Spice up school, library, or home cooking projects with this beginning guide to the fun of cooking.




Kids all over are eating foods from different countries, as people from various cultures settle everywhere.

In Santa Fe schools, children experience global cooking with healthy ingredients thanks to the organization Cooking with Kids. Visiting chefs teach kids dicing, cutting, chopping (with butter knives), measuring, stirring, using a mortar and pestle, and mixing. The students learn about grains, vegetables, and spices used in international cuisines. The adults handle the stove and oven tasks. In his latest photo essay, Ancona features diverse kids and adults as they prepare Moroccan root vegetables with a cilantro-based sauce called chermoula and minted orange pieces, Chinese-American fried rice with sweet and sour cucumbers, Italian minestrone soup with homemade breadsticks, and Mexican salsa, tortillas, and tamales. (Readers tantalized by these descriptions will find recipes on the publisher’s website.) Each page has a slightly different layout, and children’s crayon drawings are also incorporated. Everyone gets a chance to taste the finished products, learning expressions such as “Chi fàn luo” (“Good eating” in Chinese) and “Buen provecho” (“Have a good meal” in Spanish). Teachers or librarians can gather program ideas such as using a globe to indicate a recipe’s origins (although there is no map) or reading a story to introduce a recipe. Kids will sense the excitement that accompanies these classes and clamor for cooking lessons.

Spice up school, library, or home cooking projects with this beginning guide to the fun of cooking. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9876-8

Page Count: 33

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Science at its best: informative and gross.


Why not? Because “IT’S FULL OF GERMS.”

Of course, Ben-Barak rightly notes, so is everything else—from your socks to the top of Mount Everest. Just to demonstrate, he invites readers to undertake an exploratory adventure (only partly imaginary): First touch a certain seemingly blank spot on the page to pick up a microbe named Min, then in turn touch teeth, shirt, and navel to pick up Rae, Dennis, and Jake. In the process, readers watch crews of other microbes digging cavities (“Hey kid, brush your teeth less”), spreading “lovely filth,” and chowing down on huge rafts of dead skin. For the illustrations, Frost places dialogue balloons and small googly-eyed cartoon blobs of diverse shape and color onto Rundgren’s photographs, taken using a scanning electron microscope, of the fantastically rugged surfaces of seemingly smooth paper, a tooth, textile fibers, and the jumbled crevasses in a belly button. The tour concludes with more formal introductions and profiles for Min and the others: E. coli, Streptococcus, Aspergillus niger, and Corynebacteria. “Where will you take Min tomorrow?” the author asks teasingly. Maybe the nearest bar of soap.

Science at its best: informative and gross. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17536-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2018

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Effectively makes the case that we are all biological boardinghouses.



A quick introduction to some of the teeming tenants who call the human body “Home, Sweet Home.”

Squeamish readers may want to go slow: “My name is Demodex and I live on your face!” proclaims one eight-legged micro-critter at the beginning. Led by a preteen lad who poses for internal views, human figures with generically beige skin share space in cartoon illustrations with hordes of mottled, anthropomorphic blobs in diverse bright hues that wave, smile, and scurry busily over magnified interior fleshscapes. Brosnan, rightly pointing out that microbes live “EVERYWHERE” and that there are more of them in our bodies than actual human cells, nods to archaea, fungi, and other types of microscopic life but sticks largely to bacteria as she conducts a tour of the digestive system’s residents. Focusing more on functions than polysyllabic names (though there are plenty of the latter), she mentions pathogens and disease but keeps the tone positive by highlighting the roles common beneficial species play in nutrition, health, and maintaining a balanced intestinal ecosystem. She makes a puzzling claim that viruses cannot “evolve” and offers a woefully incomplete view of manure’s agricultural benefits, in addition to introducing as uncomplicated fact the benefits of probiotics and fecal matter transplants and failing to explore why farmers feel it’s important to feed their animals antibiotics. Still, as a unicellular fellow traveler puts it toward the end, there’s “plenty to chew on” here. This U.K. import’s British spellings and metric measurements remain unaltered.

Effectively makes the case that we are all biological boardinghouses. (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-908714-72-5

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Cicada Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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