Top critical review
19 people found this helpful
Not what the title suggests
on July 21, 2013
I ordered this for my daughter's 9th birthday. She's a vegetarian and a picky eater but likes to cook. I hoped that this book would encourage her to expand her repertoire and try new foods. However, it's been a disappointment.
My big complaint is that the book is NOT intended for children, contrary to the what the title suggests. The text inside the book is very clear on the fact that the book is intended for PARENTS cooking for vegetarian children. The recipes are not presented in a style that would be easy for children to follow, despite the illustrations. For example, weights and measures are generally presented in triplicate: metric weight, English weight, and English volume (or Celsius, Fahrenheit, and gas setting in the case of oven heat); and ingredient names are often given in both British and American English, so that a typical ingredient reads: "175g/6oz/1 1/2 cups plain wholemeal (whole-wheat) flour". This is not easy for a young cook to read. Nor can a novice easily interpret directions like "cook gently until the vegetables are just tender".
So the book is not for kids. But I don't feel it's very useful for parents cooking for kids, either. The selection of foods does not seem especially kid-friendly. I mean, I'd be thrilled if my kids would eat cheese onion and mushroom flan, or herb omelettes, or pumpkin pistachio risotto, or anything involving smoked tofu, but come on. I can easily find more suitable and abundant recipes in Joy of Cooking. The step-by-step illustrations take up a lot of room and contribute very little. I can understand instructions like "put the ingredients into a bowl" without a helpful picture of the ingredients sitting in a bowl.