Saturday, January 2, 2010

Stirring Up a World of Fun

Just as the subtitle says, Stirring Up a World of Fun is a collection of International Recipes, Wacky Facts and Family Time Ideas, all from a Christian perspective.

This book offers fun ways to incorporate some new foods, interesting facts and great biblical truths. Each chapter features a different region of the world (Africa, Asia, South America, Western Europe, etc.). Within the chapters, sections are divided by country. Obviously, not every nation in the world is represented, but the author does a good job including many of them (over 50 countries) from every corner of the planet. Each page consistently offers four sections:
  • The Recipe -- Most have few ingredients and simple instructions. Icons highlight which recipes kids can help prepare and which they can do by themselves.
  • Did You Know? -- This section offers interesting facts about one of the recipe's ingredients, the nation of origin or a Bible story that relates to this food or people group.
  • What Can You Do? -- Here readers find a project or activity that ties in with the recipe or facts just learned. Sometimes it's a game or conversation starter; sometimes it's a craft or science project.
  • What Does the Bible Say? -- This provides a Bible verse (with reference) related to the food or lesson. These make great memory verses or the start of simple meal-time devotions.
What I Like: This is a fun book to have around. I specifically like the format. It's easy to read, easy to follow. Any book that encourages interaction and good food is a big hit in our house! I bought it to teach my children more about missionaries and the countries where they serve. It really isn't aimed that way, but it still serves as a great interactive teaching tool. It would be a wonderful asset for homeschoolers.

What I Dislike: I wish the book were more internationally focused. Of the 100 recipes included, 17 are from Canada or the United States. Almost 20% of the book is devoted to foods most readers already eat and know how to make, like apple pie, brownies or blueberry pancakes.
Also, the "wacky facts" are not always related to the country listed. For example, Vinete, an eggplant dip from Romania, doesn't mention anything about Romania or the people there. Instead it talks about Thomas Jefferson and how he brought eggplant to the United States.
Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: The publisher doesn't offer an age range, but I would say 5 and above. Obviously, as with all cookbooks, adult supervision is required for younger children.

Publisher Info: New Hope Publishers, 2006; ISBN: 1563099195; Paperback; $12.99

Buy it Now at for $9.99!

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