A Monster Cookbook by Sarah L. Schuette

Lynn: Halloween is a BIG deal with our focus group despite the current politically correct efforts in our local school to homogenize it.  The boys start planning their costumes the minute the first leaf falls and have lofty schemes for decorating the front of my house this year.  They also love to cook so when I saw A Monster Cookbook:  Simple Recipes for Kids (Capstone 2011) I knew it would be a winner with the boys.

Schuette does a nice job introducing basic cooking tools and techniques and provides helpful pictures as well as suggestions about washing hands and cleaning up the kitchen afterward!  The recipes appear on a two-page spread with step-by-step instructions, each with an accompanying photographic illustration.  Of course the recipes are appropriately ghoulish and, mostly, geared to children’s tastes.  So far we have tried the Cyclops Eyes (rice krispies with M&M’s), Nessie’s Breakfast and Godzilla Salad.  All have met with approval and the cooking instructions were clear and easy to follow.  Next up – Giant Squid Sandwiches!  Sadly due to a marked disapproval of broccoli, Bigfoot’s Boogers will probably not be on the  menu.

The teacher in me loves cooking with the boys as it offers so many opportunities for practice with measurement and math skills, the science behind cooking and discussion about other cultures.  The librarian in me loves the nicely done table of contents, glossary and index that we were able to use and discuss quite painlessly.

Cindy: Have we discussed Lynn’s obsession with indexes? Only a librarian nana with such a fixation would concentrate on indexes and glossaries in the face of the glories of Bigfoot’s Booger snacks! HA! But darn it, she is right. While being extremely high interest with young readers, budding chefs, and ghoulish eaters, the book is part of a nice series by Captstone called First Facts. The snacks themselves are not really so scary, it’s more the names and the props in the photos that make them more gruesome. But, they do look monstrously good to eat, something that the more creepy cookbook snacks often don’t. So…fire up the microwave and make Swampy S’mores or a batch of King Kong Krunch and call me when they are ready! Yum.

Head on over to Simply Science for this week’s round up of Nonfiction Monday blog posts.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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