Showing posts with label educational. Show all posts
Showing posts with label educational. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Lulu-Grenadine Fait des Cauchemars by Laurence Gillot


Rating: WORTHY!

Continuing the international theme from the last review, There is over 20 Lulu-Grenadine books for children written by this slightly crazed-looking female author. This is the first I ever encountered her, and it was appropriately in French. I have only high-school French and most of that is forgotten, but I had enough to guess at what was being said and it was entertaining. I didn't know the word 'Cauchemars' but it became obvious that it means nightmare, of which a literal translation from English would be jument de nuit, except that the 'mare' in nightmare has nothing to do with a female horse, but is derived from an ancient European word related to oppressive feelings. So no more horses of the night! LOL! I have no idea what cauchemar actually means if translated literally.

In the story, this young girl, Lulu-Grenadine (that latter word meaning pomegranate) has a nightmare of little white dark-eyed ghosties floating around in her room, but eventually realizes they're nothing but her wild imagination. The book is entertaining and educational, usefully advising children that there really aren't any ghosts, and that an active imagination can be put to better uses than keeping you awake at night! I commend this book even though it needs no mending, except to maybe have it in the English version for better clarity for us English-speakers!


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Mythologica by Steve Kershaw, Victoria Topping


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

If Steve is the cake in this book, then Victoria is definitely the Topping. The text is great, but the artwork will blow your socks off. In fact I still haven't found mine, and I'm seriously considering billing the artist for a new pair.

I asked myself, when beginning to read this, what it can bring to the table that couldn't be served equally well by a quick reference to Wikipedia. The answer quickly became obvious. This book has pizazz, which no one could ever accuse Wikipedia of! It's not dry and technical, but lively, exciting, and has roots you can follow all the way back to Tartarus. Unlike those annoying Rick Riordan books which brutally-wrenched the mythology from its native Greece and inexplicably transplanted it to the USA with nary a με την άδειά σας (which is Greek for 'by-your-leave'), like only the USA matters and alas who cares about Hellas anyway, this book keeps everything where it originated and tells the complete story in pithy paragraphs that skip none of the weird details which is what makes these tales so engrossing.

The book runs to some fifty pages of text and illustration, and covers Zeus, Hera, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, Dionysius, Hades, Demeter, Persephone, Ares, Gaia, Prometheus, Pan, Eros, Penelope, Narcissus, Oedipus, Pandora, Icarus, Midas, Cassandra, Orpheus, Helen, Achilles, Hector, Jason, Medea, Cyclops, Argos, Typhon, Chimaera, Medusa, Cerberus, Talos, Pegasus, the Muses, the Fates, the Amazons, the Argonauts, the Hydra, the Centaurs, The Griffin, the Giants, the Hundred Handers, The Minotaur, the Sirens, the Harpies, the Phoenix. In short, it has everything in one convenient place.

The text alone would have made this a worthy read, but add to that the artwork (and especially its diversity) and it takes it to a whole other place. I was repeatedly struck by how much of the Bible's mythology was taken directly from the earlier Greek stories. This is a wonderful book with much to entice, and I commend it as a worthy and educational read.


Math Games for Kids by Rebecca Rapoport, JA Yoder


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

Telling a kid that the book you're gifting them has some forty pages of math might well make the kid turn and run the other way. Is math fun? Well that depends how it's done. If you lead with the idea of building 3-D shapes using toothpicks and...gumdrops, then you might get the kid's attention, and that's how this book starts out!

Not all kids are math averse, of course. Some do love it already, but for many, if they're at all like me (and hopefully they're not!), then math might seem daunting rather than haunting. The first thing you should know is that this isn't really about working with numbers, but about working with shapes and patterns, and reading this made me wonder if maybe our approach to math ought to include topics like these early - bring math to your kid as fun and games and maybe when the tougher and more numerically-oriented materials inevitably crop up, they'll be less inclined to run? I know I would have been.

Colorfully- and simply-illustrated and full of fun topics laid out intelligently and attractively, this book begins with creating shapes using toothpicks for the edges and gumdrops for the vertices, teaching about prisms and pyramids, but before your child becomes completely imprismed, the book moves on to drawing circles and ellipses, including how to create a giant one in the playground. Next up is topology and Möbius strips, which might sound scandalous to some but it really isn't, because Möbius knows where to draw the line.

