Kid Chef: the Foodie Kids Cookbook

Kid Chef: The Foodie Kids Cookbook. Melina Hammer. 2016. 

As an elementary school librarian I have seen more kids being interested in checking out cookbooks. Most of the time, I have kids asking for them before I can reshelve them. As an educator I can honestly say this is one of the best cookbooks for kids I’ve seen. 

The book is divided into two parts. Part One features skills that are crucial in cooking (how to read a recipe, creating a shopping list, measuring skills, using the stove, safety, food prep, baking skills, etc.). Part Two contains recipes as a traditional cookbook would. The recipes in this cookbook include a variety of recipes ranging from breakfast to snacks to salads to main dishes and desserts. I was impressed by how many of the recipes were for healthy dishes and that there are numerous unique recipes that typically aren’t featured in a cookbook for kids. 

I am definitely going to look into buying a copy of this book for my school library. While the pictures in any cookbook are generally appealing, I love that Kid Chef contains so much more!

I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.


It’s Spring, Dear Dragon

It’s Spring, Dear Dragon. Margaret Hillert. 2015. 32 pages. 

It’s Spring, Dear Dragon is a cute story about a boy and his dragon muddling over the changing weather we experience so often during springtime. 

As an elementary school librarian, it is hard to find books that interest struggling and beginning readers that are appropriate for their limited skill sets. This book uses only 76 basic words, giving our beginning readers a sense of confidence and accomplishment as they will likely be able to read the text with minimal assistance. 

The resources as the end of the book (activities for enhancing phonemic awareness, phonics, word work, fluency and comprehension) add to the value of this short story. I often have educators ask for book recommendations that do not contain contractions and with the exception of the book’s title, this would be a great title to consider. 

This would be a wonderful addition to any library or collection for young readers. Unfortunately, I won’t be purchasing it for my library as it references the Easter bunny, which does not align with my school’s belief of the celebration of Easter. 

I received a digital copy of this book through NetGalley for this review. 

Kid Lit: Hey Jack!

  Hey Jack! The Best Party Ever. Sally Rippin. 2013. 42 pages. 

One of the (many) perks of being a school librarian is getting promotional information from book fair vendors in hopes that they will be the best match for supplying your school with your book fair materials. Yesterday a representative stopped by to share about Kane Miller books. In the packet of information she left was a copy of Hey Jack! The Best Party Ever by Sally Rippin. 

Hey Jack! is a series of beginning chapter books (great for kindergarten through 2nd grade). While I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, I can already tell some of my students will really enjoy this story. This would be a great selection for kids to practice reading with their parents. It is written at a level that will enable the students to read fairly independently while providing clear opportunities to discuss how the characters feel and respond to events in the text. The emotions of the characters are portrayed well and it is easy to see where you could pause and prompt your child to reflect on the characters’ reactions. 

Every few pages you will find a word highlighted in bold text. These words are likely going to be challenging or new words for students reading at this level and offer a clear opportunity to discuss the meaning of these new words. 

Overall, Hey Jack! The Best Party Ever was a cute, quick read that I’m excited to display on our “new books” shelf next week. There are more than 15 additional titles in the series that I plan on exploring as well.