Title: My First Cook Book: Bake, Make & Learn to Cook
Author: David Atherton
Illustrator: Rachel Stubbs
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s non-fiction, Cook book
Book format: Hardback
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Description:  Put on your aprons  and get cooking!
Learn to cook by following the simple step-by-step illustrations and create healthy, imaginative food for all your friends and family.  Cooking has never been so much fun!
Snaky breadsticks.  Piggy buns.  Sweetie birthday cake.  Octo pizzas.  Christmas bauble biscuits.  And Much more!

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is a great fist cook book for children to try out lots of different, easy to make and delicious recipes. ‘My First Cook Book’ in hardback is about A3 in size and is filled with thick glossy pages of text and illustrations. There is an introduction at the start of the book by the author, the winner of the 2019 UK Great British Bake Off, followed by a little about what will be needed to make the recipes and terms used in cooking, and then the rest of the book is filled with lots of different recipes for children to try making.

My First Cook Book bake make & learn to cook book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

The recipes are separated into four sections of different types of meals, breakfasts, lunches or light suppers, dinners and more bakes. The last section concentrates on lots of different baked things such as cakes, scones, etc, and it’s these recipes I’ve found myself most interested in looking at and wanting to recreate. I love how simple all of the recipes seem to be and how easy the book makes them look to make. Each recipe starts with a brief introduction from the author, sometimes explaining what alternative ingredients you can add to it. There is a clear list of ingredients on the side of this introduction, along with some illustrations of the ingredients too. The actual recipe instructions are written in a great way that makes it really easy to understand and follow.

Each instruction has accompanying pictures. These illustrations may be small and so simple, like a couple of children’s hands kneading dough, when there’s an instruction to do so, but having these illustrations accompanying every short instruction somehow makes this book much easier to read for me and I know it would have helped me understand it better as a child when I first got into cooking and baking. The recipes also have other illustrations of the finished items as well as some fun pictures of different families and children cooking/eating which help makes each page more fun to look at too.

Although I haven’t yet tried any of the recipes, I’m intrigued with a lot of them, especially the clever use of vegetables in some of the different cakes. Who knew you could make little cupcake style cakes (a long caterpillar cake made of smaller cakes) with courgettes in them! I also like the fact that there are some good veggie recipes too, like the veggie hot dogs although that particular recipe forgot to mention adding the beans to the rest of the mix. Some of my favourite recipes include the snakey bread and the octo-pizzas which I have never thought of making but which look so fun! I also love all the breakfasts and porridge topping ideas. Many of the recipes are vegetarian or even vegan and I love how the author points out ways you can change the recipes to suit your tastes, like omitting certain ingredients or changing others. This flexibility in some of the recipes is good as I do remember baking when I was very young and worrying that something I was making wouldn’t turn out right because we swapped which fruits or vegetables was used.

My First Cook Book bake make & learn to cook book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

Overall this is a lovely and great first book of baking and cooking for kids. It’s certainly a book I would have loved as a child and the interesting mix of recipes including hummus, sushi, biscuits, breads and all sorts of tasty dinners using that magic tomato sauce, really makes this such an appealing book and I can’t wait to try out the recipes even though I’m an adult. The illustrations in the book are brilliant too, making each recipe look more engaging and I love the mix of happy children and adults who accompany every page. It’s a great book to get for kids who are interested in getting involved in the kitchen, or it might even spark interest for some children who aren’t so keen. Just be aware of how big it is, around A3 in size, and therefore quite heavy.

What do you think of this book?  Did you have a first cook book you enjoyed using?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