This week’s contribution to Fantastic Fiction for Kids comes from Sarah who writes a wonderful blog called In Need of Chocolate. Sarah writes frequently about the books she and her two daughters are enjoying together, with a good dose of craftiness, some homeschooling and a smattering of the highs and lows of parenthood – a great mix which is always worth reading. Do make sure you pop on over and say hello to her!
Sarah’s chosen topic this week – baking – is a very timely one; I’m sure many of us have been busy in the kitchen in the last few weeks and days. Sarah’s books sound delicious and I’m certainly now on the look out for all of them! It might be a good idea to make sure you’re not feeling hungry before you start reading Sarah’s suggestions… which are:
This has been a favorite of ours since my older daughter was two. We love Monica Wellington’s bright, happy illustrations. This simple story of a baker and his wife opening their store for the day and selling beautifully decorated cookies is perfect for preschoolers and still loved by my now 6 year old. The book includes a recipe for Mr Baker’s sugar cookies. Making your own sugar cookies and decorating them would be the perfect activity to go along with this book. As would pulling up a You Tube video, like this one, of Cookie Monster singing C is for Cookie:
We love pizza and Monica Wellington books so we got a copy of this one as soon as it was released. The reader sees Sally harvest tomatoes and buy cheese for her pizzas before opening her shop and getting ready for the day. She and her cat make pizzas and enjoy serving them to their customers. A recipe for pizza dough and sauce is included. A great activity to go along with this book would be making pizza dough, talking about how yeast works to make the dough rise and then letting children make individual pizzas with the dough, decorated with their favorite toppings. We had fun doing this at M’s 6th birthday party.
This book is a fictionalized, humorous account of Fannie Farmer’s early days as a mother’s helper. Fannie eventually went to Boston Cooking School and wrote the Fannie Farmer cookbook, famous for emphasizing precise measurements. Fannie helps Marcia, the daughter of her employer learn to cook and Marcia encourages her to write her recipes down. A recipe for pancakes is included in the book and it has become our favorite, never-fail pancake recipe. M can almost whip it up on her own. We love watching Marcia open up to Fannie as they work together in the kitchen. A good activity to go along with this book would be making pancakes together. You could even make fun shapes or add toppings like blueberries, bananas, or chocolate chips.
A girl’s grandmother helps her overcome her fear of thunder by eliciting her help in gathering the ingredients for a thunder cake. The ingredients must be gathered as the storm approaches and the cake put in the oven before the storm is overhead. The girl forgets her fear as she works quickly to get the cake made. We all love the idea of chasing away fear by making a cake. Cake makes everyone feel better The book includes a recipe for thunder cake which has an unexpected “secret” ingredient: pureed tomatoes. Making a cake together on a rainy or stormy day would be a perfect accompaniment to this book.
Now I (Zoe) love having great music on whilst I’m in the kitchen baking or cooking or nibbling and here’s some fun stuff that could go well with Sarah’s recommendations:
And as to activities, well as Sarah has suggested there are endless possibilities for getting kids involved in the kitchen, but if you want more crafty baking related activities you could try out these:
A post about books, baking and kids wouldn’t be complete without mentioning a wonderful blog I enjoy called Sweet Reads – Books and Baking for Kids. There are loads of great posts but I laughed a lot when I read the post, The London Eye Mystery.
So just two things left to say today – First, a very big *thank you* to Sarah at In Need of Chocolate for this week’s book selection, and second, I hope you all have a wonderful few days with family over the holiday period! Now it’s over to you… what are your favourite kids’ books with a baking/cooking theme, and what are your favourite recipes for making with the kids?