Showing posts with label activity books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label activity books. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Twist It Up! by Jack Witherspoon great recipes for tweens (ages 9 - 14)

Children love making things and they especially love cooking. Tweens are especially excited to get cooking, learning to use different ingredients to make dishes their family and friends will want to eat. If you have a kid who has fun experimenting in the kitchen, check out this new cook book from the inspiring Jack Witherspoon.

Twist It Up: More than 60 delicious recipes from an inspiring young chef
by Jack Witherspoon
CA: Chronicle, 2012
ages 9 - 14
preview available on Google Books
available at your local library, favorite bookstore or on Amazon
Young Chef Jack will inspire kids to get into the kitchen and make some magic. His passion for cooking began in the hospital at age 6, as he was battling a relapse of childhood leukemia. One day, he happened upon the Food Network and ever since he has followed his passion to become a chef himself.

Today, 11-year-old Chef Jack is happy and optimistic that his treatments will keep him healthy. The sales of this cookbook benefit pediatric leukemia research.

Our school’s cooking teacher and some of her students reviewed Twist It Up and give it a definite thumbs up. The roasted sweet potato wedges were delicious and crispy without being fried. Another rainy winter day, they tried the Norwegian pancakes. The kids especially enjoyed filling the pancakes with jam and then rolling them.

While this book doesn’t emphasize whole grains or seasonal fruits and vegetables, it does get kids excited about cooking. The mouthwatering photographs and Jack’s personal stories pull readers into this cookbook again and again.

Take a look inside this book here:
Twist It Up: More Than 60 Delicious Recipes from an Inspiring Young Chef

And watch Jack in action in this video:


For more great cookbooks for kids, head over to this month's Parents Press. This month's monthly Bookshelf column features cookbooks for children, from young preschoolers through tweens.

The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher, Chronicle Books. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Keeping kids busy: favorite activity books this summer (ages 5-8)

Summer is wonderful for its down time, but there are times when I get driven crazy by the whining, "I'm bored, Mom. What should I do???" I love to have several activity books on hand for lazy afternoons, car trips and errands. Here are some of our current favorites for ages 5 - 8 (but I have to admit, our older children have fun with them, too!):
Look-Alikes: Around the World
An Album of Amazing Postcards
by Joan Steiner
NY: Little, Brown & Co., 2007
ages 4 - 8
available at your local library, your favorite bookstore, and of course Amazon
This is an incredible book with photographs to trick your eye. Steiner assembles mini-sets using household objects to create 3D scenes of famous landmarks. So in this cover image, she's used garlic and onions to make the domes, upside down recorders to make the minarets, and brussel sprouts to make the ornamental trees. Kids spend hours trying to spot the everyday objects she's used in these clever scenes. If you have a kid who loves the I Spy series, definitely check out Joan Steiner's books! I'm excited to see Look-Alikes: Seek and Search Puzzles, her newest book.
Junie B.'s These Puzzles Hurt My Brain! Book (A Stepping Stone Book(TM))Junie B.'s These Puzzles Hurt My Brain!
by Barbara Park
NY: Random House, 2011
ages 4 - 8
available at your favorite bookstore and Amazon

The Junie B. series continues to be popular with students at our school, appealing to kindergarteners who beg their parents to read it aloud to them, as well as new readers in 1st and 2nd grade. Above all, they love Junie B.'s sense of humor as she encounters situations kids can relate to. My 1st grader has loved this activity book. It's packed with dot-to-dots, word games, spot-the-difference pictures, Mad-Lib like fill in the blank stories, word searches, and more. And I really mean more! We've gone back to this book again and again, and there are still so many pages she hasn't done. With over 200 puzzles, this is a great book for kids who are just finishing kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades.
The Usborne Big Book of Things To Spot
by Ruth Brocklehurst and others

illustrated by Teri Gower
OK: EDC Publishers, 2003
ages 3 - 9
available at your local library, favorite local bookstore and Amazon
We have long loved Usborne's series of Things to Spot. Our children loved them in preschool - they would sit and hunt for object after object. And they still love them. The Usborne Big Book of Things To Spot actually combines four books from this series (links to Worldcat.org to find these individual books in local libraries):
Each double-page spread features a scene with bright, cheerful illustrations. Around the edges are small labeled illustrations with a number attached. So for example, "On the farm" you start hunting for 3 puppies, 5 ducks, 9 ducklings, 8 black lambs, and so on. The illustrations are busy but even young children can have success finding the items. The amazing thing is that 3 year olds love this, and so do 9 year olds! They are fun visual puzzle that are both easy and challenging to do.

Do you have any fun activity books that your kids especially like in the summer? Please share!

The review copies came from many sources. Look-Alikes Around the World came from our local library; Random House kindly sent us a review copy of Junie B.'s These Puzzles Hurt My Brain!; and, I purchased The Usborne Big Book of Things to Spot for our vacation!

Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.