The Review

Often when I write posts about one of our activities or changes I’ve made to our spaces I will include links to the products we used or the stores where we purchased them.  I do this only because I want to, I don’t receive anything for doing this. I know that when I read other blogs and see something interesting I want to know where they got their supplies from.  If there are links then I don’t need to search for the items.

However, I have been asked – three times – to review products in exchange for free stuff.  Once, a clothing company offered to send me samples of their children’s outerwear for us to use and evaluate.  After a few email conversations they backed out due to my location – I think they were concerned that their clothing was not suitable for some of our extreme weather conditions.

The second request came from a product that I had no interest in reviewing – it was not something I would have ever purchased and I doubt I would have had anything good to say about it – I refused that request.

Today though I am going to write about a book that was recently sent to me to review.  The National Geographic Kids Cook Book by Barton Seaver. Now, honestly, I would never have actually gone looking for a kids cook book – or any cook book.  Even though I occasionally look for new recipes I’m unlikely to ever find a book with more than two or three that I’d like to try – hardly worth paying for an entire book.

The recipes in this book range from very simple ones that even toddlers could help with to more elaborate recipes and everything in between.  The book is arranged as a year long calendar with many seasonal recipes.  There are recipes from around the world along with  interesting facts about the country and the ingredients. I found several recipes that I liked and selected two to try before beginning this post.

Poached Pears is actually the last recipe in the book but the first one I made – maybe I’m a little backward.  This recipe interested me because I love pears but the ‘fresh’ pears in the store are always green and hard and taste horrible.  I buy them but then it takes so long for them to ripen and then they are only ‘nice’ for a day before they start getting brown and mushy – yuck.  This recipe let me use the green pears and made them taste truly wonderful.  I served them for snack along with my Cinnamon Biscotti – all the children loved them!


The second recipe I tried was the Sweet Potato Latkes.  I didn’t weigh my sweet potatoes until after I had grated them all – oops, I had 4 times the amount I needed so I quadrupled the recipe.  It took a really, really long time to cook all those pancakes but they were so good I had no problem finding people to eat them all.  I didn’t even get to take any pictures.

This book isn’t just a recipe book.  In fact, I only counted 49 recipes and the book has 160 pages.  There is a lot more in there too – cooking tips, games, crafts, and tons of information about the environment and where our food comes from.  There are stories about some wonderful people, places and traditions from around the world.

The children have enjoyed looking at all the colourful photos on every page – this book won’t be sitting on the shelf with my other cookbooks.  This book will be out all the time because there is always someone who wants to check it out.


How about you?  I was given THREE copies of this book.  One for me and two to give away.  So, one I am donating to the Manitoba Nature Summit to use as a door prize for our AGM – the meeting date hasn’t been set yet but it will be posted on their website and Facebook page so check back often.

The other one will be given to one of the readers of my blog.  If you want a chance to win a copy of this book then post a comment below and tell me what you think of this post, what you find interesting about this book, or why you would like a copy of your own.  The winner will be selected by a random draw (done by one of my toddlers) on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 and announced on Saturday, November 8th.  Good Luck!

4 thoughts on “The Review”

  1. Hi Cheryl,
    As usual, I find your blog interesting. Although I do network with other providers I find it helpful to see what other providers do as far as environment, activities, and philosophies. I find the book intriguing because I am always looking for more age appropriate multicultural activities to share with the children I care for and this book sounds like an amazing tool to do that. If chosen to receive the book it won’t be a hassle for shipping and handling 😉

    Shannon 🙂

  2. Hi Cheryl, I can’t wait until you post something new, I always learn something new from your blogs. Networking is not always possible as I live out of the city and there are few providers in our area. I am kind of stuck doing the same things and eating the same foods lately and in definite need of new ideas and ingredients to try. This books sounds just like what I need to perk up new ideas for the children and myself. Great pick me up before the winter months. Keep up the great work with your blogs!

  3. Oh darn, I missed out on the draw and it looks like there were pretty good odds:). You did such a nice job of reviewing this book, I was wondering if I should be bold enough to ask if you’d review mine :). Mine is aimed at kids 6-12 and their families, On the surface it sounds similar to the one you reviewed, but the underlying message of mine is healthy eating. I follow your blog but not sure if you follow me… – in any case, you can check out the book here –

    1. I follow your blog now 🙂 Just spent an hour reading bits of it (and avoiding doing paperwork). The stories that accompany the recipes are lovely and some of those recipes look very interesting. I feel kind of guilty that all the food on our menu isn’t as healthy as it could be but it is also not bad either. I’m assuming your book is similar to the blog posts. Currently my group is much younger that your target audience and the older ones in my care are only here very briefly after school. Your book might be a good fit for summer when I have older children here all day and we are gardening and cooking with the produce from our CSA box.

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