Friday, March 13, 2015

The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook

Do your kids love the Berenstain Bears? Do you want to get them into the kitchen? Teach them how to cook? Help them become a little more independent? Then The Berenstain Bears' Country Cookbook may be just what you're looking for.

Mike Berenstain's latest addition to the legacy his parents built is a welcomed one. The bright, colorful cookbook is packed with all the Berenstain Bear characters children love, has 40 kid-friendly recipes with colorful photos, has an interesting section on honey, and offers brief, less-than-a-page vignettes of the Bear family in each section. (For example, the cookbook begins with an illustration of the Bear family, and Mama Bear telling Brother and Sister how important breakfast is. She encourages them to come into the kitchen with her and help make the meal...then the section on breakfast recipes begins.)

In the "Breakfast" section, there are recipes for scones shaped like bear heads, biscuits shaped like bunny heads, berry crepes, and "tasty toboggans" (French toast with two pieces of bacon, placed on the plate to look like a sled). In the lunch section, there are lettuce wraps, mini pizzas made with French bread, and shepherd's pie. In the "Main Dishes" section, there are recipes for corn on the cob, enchiladas, quesadillas, and kebobs. For "Desserts & Snacks," there are applesauce, banana pops, blueberry pie, and race car cookies. Some recipes are very simple (fruit salad, spinach salad, banana and peanut butter sandwiches), while others are for older children - or children who have more help from an adult (green noodle lasagna, grilled chicken with carrots).

You may ask why this is considered a "Christian" book. I wondered, too. Turns out, at the back of the book there is a little mealtime prayer, and on the very last page, there is a Bible quote.

What I Like: This cookbook has lots of visual appeal, especially for children. It's colorful, bright, and all the food looks delish. I also like the variety of recipes offered. Not all are uber healthy. There's a nice blend of healthy recipes (oatmeal, tuna sandwiches) and recipes that are a little less so (sausage and tater tot wraps, mac and cheese). In other words, something to please everybody. My kids can't wait to take it into the kitchen!

What I Dislike: Nothing.

Overall Rating: Excellent.

Age Appeal: About 4 and up. (Obviously, adult supervision is needed!)

Publishing Info: Zonderkidz, 2015; ISBN 978-0310747208; hardback, 96 pgs., $12.99

Buy at Amazon for just $11.07.

Buy it in Kindle format for just $7.99

Or buy it from for $9.99

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