Kids Can Cook Vegetarian (Esther Coombs)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Kids Can Cook Vegetarian, illustrated by Esther Coombs, third in Button Books’s series of kid-friendly cookbooks for young chefs.

Kids can cook, but not every kid or family eats meat! So for little ones who love to cook meat-free meals, the Kids Can Cook series is back with a collection of simple and accessible recipes for chefs in the making. Separated into “Snacks & sides,” “Main meals,” and “Sweet treats,” little ones – with help from their trusted adults, of course – can try their hand at thirty-two recipes, including muffin pizzas, halloumi burgers, carrot hot dogs, zucchini brownies, and much more.

Another delicious edition! These cookbooks are a personal favorite of our family, as we’ve had a ton of fun in our kitchen with recipes from Kids Can Cook and Kids Can Bake. The directions for each recipe are clear and written in kid-accessible language, the illustrations add charm while giving visual context for the steps, and learning kitchen safety as well as culinary basics is emphasized. All the recipes are meat-free naturally, using symbols to indicate further if they are vegan and/or gluten-free as well, and the variety and creativity of the collective is wonderful. JJ was super excited to try some of these new recipes, especially the homemade fruit and root roll-ups. Overall, I would recommend this series to anyone, but for vegetarian kids and families, this one is a must. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Kids Can Bake: Recipes for Budding Bakers (Esther Coombs)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Kids Can Bake: Recipes for Budding Bakers, illustrated by Esther Coombs, a kid-friendly recipe book of baked goodies and treats.

Baking: it’s not just for grown-ups! This time around, Button Books brings a solid collection of recipes for baked goods, from the savory to the sweet, written and organized for young chefs. Featuring 30 recipes like beef empanadas, macarons, cake pops, profiteroles, and many more, kids can try their hand at tasty culinary treats (with adult supervision, of course).

Another winner! We were big fans of Kids Can Cook, and this is a great sequel to that delightful title. Once again, the recipes chosen are great for kids, and broken down into very easy-to-follow instructions. Coomb’s illustrations are colorful and engaging, and do a great job of making the food look scrumptious and giving helpful visual aides to the instructions. Basic techniques, an equipment guide, and safety guidelines are important and welcome additions to the opening of the book. JJ really enjoyed the few recipes we tried, and she’s excited to try more. Again, a great title for budding chefs and bakers, and a worthy sequel that matches all the charm of the original. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Annabel Karmel’s Fun, Fast & Easy Children’s Cookbook (Annabel Karmel)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Annabel Karmel’s Fun, Fast & Easy Children’s Cookbook, written by Annabel Karmel and illustrated by Bryony Clarkson, a collection of over forty recipes for young chefs.

Separated into four categories – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks and Treats – Karmel walks kids through original recipes like Owl Porridge, Little Italy Bruschetta, Sunshine Paella, Snail Dough Balls, and more. Recipes are intercut with fun-fact pages on food groups like dairy and grains, which include bonus mini-recipes. The introduction includes safety tips and allergy information (recipes also have symbols on each to note if they are gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, etc).

Interesting but surprisingly advanced. Karmel’s meal selections encompass a healthy mix of culinary tastes and dietary restrictions, and explore some bold territory for a children’s recipe book. However, for an “ages 5 and up” cookbook, the majority of the recipes require 6-12 ingredients, a ton of prepwork, and some moderately advanced kitchen techniques that would absolutely need to be overseen, if not performed entirely, by an adult. This is not a cookbook that most young chefs, as beginners, could pick up and start experimenting with on their own. Otherwise, the food photography does makes the food look fun and appetizing, and Clarkson’s adorable illustrations are treats in and of themselves whenever they pop up. JJ was interested in a few of the recipes and all of the fun facts. A unique kid’s cookbook, but definitely not for novice chefs; start with a simpler set of recipes and work little bookworms up to this one. Otherwise, Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Kids Can Cook: Fun and Yummy Recipes for Budding Chefs (Esther Coombs)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Kids Can Cook: Fun and Yummy Recipes for Budding Chefs, illustrated by Esther Coombs, a delightful starter cookbook for the culinarily-inclined.

Cooking: it’s not just for grown-ups! After an introductory section that covers the do’s and don’t’s of kitchen safety, tools of the trade, and some basic techniques like using a box grater and beating an egg, young chefs can explore three types of recipes. A “Breakfast, snacks & breads” section features yummy morning treats like fruit smoothies and sausage rolls, plus grain-based creations like flatbread and quesadillas. “Main meals & sauces” dishes out pizza, sliders, fish cakes, and curry; “Sweet treats” serves up strawberry sundaes and gingerbread people. With 33 kid-favorite recipes in total, young chefs can start their craft with dishes that are easy to make and fun to eat.

Wonderful! This introductory cookbook welcomes kids into the world of culinary creation by breaking down a collection of simple recipes into easy-to-follow steps. Colorful, retro illustrations walk kids through the steps of each recipe, from ingredients to finished process, and several recipes include tips and substitution ideas, including vegetarian variations for dishes like skewers (kebabs) and curry. The kitchen safety and basic skills covered in the intro are welcome, though an explanation of kitchen measurements would have been a welcome addition. Otherwise, we loved this one: it was fun to look over together, and fun to use for Chef JJ. Overall, a great starter cookbook for beginner chefs of any age, and Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Sesame Street: Let’s Cook! (Susan McQuillan, RD & Sesame Workshop)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Sesame Street: Let’s Cook! by Susan McQuillan, RD and the Sesame Workshop, a delightful cookbook for Sesame Street fans of all ages to share.

Join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, and all the rest of the Sesame Street gang as they introduce fifty recipes that adults and children can prepare together. Featuring fun dishes like Grover’s Monstrously Delicious Chicken Nuggets, Abby Cadabby’s Magical Squish-Squash, Rosita’s Veggie-Cheese Quesadillas, and Bert and Ernie’s Best Buddies Banana Pancakes, grown-ups and little ones can prepare each meal together using guided instructions that feature icons denoting which steps can be done by little chefs (with adult supervision). Along the way, kids can learn fun facts about food, cooking, and their favorite Sesame Street characters.

There are some lovely cookbooks for kids out there, but this is absolutely one of my favorites. The entire book is geared toward nutritional meals and spending quality time in the kitchen, and there are so many awesome details that tie into this. In addition to having at least two steps per recipe that little ones can participate in, there are clever icons that inform them of the health benefits of each recipe, ones that indicate which meals are travel-ready, and substitution suggestions that can help picky eaters make the meal their own. There’s also a wealth of information for parents and guardians on how to get kids excited about food and how to stay safe in the kitchen. This is a really great cookbook to share with baby bookworms to begin with, and the fact that it features everyone’s favorite Sesame characters is an added bonus. A treasure trove for young chefs, and we highly recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!