In honor of our Books, Spice, and Everything Nice theme (and spice club!), we’ll be doing a monthly round-up of our cookbooks. We have a really nice and extensive collection, but it’s easy to get lost in the sheer number of them. Hopefully these posts help! To help celebrate school being out and all the kids we have at the library for summer programs, we’ll be focusing on cookbooks for kids this month.
Basic Cooking Primers for Young Chefs:
Annabel Karmel’s You Can Cook (2010)
Tailored for seven- to ten-year olds, this book provides an overview of everything from basic ingredients to standard techniques to kitchen hygiene to flavor combination tips to nutritional information. It is designed for children to be able to use the recipes with minimal to no adult supervision. They’ll be making everything from scrambled eggs to crepes to meatballs to veggie fajitas to marble cake with this one.
Denise Smart’s Mommy and Me Start Cooking (2014)
This intro to cooking is tailored for a younger crowd than the previous book. Perfect for five to nine year olds who will be working with an adult, this one includes lots of pictures that guide youngsters through the recipe steps, as well as the ingredients and equipment that are needed. Recipes include blueberry cake, pancakes, and chicken risotto.
Sandra K. Nissenberg’s Everything Kids’ Cookbook: 90+ Easy Recipes You’ll Love to Make–and Eat! (2020)
This kids’ cookbook has a wider intended age range than the previous two (seven to twelve year olds) and is also probably the most comprehensive. It includes recipes for healthy, kid-friendly breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, desserts, and more. Rounding out the recipes (which include French toast, mac and cheese, quesadillas, ravioli lasagna, double chocolate chip cookies, and more) are also nutritional information, cooking tips, and even food puzzles.
Themed Cookbooks for the Kids:
Lisa Wagner’s Cool Cooking series
I have profiled a few of these cookbooks when they focused on national cuisines, but we also have them for lunches, brunches, sweets, grilling, pizza, and more. Each book provides a quick overview of the topic, as well as basic techniques, ingredients, tools, and a few recipes.
Jane Yolen’s Fairy Tale Cookbooks series
Jane Yolen is better known for writing children’s books, but in this series, she pairs four fairy tales/folk tales with a corresponding recipe. Each book focuses on a different meal of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert) and includes extra historical and cultural information on the recipes.
Daniel Gercke’s Cook It! The Dr. Seuss Cookbook for Kid Chefs: 50+ Yummy Recipes (2022)
A rhyming and illustrated cookbook that is intended for use with an adult, this fun Seuss-inspired cookbook includes green eggs and ham, of course, but also warm whisked wocket waffles and who-hash and more. The recipes are sorted by level of difficulty, and the book also includes cooking tips and information on kitchen safety.
The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook (2013)
Not so much a true cookbook as a guide for how to style and decorate everyday food with a superhero theme, it includes fun superhero-inspired foods like Bat Cave Chicken Stew and Green Arrow Fruit Kebabs.
Farm to Table Cookbooks for the Kids:
Grow It, Cook It (2008)
If you have a garden, this book is the perfect way to introduce growing food and then using the produce in recipes. Lots of information on both gardening and cooking. Recipes include zucchini frittata, mini pumpkin pies, and homemade tomato sauce.
Claire Llewellyn’s Cooking with Fruits and Vegetables (2012)
This one doesn’t include the gardening information the previous book has, but it is a nice resource if you want to introduce your young chef to more ways to use fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. It includes chapters for each meal of the day, with recipes for everything from summer salads to mashed potatoes to ratatouille to peach melba.
For Budding Young Bakers:
Alex Kuskowski’s Cool Baking series
These 3 books all focus on a different type of baked good (bread, muffins, cookies) and then offers simple recipes, as well as explanations on the tools and ingredients needed. The recipes are kid-tested and kid-approved. The cookies book is intended for five to nine year olds while the bread and muffin books are for eight to twelve year olds.
Lorna Brash’s Professor Cook’s Mind-Blowing Baking (2013)
It’s an oft repeated maxim that cooking is art but baking is science, and along those lines, this book is devoted to introducing kids to the scientific concepts behind baking. The fact that it also includes fun recipes like exploding cupcakes, oozing crust pizza, and kitchen sink potpies is just another added benefit.
Cookbooks for Teens:
Julee Morrison’s The How-To Cookbook for Teens: 100 Easy Recipes to Learn the Basics (2020)
Geared for ages twelve and up, this cookbook introduces teens to the basics of cooking–food prep, cooking techniques, kitchen tips–and offers recipes for meals, including meals for one and dinner for the whole family. Each chapter includes progressively more complex recipes (say, starting with sloppy joes and working up to mustard and maple glazed chicken), and the book itself encourages readers to experiment with new ingredients, textures, and flavors.
Robin Donovan’s The Baking Cookbook for Teens: 75 Delicious Recipes for Sweet & Savory Treats (2018)
As with the previous book, this one is leveled by difficulty to help ensure teens pick the right difficulty level for them. The focus, though, is solely on baking, both sweets (cakes, cookies, brownies, pies) and savory dishes (breads, pizzas, casseroles). It also covers basic baking fundamentals, kitchen safety, and essential techniques.
What’s your favorite kid-friendly dish to make? What are you cooking in June? What’s your favorite cookbook for kids? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.