________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 4 . . . . October 15, 2004

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Multicultural Meals. (Kid Power).

Bobbie Kalman.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2004.
32 pp., pbk. & cl. $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (cl.).
ISBN 0-7787-1277-X (pbk.), ISBN 0-7787-1255-9 (RLB).

Subject Headings:
Snack foods-Juvenile literature.
Cookery, International-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-9 / Ages 8-14.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4

   
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Delicious Desserts. (Kid Power).

Bobbie Kalman.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2004.
32 pp., pbk. & cl. $10.95 (pbk.), $20.76 (cl.).
ISBN 0-7787-1276-1 (pbk.), ISBN 0-7787-1254-0 (RLB).

Subject Heading:
Desserts-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-9 / Ages 8-14.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

*** /4

excerpt:

“Multicultural” means “of many cultures.” In this cookbook you will find recipes from several countries and cultures around the world. Some of the recipes have been changed slightly to be more nutritious and to contain less fat, but they taste the same or similar to the original recipes. (From: Multicultural Meals.)

Desserts are extra food treats we give ourselves. They taste good because of the fat and sugar they contain. Both of these ingredients can be challenging to our health. So, should we not eat desserts? We can probably live without them, buy who wants to? This cookbook challenges you to make nutritious desserts that contain less fat and sugar. Nutritious foods give you energy. The recipes in this book are made mainly from fresh ingredients such as fruit, eggs, yogurt and milk. You'll be eating delicious desserts that your body can use to make long-lasting energy. (From: Delicious Desserts.)

Four earlier volumes from the “Kid Power” series, Active Kids, Breakfast Blast, Lunch Munch and Super Snacks were reviewed previously in CM. As in the previous books, the focus in these two cook books is on eating healthy food. Unlike the other trio of cook books, the opening pages in this pair are not as repetitive though there is some overlap in their safety tips and cooking terms. However, since the each of books can be purchased separately, unfortunately this repetition cannot be avoided.

     Multicultural Meals serves as a good reminder that changing immigration patterns mean that our cuisine could, and perhaps should, be less Eurocentric. This cookbook contains 13 recipes plus directions for a Columbian feast. About a third of the recipes still do reflect Europe, and these include “Mediterranean Meatballs,” “Spinach Quiche from France,” “Greek Salad” and “Bocconcini Salad.” Asia is represented by dishes such as “Chinese Lemon Chicken,” “Thai Coconut Soup and Noodles,” “Vegetable Curry,” and “Japanese Tofu Steaks.” Mexico weighs in with fajitas. The “Pita Pizzas” could also fit into the Super Snacks book while the German-style apple pizza would not be out of place in Delicious Desserts. Certainly the flavours in the recipes in Multicultural Meals will arouse the taste buds of the bland meat ‘n potato crowd.

     A dozen desserts are found in Delicious Desserts with fruits being a key ingredient in most of them. Some recipes, such as “Fruit Kebabs” and “Honey and Nut Treats,” require no more in the way of kitchen skills than the ability to slice a variety of fruits or chop some nuts while others, like “Fruity Ice Pops,”ask that the junior cook be able to operate a blender. Other recipes, such as that old standby, “Baked Apples,” and what are perhaps newer dishes, “Fruit Custard,” “Sweet Potato Pier” and “Berry Brûlée,” do require some cooking. The ingredient most liked by many juveniles, chocolate, is not completely overlooked in the quest for healthy foods, and it appears in “Chocolate Macaroons” and “Chocolate-Covered Fruit.” Those wondering what to do with overripe bananas can now turn them into “The Best Ice Cream-Ever.”

     This pair of cook books shares a similar format with the other four books. Each recipe is usually dealt with via a pair of facing pages which contain a list of necessary ingredients and their quantities as well as clear, step-by-step instructions which are illustrated by coloured photos. The text also notes when adult help is needed to complete a step. Children and adolescents of both genders and a variety of races are portrayed in the cooking photos.

     Both books would be useful additions to school and public libraries.

Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children's and adolescent literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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