What’s Cooking?

What’s Cooking?
Joshua David Stein, illustrated by Julia Rothman
Phaidron, 2017

This is a smart book for kids ages 3 to 6 that plays on food-related words and phrases, with rhyming, as well as opposites, similarities, and time-based processes such as cooking and melting. We’re beyond apples and cake here as food critic and author Stein meanders down a path that encounters gelato, pizzaiolos, clam chowder, and even different types of dumplings. It’s witty in the way that children are as they develop and grow their vocabularies, and sophisticated as today’s food-knowledgeable children can be.

Illustrations by Julia Rothman are fun, engaging, and imaginative, but also clear and concise. The differences between gyoza, perogie, and soup dumplings are obvious.

Yes, this is a children’s book about food that includes gyoza and Chinese soup dumplings. Which might not be for everyone, but if the kids you know like to eat out and try new foods, this is a fun and challenging book for them to check out.

The pair have previously teamed up on Can I Eat That?, another children’s book in the same style as What’s Cooking.

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