For some kids, “cooking” just means heating up food in the microwave – which is unfortunate since the kitchen can be a place where kids can make some tasty dishes from scratch, and become familiar with some unusual but useful utensils.
Here are two fun picture books set in the kitchen that teach kids some basic lessons while baking and in being accepted.
It’s soup day – and the mother and daughter in this story are excited about making their Snowy Day Vegetable Soup. A trip to the market lets the girl choose some of the freshest and most colorful vegetables which she washes and slices with her mother. Then it’s time to cook the onions, celery, and carrots together, fill the big pot with broth, wait for the soup to cook, and season it with their favorite pasta and spices! Mmmm…!
(Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
Part soup recipe for kids and part amusing picture book, Soup Day shows the fun of learning and practicing basic cooking skills. Veteran artist Melissa Iwai illustrates each scene with simple but charming pictures of the mother and daughter cooking together, while the sparse narration with makes the book easy to read aloud to kindergarten children.
As a bonus, readers will find a step-by-step recipe for kids (and their parents) at the end of the book that shows how to make their own Snowy Day Vegetable Soup, providing some fun activities for kids to practice their own cooking skills.
Ever feel like you’re out of place no matter where you are? Spork does. As the child of a spoon and a fork, Spork’s head is too pointy for spoons to hang out with him, but too round for him to be part of the fork crowd. Even wearing bowler hats or paper crowns doesn’t help him fit in – or get used at the dinner table.
Then one day, a “messy thing” with no respect for kitchen cutlery arrives – much to the dismay of the forks and spoons who find they are no match for the messy thing’s clumsy table manners. To eat its meals, this messy thing needs a utensil flexible enough to scoop food up like a spoon and spear things like a fork. Someone who can be both a spoon and a fork… like Spork!
Written by Kyo Maclear, a self-professed “spork” of Japanese and British descent, Spork works well as a metaphor for children of mixed ethnicities or anyone who feels they look or act differently from others. Illustrator Isabelle Arsenault’s cartoonish depictions of Spork’s world (which seems inspired alternately by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic) fit perfectly with Maclear’s whimsical tone. Overall it’s a fun storytelling book that younger kids will find both silly and touching.
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