November 08, 2019

The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids: Essential Skills and Recipes Every Young Chef Should Know

Written by Pierre A. Lamielle
170 pp.
Ages 8-13
September 2019

As a teacher-librarian, I loved purchasing cookbooks for the school library. Kids love looking at photos of great food, dreaming about sweet desserts and baked goods, and emboldening them to try their hand at some kitchen magic. With Chef Pierre A. Lamielle's newest cookbook, this one for children specifically, they'll get a good start on developing their culinary skills and creating some tasty treats.

More than a recipe book, The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids covers important lessons, all told via quirky illustrations and a group of distinct characters called the Munchy Munchy Bunch which includes Sal, Pepper, Ragu, Ziti, Sage, Rose, and Bean. The first lessons focus on avoiding dangers that involve sharp objects, fire and hot items or sources of germs. From learning how to slice, hinge and saw with a knife, to dealing with burns and fires and avoiding Salmonella, Cyclospora and E. coli, Pierre A. Lamielle's "Safety Pages" are an excellent beginning to this cookbook.
From The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids by Pierre A. Lamielle
While introducing the Munchy Munchy Bunch, Pierre A. Lamielle also presents the basic tastes of salty, bitter, sour, sweet and umami, and makes a case for ketchup–with recipe included–being a balance of all five tastes. (Who knew?)

From The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids by Pierre A. Lamielle
The remaining sections–Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Sweets–focus on basic recipes but always offer up more. From cooking eggs six ways to making jam for breakfast, or preparing soup, salad, or sandwiches for lunch, and serving up schnitzel, butter chicken or pizza with homemade dough, each meal becomes an exploration of ingredients, techniques, history, and culture. The photographs, most of which are double-spreads that extend across the hardy hidden wire o binding (making scanning of the images near impossible for me), are appealing and never unsophisticated. The recipes are for restaurant quality food from the pumpkin pie soup to the soy delicious lettuce wraps, veggie chili with mini cornbread muffins and browneapolitan dessert. For vegetarian to meat-eaters, and those who prefer savoury to sweet or vice versa, everyone's tastes are covered within the recipes of The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids,
From The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids by Pierre A. Lamielle
Calgary's Chef Pierre A. Lamielle, who has appeared on Top Chef Canada and Chopped Canada, has his spoon in a lot of creative bowls from cooking and writing, to illustrating and teaching, all related to art and food. By mixing both here in The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids, Pierre A. Lamielle has found a way to teach and entertain young readers with the promise of developing their culinary skills, of feeding themselves and others, and of making tasty food a source of sustenance and joy.

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