Review: Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipies

Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes

by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson

Find it at: Your library | Amazon | Indiebound

Published: Tricycle Press (April 1, 1994)

Recommended reading age: 3 – 7 years old

In a nutshell: Little L has recently taken an interest in cooking. She gets out her crayons and scribbles recipes for pizza, cookies, and “salad sandwiches”. She also plays pretend cooking with whatever toys she has at her disposal, whether they resemble food or not. So, when I came across this cookbook, Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes for preschoolers the other day at the library, it was perfect timing to have this book enter our lives.

Nineteen easy-enough recipes for little hands including Zucchini Moons, Green Spaghetti, Hid and Seek Muffins, Number Salad, and our favorite, Pretend Soup. Within each recipe is a guideline as you would normally see with a note to grown-ups, tips and tricks, and a list of the ingredients and the actual recipe.


But when you turn the page, the recipe is transformed into a picture outline that young children can “read” and follow along. Enough so that the grown-up can take a backseat in the process and allow the child to create their own concoctions. There’s so much for a child to gain when they are introduced to cooking: Confidence and the feeling of accomplishment, early math skills, pre-reading skills, small motor skills, science skills, ability to follow directions, food literacy, and creativity. Pretend Soup is the perfect gateway into the art and joy of cooking.

Don’t take my word for it:  “[Pretend Soup is] a fun way to introduce cooking to kids.  It will make them feel capable, confident, responsible.  With younger kids, this is a great bonding activity; and with older kids you can sit back and reap the rewards of meals.” – The Design Tree

Source of book reviewed: My local library!



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