This is followed by a little bit of geography and a lot of four-color maps, and then stitching curves (which commendably shows both boys and girls at work) followed by fractals. And trust me if you understand only a part of the fractal section you've got it all. Snowflakes and graph theory lead to Eulerian circuits and a trip to Königsberg which now has a much less appealing name I'm afraid to say. No! I'm not afraid to say it. I will say it! It's Kaliningrad! There, I said it!

All the solutions to the various puzzles are included toward the back of the book along with an index. I liked this book, and consider it very useful and effective way to introduce young children to math. I commend it as a worthy read.


Friday, August 9, 2019

The Animal Awards by Martin Jenkins, Tor Freeman


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

Written by Jenkins and illustrated by Freeman, this is a fun and educational book about animal world record holders. Some of the records are less to be desired than others, but are nonetheless interesting. The book covers axolotls to vampire bats, and scores of others in between, but it features only those who are outstanding in one way or another - and their closest competitors. It might be that they live longest - like an estimated 400 years for a Greenland shark! - or that they are the fastest on land - like the cheetah, or the fastest in the air, like the peregrine falcon.

Maybe they have the goofiest mating dance, or can make the loudest noise (from one of the smallest animals, too!). Maybe they dive deeper or travel further, or have the most boring diet. Whatever it is, they're very likely in here. The record holders are not always cute and cuddly-looking mammals either. They could be vertebrates or non-vertebrates, fish, molluscs, birds, insects, mammals, amphibians. They could live anywhere on land or sea, or in the air. They could live in the hot or the cold, the jungle or the plains. But they're out there, and this books tells you what's special about them, and with enough text to educate, without lecturing, and with colorful and useful illustrations.

We puff ourselves up with human achievements, and often forget that these animals were first in the field (and elsewhere!). I commend this as a worthy read.


Little Concepts: A is for Apricat by Mauro Gatti


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

This was a cute book which takes fruits and veggies and turns them into animals - real fruit and veg, drawn-on, colorful animals. It teaches ABC's, healthy eating (everyone can use some fresh fruit and veggies in their diet!) and some fun since children will no doubt want to draw their own made-up animals after this. I know I would have done so! So this book not only helps your health, it helps the planet if we all eat less meat and more fruits and veggies.

I found the names (among which are Broccolion, Cowconut, Iguava, and Kangaroot) highly amusing and inventive and the artwork well-done indeed. The book is short with brief text and full page images in brilliant colors, and I commend it as a worthy and educational read for young children.


Friday, July 26, 2019

Bella's Very Wonderful Day by Sophie Carmen, Fuuji Takashi


Rating: WORTHY!

Last but far from least in my mini-tour of Sophie Carmen books for young children is the story of Bella, who leads an active life and this necessarily means she ends up with what seem on the surface to be disappointments, but she soon finds that if she looks deeper, she can get some joy or rewarding experience out of any situation. Misses the school bus? She gets to spend time with mom walking through an imaginary fairyland on the way to school. Scrapes her knee in the playground? Well there's always that lollipop the school nurse hands out....

I commend this, illustrated delightfully by Takashi, as a worthy read because it shows the benefit of having a positive attitude - and that really is a benefit in life, that once learned will help through many more years of growing and learning.


Brightly and Glow by Sophie Carmen, Christina Sanchez


Rating: WORTHY!

In the second of three reviews of children's books by Sophie Carmen, Brightly and Glow are brothers and best friends in the world of starlight, but there's one big problem. Brightly is a shooting star and glow is not, so when Brightly has to go off shooting and granting wishes, he's not happy at leaving glow behind. In fact, he feels so bad that he turns around and returns to his brother, but the Queen Star has been watching all this and takes pity of them. Just as the shooting star can grant a wish to a boy or girl, so the Queen can grant a wish to a star, and so Glow gets to be a shooting star too - and jets off with Brightly.

This was a simple, colorful (Sanchez) story about friendship and sacrifice, and I commend it as a worthy read for younger children.


When I Imagine by Sophie Carmen, Fanny Liem


Rating: WORTHY!

Now it's time for a review sequence of three children's books, each sweetly written by Carmen and this one elegantly illustrated by Liem. This short book for younger children tells the story of Andie who has great ambitions, but sadly, at her age, education, and skill level, few options!

