Most of my reviews are for your typical cookbooks, written and meant for adults. This book, Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson, deserves a spot on any family’s cookbook shelf.
This is the book I was meant to find. I don’t have a lot of experience with kids’ cookbooks, but this one rates pretty darn high for me.
When I was imagining the perfect cookbook for kids, I knew it had to have lots of pictures illustrating the steps. This book has that, and so much more. It’s also a guide to teach parents how to cook with their kids.
The illustrations are brightly colored and fun to look at.
The advice from the kid testers is hysterical. There are also kid reviews for each recipe.
The cookbook says it’s for preschoolers and up, and my preschooler loved it. He chose to make hide and seek muffins, which I detailed here.
He was mostly able to understand the pictures, although some were confusing, like the bag of flour could be mistaken for a bag of sugar to the non-reader.
The recipe is also written in the traditional way for adults. There are lots of tips for parents so the experience is low-stress. I know I (unfortunately) tend to freak out about mess, even as I try to remind myself it’s about the process. The authors don’t judge; they make good suggestions like choosing the largest mixing bowl to reduce mess, or placing a measuring cup over a baking sheet to catch spills.
Best of all, my little guy really took ownership of the baking process. He let me know what to do next, and was so generous sharing the muffins with me and his baby brother.
Look at that proud face! I will probably buy more copies for kids I know who enjoy cooking. You should too.