Celebrating picture book month on my blog this month begins with a cookbook of all things! My Facebook and writer friend, Whitney Stewart, saw my post of cooking with my four-year-old grandson Owen and sent her book, “What’s on Your Plate?”to him at my address.
Owen and I didn’t have time to cook the day it came, but we perused its pages to find the fourteen recipes representing its subtitle of “Exploring the World of Food.” Each spread focuses on a different country with a map, a list of common foods, pictures of children eating local dishes, and a recipe. The inside front cover is a world map with the children pictured in their locations eating their food. Owen enjoyed making the matches from each spread to the place on the map where the child lived and often noted, “You have to cross a lot of water to get there.”
Our first cooking effort came with a weekend sleepover shared by his older brother. In our first endeavor, we made ham and cheese tapas from Spain. Since Whitney gives permission to adjust the recipes, we substituted a cheese ball on the boys’ tapas since neither of them likes olives, but Grandma kept an olive on hers because it’s a favorite food!
The recipes are child friendly with easily accessible ingredients. Whitney either gives places to find or substitutions to make for any that are not common grocery items. Back matter in the book has a glossary and an index. I can’t decide whether the entertainment or the education is most important to this book, so I’m not going to waste my time figuring that out.
I do think the book will have a more than a few splatters before it makes its way home with Owen as we whip up some good eats from around the world. I think we may also have to find her new book What Do You Celebrate? with celebrations from around the world that is due out in March and see what kind of fun we can have from places that are across a lot of water!