Thursday, April 3, 2014

Children's Book Review: Starting from Scratch by Sarah Elton, Illus by Jeff Kulak

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge, from Purex, via 45th Parallel PR, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it.

easter bunny girl

Got a kid who loves to cook, or help out in the kitchen?

I've got a great book to add to their Easter basket!

Starting from Scratch cover


Starting from Scratch is a food manifesto that helps young readers relate to what they eat, inspiring both budding chefs and budding food lovers in the process. Beginning with an exploration of taste and how it works, author and food activist Sarah Elton explains how ingredients have been on the move for centuries, resulting in the unique fusion of flavors we love today. She breaks down the science of food and cooking into bite-sized and easily digestible pieces of information that cover the chemistry of heat versus cold, fat versus acid, and salt versus sweet. Both practical and philosophical in its approach, Starting from Scratchdemystifies food and cooking by boiling it down to the basics. Young chefs learn to make sense of recipes, measure and substitute ingredients, and stock a pantry, and discover that food is more than just a prepackaged meal. Using simple and universal examples, Starting from Scratch inspires children to eat better, try new flavors, and understand what’s on their plate. Even reluctant chefs will gain an improved sense of where food comes from and be able to join in on a conversation that continues from snack time to dinnertime.

This book is so much MORE than a traditional cookbook! Check out the chapters:

This book takes kids beyond just making recipes- it teaches them ALL about the ingredients available for cooking, and how they work together to make a great recipe, or against each other for a bad one! In many ways the book is like a home-study in all things related to food and incorporates math and science, making it great for home schoolers too! Miss Grace loved the hands on tests, like blindfolded smelling of an apple and onion, and learning to be a better taster, by comparing 3 different types of apples! The recipes included are very kid friendly, and Miss Grace was thrilled to note that she already knew how to make some of them (like marinara sauce!). She LOVED getting answers to questions like "why does fried food taste so good?" and ""what country makes the spiciest food?" And no, I'm not giving you the answers- you have to buy the book to find out! The illustrations are VERY bright and make kids eager to go trough the book! In fact the entire book is so kid-friendly, good luck in getting to read any of it yourself! We give it a solid high-five/thumbs up, and urge you to get it for all your chefs to be!

About the Author: 
Sarah Elton is an author and journalist who specializes in food writing. Her books for adults include Consumed: Sustainable Food for a Finite Planet and Locavore: From Farmer’s Fields to Rooftop Gardens, How Canadians are Changing the Way We Eat. A frequent contributor on CBC Radio, she lives in Toronto. 

About the Illustrator:
Jeff Kulak is an award-winning illustrator and designer with numerous books to his credit, including the Learn to Speak series, for which he won an Alcuin Book Design Award. He lives in Montreal.

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