Whether it’s a cookbook or a picture book with recipes, here’s a look at some that just might get your kids cooking with you in the kitchen.
The Real Girl’s Kitchen by actress and singer/songwriter Haylie Duff comes out in October from Razorbill, inspired by her food blog The Real Girl's Kitchen. Duff has compiled 70 healthy recipes for everything from breakfast, salads, soups, snacks and desserts, and each recipe includes a personal story about friends, family, dating and living in Hollywood.
“We sat down with Haylie Duff at her agent’s offices and she served us the best deviled eggs we’ve ever had—and then she told us about how she began to cook on movie sets, how cooking has always been a major part of her family life and, now, how it informs her social life and romantic life,” says Ben Schrank, publisher of Razorbill. “We think there’s a huge need for this book for girls and young women and we’re sure it will find a place in dorm rooms, first apartments and family kitchens everywhere.
This month bestselling cookbook author and Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis launches her children’s book series Recipe for Adventure, aimed at readers ages 7-11. The series follows brother and sister Alfie and Amelia Bertolizzi, and their Zia Donatella, who magically transports the children to cities throughout the world famous for their cuisine. Each book includes two recipe cards at the end. The first two books of the series are Naples! and Paris!.
Last year celebrity chef Tyler Florence introduced young readers to his dog Tofu in his picture book Tyler Makes Pancakes. This time around, in Tyler Makes Spaghetti (HarperCollins), Tyler and Tofu imagine a trip around the world to gather fresh ingredients, then head back to the kitchen to make their favorite dish. The book is illustrated by Craig Frazier, and includes a “cool fact” section as well as Florence’s recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. “Now that Tyler has his own children, he was interested in engaging kids, as well as adults, in the food experience,” says Toni Markiet, senior executive editor of HarperCollins Children’s Books.
Also from HarperCollins is Charlie Goes to School by Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman from the Food Network and blog). The picture book featuring Drummond’s basset hound, Charlie, includes a family-friendly recipe in the back.
“Ree Drummond's adorable Bassett Hound, Charlie, was a star on her blog The Pioneer Woman from the moment he arrived on the ranch,” says Kate Jackson, senior v-p and associate publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books. So, when Ree wanted to bring kids into the Pioneer Woman's world and explore living on a ranch, enjoying nature, and how fun it is to cook, who better to lead the charge than Charlie?”
Earlier this year, Running Press Kids published Nonna’s Birthday Surprise by Lidia Bastianich. The book came about when the author’s five grandchildren asked for her help in planning a surprise birthday dinner for Nonna Mima, Bastianich’s mother. In the book, illustrated by Renee Graef, the children hear stories about Nonna Lidia growing up in Italy, learn about cooking seasonal dishes with fresh ingredients, and take a trip to the farmers market to buy everything they need to make pasta primavera. Bastianich gives readers tips on how to involve children in preparing meals.
Editor Lisa Cheng says, "Lidia has always valued the connection between family and food and wants to encourage kids to make the connection between the food that they eat and where it comes from-both in preparation and original source. We included a few of Lidia's kid-friendly and easy-to-make Italian recipes after the story, hoping they may enable families to share the experience of food together in a fun, healthy, intergenerational way."