BOOKS
The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs
208p. chart. index. photos. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. Oct. 2018. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781492670025.
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Gr 4 Up—This cookbook contains over 100 kid-tested recipes and 20 desserts from America's Test Kitchen and is contemporary eye-candy for middle grade readers and teens. Each recipe includes short testimonials from some of the 750-plus kids who were part of the test group, making the book fun and interactive. The cookbook also features informational sections for new chefs, such as "Getting Started in the Kitchen" and "Conversions and Equivalents." Taking a stance on nutrition, the work provides a section on "Healthy Eating 101" in the back matter, which includes information dedicated to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate system of five food groups. The design of the book is busy and blocky, reminiscent of Pinterest or Instagram, with informational asides and related tidbits with snappy headings. The organization follows a similar tact, including general information—such as how to choose the right kid-friendly knife—among the recipes, rather than in the front matter of the book that is dedicated to "Getting Started in the Kitchen." The pictures are small (there are no full-page spreads) and few step-by-step photos are included. Younger cooks and emergent readers may feel overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of information contained on a page, as the format sometimes fights the procedural and chronological nature of a recipe.
VERDICT Despite some flaws, this is a must-have book to update tween cookbook collections—and a great holiday buy, too.

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