This never stops her though, so when she wants to ride a unicorn, and her mother is forced to, if gently, pour cold water on that idea, Andie realizes she can imagine it, which for her is just as good. The same thing applies several more times as she comes up with plans for a picnic or to be an astronaut and so on. Always her fine imagination chases away any disappointments.

I think this book is a great idea. Children whose parents have limited resources or parents whose child has unlimited imagination can avail themselves of their children's ability to give them what they can't otherwise get. As long as the imagination doesn't become all they have! I commend this as a worthy read.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Whizzy Wheels Academy: Dylan the Dump Truck by Peter Bently, Sébastien Chebret


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

I have a nephew named Dylan so maybe I'm biased, but it is my considered opinion that this book was far too cute not to like. I liked the scatterbrained Dylan. I can imagine Yoda remonstrating with Dylan as he did with Luke, "...never his mind on where he was, on what he was doing."

Dylan is constantly distracted and not paying attention. He hears 'race' instead of 'pace' and goes racing off. He's focused on a cat on a tree instead of keeping still so he can be loaded with sand, and ends up dumping the sand in the wrong place. But Dylan finally pulls it together and makes a major save, at last realizing that safety is the watchword on a building site.

I commend this book for a fun story by Bently and some colorful and attractive artwork by Chebret. It's entertaining, cute, and educational for that fidgety kid you might know!


Saturday, July 13, 2019

My First Fact File The Vikings by Philip Steele, Stef Murphy


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

Written nicely by Philip Steele with consultation from Ragnhild Ljosland, and illustrated gloriously by Stef Murphy, this book does for the Vikings what the book on Rome in this series ('My First Fact File') did for the Romans.

It starts off with who the Vikings were, what kind of society they lived in, the Viking longship, sailing (read: lots of rowing!), trading, raiding and settling, the warriors and their armor, clothes, farming, living accommodations, feasting, how children lived, arts and crafts, and customs, festivals, and religious beliefs.

Once again in the series, there are small inexpensive projects for children to get their hands on, such as building your own full-size Viking longship - no, I'm kidding, although wouldn't that be awesome? No, the projects are much more modest than that, but nonetheless fun for youngsters to try their hands at. They include cracking a Viking rune code, designing a longship prow ornament (on a small scale!), making a wind vane, and making your own Viking money!

I enjoyed every one of the books in this series that I've read so far, and each had its own way of bringing out the facts without being dry or boring. They're a great way to learn about nature, or in the case of this one, about the history of some remarkable people from a dim and distant past, and I commend this fully as a worthy read.


My First Fact File Ancient Rome by Simon Holland, Adam Hill


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

This continues my four book review in the 'My First Fact File' series today. This is about ancient Rome. Now I've read a book about Rome by a man named Holland, I do expect to see a future book about those Nederlanders written by someone named Rome! Just kidding. I've actually visited Rome, so I have a real appreciation for the history, although of course modern Rome is worlds away from what it was at the height of the Roman empire back in the early second century.

This book will quite effectively take you back there, though. Written with some knowlegeable detail by Simon Holland with consultation from Matthew Nicholls, and finely-illustrated by Adam Hill (who gets to draw hills! The seven hills of Rome! This is poetry in motion, I tell you) this book covers everything a young mind needs to know, from the founding of Rome, the mythology and the actual - to the growth of the Republic, the empire, the Roman soldiers, their weapons, armor, battle tactics and conquest, through everyday life, including homes, engineering, cities, arts, society, childhood, how Rome kept itself fed, to entertainment and religious belief. In short, everything you need to know to get a solid grounding in ancient Rome.

There are, as usual in this series, small, inexpensive and easy projects for children to undertake to get a hands-on feel for some of the aspects of life discussed, including making a shield and a catapult, to designing a city, a home, and thinking about what policies you would implement were you the emperor of your own home! If this doesn't stir your child's mind I do not know what will. I commend it as a worthy and educational read.


My First Fact File Oceans by Jen Green, Wesley Robins


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher. You know it's an ARC when you espy a note on page 22 urging Kate to add a leader line! I assume all that will be done by the time the published edition emerges!

