International recipes for families interested in cooking a variety of world cuisines together.

This colorful, amply illustrated cookbook emphasizes the educational, nutritional and social benefits of cooking with children, offering 19 recipes from as many nations. The book devotes four pages to each recipe and country, along with enriching notes on food and cultural facts. The country’s flag is depicted with a map locating the country, followed by a double-page spread documenting how to create each recipe. The emphasis here is on fun, collaboration, invention and food as an engaging art rather than exact science; “tasty tips” following recipes invite children to try variations (which always include a vegetarian option). Dishes include the familiar (Mexican fajitas, kebabs from Iran) along with the more adventurous (Brazilian salmon stew, Australian Fish parcel with damper bread). Recipes feel approachable—most are cooked atop the stove, with the most high-tech gadget required being an immersion blender for creaming soup. Ingredients are laid out clearly, with equivalent temperatures and metric measurements—but not always presented in order of use. Though cooking time for meat is mentioned, the more reliable internal temperature might be preferable (“fry until cooked” could result in underdone meat). Overall, though, this cookbook offers complex, authentic international flavors without overcomplicating the process, and the result is something you’d really enjoy having for dinner. A deliciously engaging fusion of cookbook and cultural lesson. (Nonfiction. 8 & up)


Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56656-866-1

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Interlink

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers.



A compendium of paranormal doings, natural horrors, and eerie wonders worldwide and (in several senses) beyond.

Maladroit title aside (“…in Bed” would make more sense, cautionwise), this collection of hauntings, cryptids, natural and historical mysteries, and general titillation (“Vampire bats might be coming for you!”) offers a broad array of reasons to stay wide awake. Arranged in no discernible order the 60-plus entries include ghostly sightings in the White House and various castles, body-burrowing guinea worms, the Nazca lines of Peru, Mothman and Nessie, the hastily abandoned city of Pripyat (which, thanks to the Chernobyl disaster, may be habitable again…in 24,000 years), monarch-butterfly migrations, and diverse rains of fish, frogs, fireballs, and unidentified slime. Each is presented in a busy whirl of narrative blocks, photos, graphics, side comments, and arbitrary “Fright-O-Meter” ratings (Paris’ “Creepy Catacombs” earn just a “4” out of 10 and black holes a “3,” but the aforementioned aerial amphibians a full “10”). The headers tend toward the lurid: “Jelly From Space,” “Zombie Ants,” “Mongolian Death Worm.” Claybourne sprinkles multiple-choice pop quizzes throughout for changes of pace.

A rich source of terrors both real and manufactured, equally effective in broad daylight or beneath the bedcovers. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2841-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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An impressive manual for achieving Scratch programming mastery and creating genuinely entertaining games.



A Scratch guide that goes beyond basic games and into some instructional depth.

After an introduction explaining the book’s structure and a first chapter that gets users up and running in Scratch, each following chapter is dedicated to a single game. From an early maze game to more-complicated games that resemble popular ones, such as a brick-breaker game and a “Fruit Ninja” clone called “Fruit Slicer,” readers are guided through screenshot illustrations of what the visual Scratch code should look like, as well as clear explanations about what the code is doing. Additionally, this manual’s heavy on customization, encouraging readers to make their own art for the games in the Scratch Paint Editor (although it also provides links to project files with sprites and other images to help those short on time or artistic abilities), and it even includes instructions on how to make “cheats” for the games. Each game is followed by skill summaries and review questions. The chapters’ complexity builds, climaxing in an ambitious, complicated-but-achievable final “Super Mario”–style game. Aside from the easy-to-follow instructions, puns give the book personality, and recommended resources pair with a thorough index to maximize usability. The structure’s ideal for classrooms, and the writing is accessible to independent readers—younger, with parental assistance.

An impressive manual for achieving Scratch programming mastery and creating genuinely entertaining games. (Nonfiction. 8-adult)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-59327-762-8

Page Count: 292

Publisher: No Starch Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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