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Cookbooks let children stir things up a little

By Edward Hirst
Rowan Public Library
Cooking with children requires time, patience and some extra cleanup, especially when the children are younger. But many experts think it is well worth the effort. Cooking with children can help get them interested in trying healthy foods they might normally turn up their noses at and Rowan Public Library has some great cookbooks for kids to help you get started.
ěPretend Soupî by Mollie Katzen and Ann Henderson is a well written and illustrated, great introduction to cooking for small children. Each recipe has detailed instructions for the grown-up helper, followed by a two-page childrenís recipe that includes step-by-step pictures and simple word instructions. Unlike some other childrenís cookbooks, the recipes are all real, healthful foods (ěPretend Soupî is a real recipe for a fruit salad in a yogurt/orange juice soup). Easy to follow illustrations demonstrate the recipes for the youngest chefs, while captivating cartoon characters liven the pages.
ěWhatís Cookingî is a fun cookbook that is both useful and well designed. Each of the 27 recipes takes up a two-page spread. On one side is the recipe, on the other a full-page color photo of the food. Even better, the book has a hidden spiral binding, so it lies flat on your countertop. Focused mainly on French cuisine, the recipes range from easy to ěmaster chefî and are divided into five sections: breakfast; lunch; breads, salads and soups; dinner; and desserts. Many of the recipes include an extra tip, such as how to flip a crepe or what bread works best for French toast.
In ěThe Fun of Cooking,î author Jill Krementz visits 19 boys and girls ranging from age 6 to 16 who demonstrate that cooking can be fun. Almost 200 photos show the happy youngsters busily preparing their dishes in the kitchen. They tell why they like preparing their specialties, how they got started and other interesting details. Even the youngest exudes authority: At 6, Alix is already a master at mixing and baking apple cinnamon muffins. There are recipes for entrees, soups, salads and desserts. The chapters begin with safety rules, as nicely written as the young chefsí comments.
If you want to cook great food that is fun and easy to make, then Emerilís ěThereís a Chef in My Soup! Recipes for the Kid in Everyoneî is for you. Although the recipe titles are a little silly, the food is great, and everyone will love it. The book features 75 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that are truly kid friendly in their appeal. Preparation is enhanced for young cooks with how to chapters on cooking basics and kitchen safety.
You can find these and other titles to get started cooking at Rowan Public Library.
Computer classes: Classes are free. Sessions are approximately 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Dates and times at all locations are subject to change without notice.
Headquarters ó Thursday, 9:30 a.m., Basic Word 2003.
South ó Monday, 1 p.m., Basic Word 2003.
East (registration required for East Branch only; call Paul at 704-216-7841) ó Tuesday, 1 p.m., Basic Word 2003.
Childrenís Storytime: Weekly Storytime runs through Nov. 18. For more information call 704-216-8234.
Histories and mysteries storytelling at China Grove Roller Mill: Today, 2 p.m., China Grove Roller Mill, China Grove. Learn fascinating facts about a local landmark. The whole family can enjoy a free and entertaining afternoon of storytelling and refreshments. This event is sponsored by the China Grove Historical Society and RPL. For more information call the library at 704-216-7728.
Movies in October: Headquarters ó Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., ěThe Greatest Movie Ever Soldî; Oct. 18, 6:30 p.m., ěGod Grew Tired of Us.î Two movie documentaries. Following ěGod Grew Tired of Us,î join us for a discussion of the lost children of Sudan led by Karen Puckett. All movies are rated G, PG or PG-13. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade!
Book Chat for Children: South only, Oct. 20, 4:15 p.m., ěThe Stormî by Cynthia Rylant, second grade. Children in grades 2-5 (different grade each month) may participate in ěBook Chatsî at South Rowan Regional Library in China Grove. Registration is required and space is limited. Please call 704-216-7728 for more information.
American Girl Club: Headquarters, Oct. 22, 11 a.m., a book discussion group about the life and times of the American Girls characters. This yearís discussion will be about Addy.
Book Bites Club: South only ó Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m., ěThe Color of Water,î by James MacBride (Book Club Kit). Book discussion groups for adults and children are held at South Rowan Regional Library and will meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book and light refreshments at each meeting. For more information please call 704-216-8229.

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