Kamar el Zaman [or] Princess Boudour” is the more beautiful (the prince wins) and in a Cinderella tale a “Diamond Anklet” subs for the glass slipper. Hénaff’s stylized scenes of domed cityscapes and turbaned figures add properly whimsical visual notes to this short but animated gathering. (Folktales. 10-12)

 

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84686-122-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Barefoot

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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A vivid mix of local color and tongue-in-cheek wit, albeit with loud sour notes.

HALF THE LIES YOU TELL ARE NOT TRUE

From a Labrador native, homespun “recitations” in equally homespun rhyme.

Written for oral performance (most are available as recordings) and easy to read aloud despite plenty of regional jargon, these 13 original yarns feature big dollops of wry humor. There’s fog thick enough to eat (“Mother used to dice it with pork fat and onions, / Or she’d mix it with mustard as a poultice for bunions”); the horrific consequences of trying to unclog a septic tank using a pump fitted with an old boat motor; and the experiences of a “Man of La Manche,” who is abducted not by aliens but Capt. Kirk, attempting to beam a moose up to the Enterprise. Recurring characters include 90-year-old “Super Nan,” who vanquishes a bullying polar bear at Bingo, and Uncle Jim Buckle. Paddon trips hard over the edges of good taste in “Berries,” a violent tale of a berry-picking war during which Jim takes a second wife, “a woman best described as Atilla the Hen,” after his first is killed by a land mine—but even that one comes to an uproarious climax, followed by an amicable resolution: “I guess blood’s…even thicker than jam.” It’s hard to tell from the small, roughly drawn figures in Major’s appropriately sober vignettes, but the (human) cast is likely all white. The glossary is extensive and essential for readers outside of Newfoundland and Labrador.

A vivid mix of local color and tongue-in-cheek wit, albeit with loud sour notes. (Verse tales. 11-15)

Pub Date: March 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-927917-15-2

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Running the Goat

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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