From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9-"In baking, it is often possible to substitute applesauce or prune butter for fat." If for nothing else than that factoid, this book is worthy of purchase. Fortunately, there is much more in it that young scientists and cooks will find useful. There are some inaccuracies (it is gas in onions that causes tears, not oil) but that is a minor quibble compared to the fascinating sections on making curds and whey (and why it is called "cottage cheese"), why popcorn pops, and why one bad apple can spoil the whole barrel. Scientific information is kept to a chatty minimum, as this is not a treatise on the makeup of the foods we eat, but rather a way for kids (young and not so young) to have fun cooking. Each chapter begins with facts about the topic, followed by a brief experiment to illustrate the concept and recipes that range in skill level from no experience to some experience, with one recipe for angel food cake that requires a fair amount of expertise. However, the author's view of level of experience tends to be very optimistic. Other cookbooks contain more scientific information, but this is a good basic source. Attractively illustrated with black-and-white line drawings, easy and interesting to read, and filled with tidbits of information.
Carole B. Kirkpatrick, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 4-6. Although this covers some of the same territory as Mandell's Simple Kitchen Experiments , there's somewhat less attention to science here than to food itself. Each chapter begins with an experiment of some sort, followed by a brief explanation of what happened. A few of the experiments seem too simple for the target age group, but most adequately introduce some intriguing food property that will help kids become better cooks. Several well-chosen, clearly worded recipes, graded by difficulty, follow each project. The glossary is rather scattershot, and the cartoon artwork is more decorative than illustrative of cooking techniques. But the information about food labels is a real plus, as is the appended section that includes facts about food storage, molds, and pesticides. A note about safety appears in the introduction. Stephanie Zvirin