The owner of the Enchanting Cake Company guides readers in creating their own fairy-tale desserts.
Following two chapters laying out the basic techniques and recipes most of the projects will use, Khan provides brief retellings of 15 fairy tales, each with directions for four creations, including the castle and pumpkin coach from “Cinderella,” candy apples for “Snow White,” magic-carpet cookies for “Aladdin,” lily-pad tarts for “Thumbelina,” a braided pretzel for “Rapunzel,” and meringue clouds for “Jack and the Beanstalk.” Although Khan writes, “The main projects may look complex but…they are really easy to follow and even the most novice baker will be able to wow their guests with their creations,” this is not a book for novices, for those pressed for time (many take multiple days), or for those on a budget. There is a lot of specialty equipment needed to match the photos of Khan’s gorgeous creations (crank-handled palette knife, woodgrain texture mat, cake-lace silicone mat, petal dust, rejuvenator spirit, sugar gun, edible gold paint, to name just a sampling). While her step-by-step directions are easy to follow and full of useful advice that will ease construction, not all the terms are defined, and readers may wish for more photos of the steps. Also, the measurements, while inclusive, may be confusing for younger chefs: “1 3/4 cups / 8 oz (225 g) all-purpose flour.”
These gorgeous desserts may be fairy tales for most bakers.
(Cookbook. 14 & up)
Pitamic bites off more than she can chew with this instructional art volume, but its core projects will excite in the right context. Twelve pieces of fine art inspire two art projects apiece. Matisse’s The Snail opens the Color section; after history and analysis, there’s one project arranging multicolored tissue-paper squares and one project adding hue to white paint to create stripes of value gradation. These creative endeavors exploring value, shade, texture and various media will exhilarate young artists—but only with at best semi-successful results, as they require an adult dedicated to both advance material procurement and doing the artwork along with the child. Otherwise, complex instructions plus a frequent requirement to draw or trace realistically will cause frustration. Much of the text is above children’s heads, errors of terminology and reproduction detract and the links between the famous pieces and the projects are imprecise. However, an involved adult and an enterprising child aged seven to ten will find many of the projects fabulously challenging and rewarding. Art In Action 2 (ISBN: 978-0-7641-441-7) publishes simultaneously. (artist biographies, glossary, location of originals) (Nonfiction. Adults)
Just add water (and a little paper, some crayons and pencils) for instant and inspiring art projects.
This third art-education book by Prince is a deep well of resources for experienced teachers who want to supplement their existing curriculum or for a caregiver who is in search of a meaningful project to share with a child. Prince touches upon such topics as how to define art, how pervasive visual communication is in our world, and how vital it is that we become “bilingual” in the language of art. She also discusses the benefits of having students keep portfolios and the importance of honest criticism and praise when critiquing children's artwork. Included is a concise and user-friendly overview of various elements and principles of art, such as contrast, texture and composition, as well as a beautifully simple discussion about color, including definitions of hue, value and intensity, and primary, complementary and tertiary colors. There are more than 65 easy-to-follow projects neatly divided into the activities' environments: lessons for an afternoon in the city, the park, at the art museum or at home. The author even includes a referenced cross-index that lists the specific principles and elements taught in each project. Most lessons are, by design, suited for children as well as adults, and the supplies required are generally inexpensive and easily obtainable. Photographs and illustrations of the projects and principles add a visual dimension.
Though not for the rank amateur, a handy resource for artistically minded teens and adults who work with children.
(Nonfiction. 14 & up)