Holiday Gifts Part 2 - Kids Books

Kids can be hard to shop for. After 8 holidays working at a toy store, I saw my fair share of the frustration on faces of the parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Especially as the season wore on. The “hot” must-have toys were gone in a flash, and everyone was left wondering, “What do I get now?” Faced with aisles upon aisles of bright, flashing, noisy toys, all requiring batteries, it was almost overwhelming for those shoppers of an older generation who hadn’t bought presents for a child in quite a number of years. Not having a child to buy for in my family or my friends, I even count myself in this group. What happened to the good old days of using your imagination to create something? And where has the family time gone? It seems more common these days for everyone to live separate lives in separate rooms. Being occupied with TV, video games, and computers, the time spent interacting with each other is growing slim. It’s time to get the kids away from the TV and into the kitchen, and spend some quality time creating meals and treats to be shared by all. Give one of these great books designed for young chefs, and help pass along the love of good food.

Tiana’s Cookbook
By Disney Press
ISBN: 9781423125402
List Price: $10.99
Format: Hardcover
Published by Disney Press in Oct 2009

Based on the animated Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog, opening in December, Tiana’s Cookbook features traditional New Orleans dishes, where the movie is set, such as mufuletta, po boys, gumbo, and jambalaya. In addition, there are also familiar favorites, such as macaroni and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. There are even adorable little “froggy in the water” cupcakes, with green gumdrop eyes on blue frosting, and an alligator cake inspired by the Louisiana bayou. The book is illustrated throughout with characters from the movie, and the recipes, rated from easy to hard, are a fun and healthy way to expose kids to regional cuisine. A great book for those Disney Princess lovers out there!

Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey Treats for Kids
By Jill O’Connor
ISBN: 9780811867825
List Price: $19.95
Format: Spiral Bound
Published by Chronicle Books in Oct 2009

The second book in O’Conner’s SCMG series, this book is filled with recipes that kids, and adults alike, will love. Especially the Pinkalicious Cupcakes, based on the book Pinkalicious by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann, where a little girl eats so many pink cupcakes, she turns pink herself! Packaged in a cute spiral bound book with gingham print and scalloped edges, it’s an adorable addition to cookbook collections. While most of the recipes seem geared towards kids, the directions themselves may not be. It may take some serious supervision for some of the treats featured, so it may be good for older, more advanced kids.

Easy Christmas Cut Up Cakes
By Melissa Barlow
ISBN: 9781423605171
List Price: $14.99
Format: Hardcover
Published by Smith, Gibbs Publishing in Aug 2009

This is a great book to have around the holidays. With patterns as adorable as they are easy, it’s great seasonal fun. Most of the cakes can be made with pans you may already have, a boxed cake mix, some canned icing, and candy found in your local grocery store aisle. Perfect for those who want to make fun, festive treats with little ones, or little baking experience.

Pink Ponies Cookbook
By Barbara Beery
ISBN: 9781423605102
List Price: $14.99
Format: Hardcover
Published by Smith, Gibbs Publishing in Aug 2009

The latest in the Pink/Princess Cookbook collection, Pink Ponies is full of, you guess it, pink treats relating to ponies! From horseshoes to haystacks, and everything horse related in between, it’s a great book for any little horse lover. Easy to make treats with common ingredients, these are great snacks to make for a themed birthday party. Don’t have a horse lover? There’s plenty more in the series to choose from:
And look for Pink Princess Cupcakes coming in March 2010.

While the following may not be new for this season, they’re still wonderful gifts to give for the food-minded young chef.

Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cookbook
By Better Homes and Gardens
ISBN: 9780696220005
List Price: $16.95
Format: Hardcover
Published by John Wiley, and Sons Inc. in Oct 2004

Filled with bright colors, and fun cartoon like animated drawings accompanying real photos of the finished dish, this book is sure to catch the eye of the young chef. Featuring tons of yummy treats, from breakfast to dinner to dessert, there’s something in here for everyone, and recipes your kids will actually want to eat! It even teaches kids how to set the table, proper table manners for perfect ladies and gentlemen, menu planning, and even how to read those nutritional labels to help mom and dad find healthy products while grocery shopping. (I liked this one the best out of all the books I looked at.)

Betty Crocker Kids Cook!
By Betty Crocker
ISBN: 9780471753094
List Price: $19.95
Format: Hardcover
Published by John Wiley, and Sons Inc. in July 2007

For close to 90 years, Betty Crocker has been an integral part of kitchens all across America, from pantry shelves to bookshelves. With familiar favorites such as chicken fingers, mac and cheese, pizza, and spaghetti, she brings the kids to the kitchen to show them just how easy and fun cooking can be. Love the vintage Betty Crocker’s that lined your grandmother’s bookshelves? Pass it on with Betty Crocker for Boys and Girls—a reprint of the 1957 original, complete with vintage illustrations!

The Kid's Cookbook by Williams-Sonoma
By Abigail J. Dodge
ISBN: 9780848726072
List Price: $19.95
Format: Hardcover
Published by Oxmoor Publishing in June 2002

Tired of macaroni and cheese from a box? Find healthier alternatives here for the favorite foods your kids love to eat. Full of recipes for the more conscious, as well as more adventurous eaters, The Kid's Cookbook brings more than just hot dogs to the table. Easy enough for to make with adult supervision, they’ll be whipping up stir fry and shrimp pasta in no time! Have a tiny baker in the house? Check out Williams-Sonoma’s Kids Baking, filled with everything you would find in a regular baking book, only much simpler. (I’m going to have to take some notes from these recipes, cause they sound really good!)
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