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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This mix of narrative fact and anthropomorphized visual fancy fails to add up.



Borstlap examines the roles that microbes play everywhere on Earth and touches on their potential for solving human-created problems like plastic waste.

Initial double-page spreads focus on the microscopic size and wide-ranging distribution of microbes throughout the planet. “They live on your body and on every imaginable thing throughout the world…and they can even live 3 miles (5 km) below the earth.” A clunky analogy posits that “if we could fit all the people on Earth into a single teacup,… / …we would need a big container for all the world’s microbes!” Highly stylized illustrations fail to redeem this vagueness(possibly due in part to the uncredited translation from French), presenting the “container” as a large rectangular box decorated with confettilike splotches. More effective spreads pair arresting facts with the capricious, cartoonlike graphics. Microbes can “create families in less than an hour.” (A digital timer clocks 59 minutes above a microbe “family” peppered with wailing offspring.) Some microbes can feed on metal: Borstlap illustrates this fact with a series of toothy mouths chomping on nuts and bolts. Readers visit the cross-sectioned colon of a human (on a toilet, with a cellphone) and glean a bit about microbes’ roles in food production, natural recycling, and prospects for sustainable energy and plastics production. The complex language in eight concluding pages of factual material contrasts markedly with the text’s up-tempo tone. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

This mix of narrative fact and anthropomorphized visual fancy fails to add up. (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-3-7913-7497-0

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Prestel

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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