Again by the tireless Jen Green, with consultant Diva Amon, and this time nicely illustrated by Wesley Robins, this book tackles the massive oceans that Earth is blessed with - a subject which was touched on in her excellent My First Fact File Weather book I also review today. Again this is a print book, but I got only to review the ebook representation of it.

This book is the same length as the other one - some forty pages, with each pair of pages in a double spread, each spread devoted to an important aspect of a very important subject. It covers an overview of the five great oceans (and no, Ocean's 8 wasn't one of them), winds and waves, currents and tides, the ocean floor on which, (I read on the BBC news website in the middle of last May), a plastic bag was found at the bottom of the Marianas trench - some 35,000 feet down. Yes, we've even polluted that. The ocean floor is constantly on the move, believe it or not, as this book makes clear. Whether that will get rid of that bag, I don't know!

But I digress! the book covers the various levels in the ocean from sunlight surface to dark depths, as well as the littoral (literally!), food chains (not fast food!), coral reefs, icy ocean environments (which would sure feel nice as hot as it's been here recently!), animal journeys (including salmon, whales, and the Arctic tern), dangerous waters, rising seas, ships and boats (a brief history), exploration, and pollution. I recently had the pleasure of an ocean cruise and gained a refreshed appreciation for the sea, which I hope will be reflected in a novel I'm currently working on, but this book, aimed at children though it is, brought all of that back to me.

Once again the book has some pretty neat experiments for young children to undertake - safe and inexpensive. There's a sink or swim project to compare fresh and saline water, there's an experiment where you can make your own current, and even one where you can make your own tsunami! Just a small one. Probably won't bring your house down. I'm guessing...! There's a couple of pages devoted to rising sea levels due to climate change - and including a nice little experiment to see how your mini-sea level rises when ice melts.

For me, it would have been nice has this clarified that floating ice - like at the North Pole - will not contribute to sea level rise because it's already in the ocean, but melting ice on land - such as that on Greenland and the Antarctic will indeed cause a major sea-level rise if it all melts. But you can't have everything. Of course not! Where would you keep it?!

Overall I really liked this book and commend it as a worthy read. I appreciated that it tells the truth, and illustrates the text well, and colorfully. It's done in ways that will engage young children and educate them, and we all need an education about the oceans, it seems.


My First Fact File Weather by Jen Green, Tom Woolley


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

This, one of four 'My First Fact File' books I'm reviewing, is aimed at younger children. It's written as a print book (the content page has no clickable links to other pages in the ebook), and it was finely illustrated by Tom Woolley and written by Jen Green with some consultation with Adam Scaife.

It's over forty pages long and each pair of pages is a double spread. It starts where everything starts - the Sun, (without which we - and even the planet itself - wouldn't exist!) and proceeds through the atmosphere, just like a sunbeam, explaining in some detail along the way how all of this interacts with oceans and winds to create a climate.

I really appreciated that it does not pull punches when it comes to talking about the indisputable fact that the climate is changing and this change has been caused by human activity. There are no cowardly and irresponsible presidential lies here. The book continues with all aspects of climate and weather, and covers biomes, the seasons, the water cycle, clouds, rain, snow, sleet, and hail, thunder and lightning, hurricanes and tornadoes, droughts, and floods. It's really excellent.

There are some practical experiments children can undertake as well, which makes the book fun, including testing air pressure, comparing wind speeds, demonstrating how seasons work, and making your own water cycle. These are simple, inexpensive things young children can safely, do and they looked like entertaining educational opportunities to me!

I commend this book as a worthy and educational read.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

I survived the Joplin Tornado by Lauren Tarshis


Rating: WORTHY!

I don't know what made an old woman think she could write a novel about a little kid surviving a tornado but...I'M JOKING! Lauren Tarshis isn't old and even if she were it wouldn't matter. I don't subscribe to the 'write what you know' nonsense. The rule ought to be 'write what you can make a good story out of' (or maybe, in some cases, 'write what you can get away with', but let's not go there), and this author has almost made a career out of writing this "I survived" series. I say 'almost' because she's written other stuff and novel writing isn't all she does.

She started this series though, in 2010 with I Survived the Titanic (start big, right? Or write...), and has published a score or so of these. All these stories are based on real historical events, not all of them natural - or even human-caused - disasters, this particular one has its roots in the EF5 tornado which slammed Joplin, Missouri on Sunday, May 22, 2011. In addition to scores of deaths. It did almost three billion dollars in damage.

