Saturday, 20 February 2016

Book Review: Mission Cookpossible! - The Perfect Gift for a Little Chef

As you will have seen from our recent vlog, Sophia is a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen.  She loves to help make cakes, biscuits, dinners, anything so when we heard about a brilliant new idea, a personalised story book with recipes included as part of the tale, I knew just who to get it for.

The idea of a personalised cookery-story book is fantastic, why did no-one think of this before?!  I treasure my 1970s kids' cookery books, but with the added detail of having her name on it, as well as Lara's and a selection of recipes that will appeal to her, will make this book even more of a treasure for Sophia.  Mission Cookpossible! combines a fun story, great characters, a collection of child-friendly recipes, and that all important personalisation.  Win, win, win.

Personalised books are such a lovely gift for children, after all who doesn't like seeing their name in print?  To personalise your book for the lucky recipient, you can add their name, the name of a friend (we chose her sister, Lara), and an enemy (Lara could also fit in this category *sisters, huh* but there are a pre-selected collection of vile villains in the book).  I chose the meanie Dr Socks as Sophia finds the word 'sock' hilarious (not sure why!) .  We love the quirky illustrations of 'Mr Glue and the Glue Crew' by the talented Jose Fragoso, perfectly designed to appeal to young children.  Sophia thinks they're hilarious!

The story then unfolds around a series of recipes, some of which you can choose dependent on the child's preferences, and some of which are fixed.  In all there are 15 recipes: 7 for afternoon tea (Sophia's favourite 'meal' of the day!), 7 for supper and 1 bedtime snack.  In fact, you can plan a large part of your weekly menu around these recipes, as Sophia has just sat down with me and done.  Great to get them into meal planning this early!  My only criticism would that be one of the recipe choice sections had only non-vegetarian options, so we have ended up with a non-veggie recipe as one of our choices.  At least it is only one though, and the rest of the choices gave us some great veggie options, in fact there is plenty of choice for everyone's tastes.

All of the recipes have been tested by children, always the best critics, and quantities and directions tweaked accordingly.  We'll let you know how we get on when Sophia gets started, she's itching to work her way through the book.  The website contains a wealth of support information, including health & safety tips, guidelines for parents and teachers, and recipe variations and tips if required.  The teacher's tips made me think how useful this book would have been with my Year 4 cookery group, such a great way to plan a term of recipes and they could each keep their book at the end of the term.

The recipes themselves are beautifully laid out with full ingredient and equipment lists, followed by clear, well laid out instructions in child-friendly language - and more of those quirky illustrations!  All of this is shrouded in the story, which is compelling and fun in its own right, great fun.  Can master chef Sophia cook everything in time and find her way out of the kitchen?

Mission Cookpossible! is a fantastic gift for any keen mini chef, or someone you want to get active in the kitchen!  As a parent, and former teacher, I love that this book can be used in so many ways as well as being visually appealing and full of great recipes.  You can even buy a matching apron too!

The personalised Mission Cookpossible! by Amelia Thorne is priced £19.99 and available from  Other Mr Glue stories are also available.

Find out more by following Mr Glue Stories on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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