Media Reviews: Family- and Food-Themed Books for Kids

Kimberly Cole

Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World by Alice B. McGinty

What’s for breakfast in Nigeria? Japan? Australia? Israel? “Pancakes to Parathas” gives tasty insights into the favorite foods of our international neighbors. Colorful illustrations and poetic descriptions honor cultural morning meal preferences as savored by families all over the globe. The culinary adventure is sure to excite the breakfast lover in you. FOR AGES 4-8

The Amazing Life of Azaleah Lane by Nikki Shannon Smith

Azaleah’s life is pretty amazing. Her mother owns a restaurant, her father is a lawyer, and she has a big bundle of sisters. They all live in a big house, where her playfully protective aunt babysits her and her sisters every weekday after school. After a field trip to the zoo with her third-grade class, Azaleah is excited to jump on an extra credit project about the visit. She plans to get it done well before the following Monday’s due date. But Azaleah’s efforts are quickly derailed when her youngest sister, Tiana, asks for help: She can’t find her favorite stuffed animal Greenie anywhere! How can Azaleah manage her time in assisting her sister and getting her project done? Fun, bright illustrations throughout this first chapter book will keep young readers engaged. FOR AGES 5-7

Science You Can Eat: 20 Activities That Put Food Under the Microscope by Stefan Gates

Try your best not to work up an appetite while exploring this lively investigative reading on “edible science.” Referred to as “part-cookbook, part-science reference,” “Science You Can Eat”is an interdisciplinary discussion on chemistry, nutrition, body systems, the senses, food preparation, food preservation, food safety and more. The book incorporates science experiments that examine common food-related questions (why does popcorn pop?), and recipes that further the understanding of scientific concepts (instant ice cream–mmmm!). FOR AGES 6-11

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The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen

Enthusiastic young chefs newly embarking on the journey of cooking will be inspired by the fun photographs and easy-to-follow instructions in this delectable collective of kid-friendly treats. The comprehensive guide furnishes a conversion chart, a list of nutritional terms, a kitchen lingo glossary and useful tips for success in the kitchen and training in special skills, like how to mince and zest. From snacks to desserts and all the courses in between, “The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs” will empower children to plan, prep and manifest more independently. FOR AGES 8-12

Teen Chef Cooks: 80 Scrumptious, Family-Friendly Recipes by Eliana de Las Casas

Scrumptious recipes are categorized by season in this family-friendly cookbook by Food Network’s 2016 Chopped Teen grand champion, Eliana de Las Casas. The National Food and Beverage Institute Kid Ambassador shows off her culinary skills, featuring a variety of health-conscious dishes that make fruits and vegetables not just tolerable but trendy to eat. Teens can envision results with Eliana’s gorgeous color photographs and plan for meal-prep success with an in-season produce chart. FOR TEENS


Issa’s Edible Adventures

Join Issa in the kitchen of her mother’s restaurant while she helps sous chef Pierre find the ingredients for unique concoctions from around the world. The interactive app invites children to “tap on the items that twinkle” in the kitchen to learn about them. Issa then travels the globe in her magical helicopter to discover more about a region and the specialized foods that grow there. Engaging in conversation with a local epicure results in her collecting a needed ingredient and advances Issa to another location. When all the elements are gathered, Issa returns to her mother’s kitchen and commences a drag-and-drop cooking process. The finished meal rewards users with a printable recipe to make at home. Available only on iOS.

Kimberly Cole is a customer services specialist at the Martin Luther King branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

The Amazing Life of Azaleah Lane


Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World