This was a mutant tornado, and as such was a good one to dramatize in this fiction based on the real disaster. I listened to the audiobook, and the main character is an eleven-year-old boy named Dex, whose father went to college with a guy who now makes a career out of chasing tornadoes and talking about them on his TV show, which is of course mandatory watching for Dex and his father. Why not his mother, I have no idea. Dex also has an older brother who is in the Navy Seals. I don't know why that was included because it's irrelevant to what happens in the story. His brother could have been a criminal or a younger brother, or a school teacher or anything. It made no difference to events.

Dex meets the tornado chaser by accident - literally, and gets invited to go chasing the next morning. They end up being caught in this monster tornado that precipitated rapidly and right outside Joplin. It was a cell of several tornadoes inside a shield of rain that was almost a mile across, and it hit Joplin right on, carving a path through there before heading off into the countryside and finally dissipating.

Dex's story is really very short, and the action in it is pretty violent at times, so you might want to exercise caution in who you let read this, but for most boys in middle grade it would probably be a worthy read. I don't know if girls would be likely to get into it in the same way, but maybe a few would. Certainly they ought to consider the educational value. It's read in fine style by Thérèse Plummer, and afterwards the author talks about the real tornado, how it formed, and the damage it did, so this makes for a really educational work. This isn't a series that I'm interested in pursuing, but maybe a child of appropriate age would, and I commend it as a worthy listen!


Sunday, July 7, 2019

My Very First Book of Colors by Eric Carle


Rating: WORTHY!

I think author Carle is being a bit arrogant in assuming this will be your child's very first book of colors, but maybe it will be! This was one of two young children's learning books that I thought was inventive and cute. They consist of solid, hard-wearing pages that are easily wiped clean, and which are split into top and bottom halves. In this one, the top contained a swatch of color (not a real swatch - a printed one, and it didn't tell time), the bottom contained pictures that largely matched the colors, but the top and bottom for each single page did not match, so it's a detective game which encourages a child to explore and find the matching color. The colors are not solid colors, and contain patterns within them, so even if your child is color-challenged it occurs to me that they may still be able to match one with the other, but that's merely a surmise. There are not that many pages, so it's not a huge challenge, but it's enough to get a young mind working, and I commend this as a worthy read.


My Very First Book of Shapes by Eric Carle


Rating: WORTHY!

I think author Carle is being way optimistic in assuming this will be your child's very first book of shapes, but maybe it will be! This was one of two young children's learning books that I thought was inventive and cute. This one consists of solid, hard-wearing pages that are easily wiped clean, and which are split into top and bottom halves. The top halves contain silhouette shapes; the bottom, pictures that match the shapes, but the top and bottom for each single page do not match, so it's a detective game which encourages a child to explore and find the matching shape. There are not that many pages, so it's not a huge challenge, but it's enough to get a young mind working, and I commend this as a worthy read.


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Primates : the fearless science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani, Maris Wicks


Rating: WORTHY!

Louise Leakey, the renowned, if controversial Kenyan paleoanthropologist, got three things unquestionably right - he talked Jane Goodall into studying chimpanzees, recruited Dian Fossey to study gorillas, and Biruté Galdikas to study orangutans. Each of these three were each self-starting groundbreakers in their respective fields: hard-workers who contributed immensely to our understanding of these three major primates, which in turn helped us to understand both ourselves and the primitive hominids that Leakey himself was studying.

I've read and enjoyed books written by each of these three "Trimates" as Leakey referred to them, and so it might seem strange to then go on and read a necessarily limited graphic novel about them, but I admire them immensely and I found this book amusing, educational, and well-worth reading as an introduction. It's suitable for young and old alike, and so serves its purpose well. It's divided into three sections, one for each of them, beginning with Goodall, then moving on to Fossey and Galdikas in turn, including sections in between where all three meet, albeit on very rare occasions. You can find photos online of these encounters along with much material about their research.

Only Galdikas, the youngest of the three, still remains in the field so to speak, having married a "local" and taken up residence down there, and she continues her research. Fossey was murdered brutally on St Stephen's day in 1985, and Goodall is in her mid-eighties, but still an energetic advocate for chimpanzees. I enjoyed this book and commend it as a worthy read.


