Cook in a Book: Pancakes! An Interactive Recipe Book by Lotta Nieminen, (Phaidon) HB RRP $19.95 ISBN 9780714872827
Reviewed by Stephanie Ward
In bold, colourful spreads, Pancakes! takes young readers through the process of making the beloved breakfast food. Simple step-by-step directions of an actual pancake recipe instruct children to pour, measure and stir while the ingenious paper engineering allows little cooks to partake in the (mess-less) process. Children ‘pour’ the flour into the bowl by pulling on a tab and turn a wheel to stir the multi-coloured ingredients into a solid-colour batter. A clever round disc can be removed and ‘flipped’ into the pan to finish cooking, then ‘served’ on a plate.
This interactive board book is gorgeous as well as fun. The vivid colour palette and sparse text is visually appealing. Plus, the chance to see the pages change through direct interaction is incredibly enticing to young children aged 2 – 4. In just sixteen pages, children get the chance to actively participate in making the recipe. In addition, a variety of kitchen tools are used in the recipe subtly teaching children about basic cooking skills.
Created by renowned illustrator, graphic artist and art director, Lotta Nieminen, Pancakes! is the first interactive recipe book and the first in the Cook in a Book series. If the rest are as compelling and attractive as Pancakes! this will be an awesome series to collect for budding chefs or children of foodies. Highly recommended.