Bird's Eye View The Natural World by John Farndon, Paul Boston


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

Erratum:
"Pampas deer grass" should be ‘pampas deer graze' I suspect on the South American page.

This colorful and educational book is quite literally what it says: a bird's eye view of various places of beauty and fascination in the world, starting in the Florida Everglades and going down over South America, out to a Pacific atoll, then across the Pacific to Uluru Rock in central Australia, up over the Guilin Hills in China, across the Asian Steppes, down over the Himalayas, through East Africa, across to Wales, on to Northern Scandinavia, back to the Irish coast, and then to France.

At each stop we learn about the animals and plants that live there, and a little about the ecology and how the land got to be that way at that location. It was unusual, fun, and very interesting, and hopefully it will lure readers into learning more. I don't think anyone who has read this book or anything like it can fail to see what horrible things we're doing to our planet and how urgent it is that we stop doing those things and rectify the evil we've already perpetrated. I commend this fully as a very worthy read.


The Classroom Mystery by Tracy Packiam Alloway, Ana Sanfelippo


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

In what's looking like a series here, I got the welcome chance to review a second young children's book from the same writer (Alloway) and illustrator (Sanfelippo) team who brought us The Map Challenge which I positively reviewed yesterday. Who says Britain and Argentina can't get along? Okay, you got me. No one says that. I just made it up to get attention!

Seriously, this book explores ADHD in the same way the other book took a look at dyslexia. In this book, the main character is Izzy, who can't forget that someone stole the classroom rabbit's food. She has a form of ADHD and cannot focus on the math lesson. Eventually she gets everyone involved in the crucial effort to find that poor rabbit's crunchy snacks.

The nice thing about these books is that they don't pick on the one with the condition, nor do they put him or her in a negative light. Instead, they emphasize the positive, and it's because of her 'super powers' that come as part and parcel of ADHD that Izzy is able to recall things and make connections that others do not - so, yes, you got it - she solves the mystery!

As usual (so it seems!) in the back of these books are teacher and parent resource pages, advising on certain aspects of (in this case) ADHD, and discussing events in the story and ways to improve on some of the deficits of attention that may hamper an individual at times (and no, it doesn't involve medication!). I liked this book as much as I liked the first one. Izzy was actually rather endearing, and I commend this as a worthy read.


Kitchen Science Lab for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecke


Rating: WORTHY!

This is from an advance review copy for which I thank the publisher.

You can't have a poetical name like 'Liz Lee Heinecke' - and that last name redolent of my favorite Dutch lager, without a certain confidence that whatever she cooks up in the kitchen will be worth followinbg. Not that I've cooked up any yet, but I have my list of ingredients prepared so I can try at least a couple of them over the July 4th weekend. I;ve made jelly rolls before, but never a tie-dyed one, so that's on the list. Plus I need the food coloring for another project related to my 'The Little Rattuses' series!

This book here is dubbed the 'Edible Edition' but I'm not sure why - unless the print version is printed with vegetable ink on rice paper or something! I suspect it's because there are other labs, and this is the one working with actual food. Overall I found it enjoyable. It is full of great ideas for fun foods and drinks, but more than this, it offers some science tips on why foods bake, cook, ferment, rise, and otherwise behave the way they do when manipulated in our kitchens. This was a fun twist that I really enjoyed because knowing some science is never a bad thing.

This book covers simple projects like 'mere' decoration (that's not 'decoration of meres' but decoration of foods, BTW), to tastier treats like desserts, as well as drinks, main courses, snacks and sauces (again with the poetry!), so there ought to be something for everyone. All of these recipes are nut-free and other potential allergens are identified, so those fears are also addressed. The preparations are aimed at being child-friendly too, so there are advisories about potential problem areas where an adult might be needed or is required.

The recipes begin not only with a complete list of ingredients, but also any other items needed to complete it successfully, and each step is laid out with a photograph so you can make sure you're staying on track - assuming you can keep your mind off sampling those ingredients along the way! There's a richness of recipes and no frugality of finished foods to enjoy when you're done. It's fun, easy to follow, great to look at, and it's educational! Who could ask for a more useful book than this? I commend this one as a worthy read followed by a worthy eat!