Yvette Garfield’s Chinese cookbook for kids brings food, fun, and adventure to the kitchen table as they travel through China.
Story by Yvette Garfield
Garfield’s cultural cookbooks keep the reader captivated as she tells an adventurous story of six children traveling through China and learning about the history of traditional Chinese cooking. The book comes with a chef’s hat and a set of chopsticks; she even writes a brief lesson on how to use chopsticks to properly eat Chinese cuisine!
The recipes utilize 1-4 chopsticks to designate the level of difficulty and need for adult supervision. She cultivates children’s healthy eating habits by suggesting healthier modifications for each dish. Some examples include choosing brown or whole grain rice for extra fiber, using tofu instead of meat for reduced cholesterol and switching out regular soy sauce for a low-sodium variety to reduce salt intake. Each main dish is packed with vegetables to encourage healthy eating.
As the children prepare each culturally delightful meal, the reader can follow their recipes, learn about the culture and cook along with them. Garfield even manages to promote physical activity when taking about ancient Chinese martial arts. Moreover, she continues to encourage her readers to get involved with local charities by having the characters throw a food fundraiser for Nothing But Nets, a charity raising money for nets to prevent Malaria.
After Reading This Book:
- Ask your kids what their favorite recipes are and why.
- Choose a recipe with your kids to cook together and visit the supermarket together to buy the ingredients.
- While cooking use only the Mandarin names for each ingredient.
- Have your kids help you prepare the meal.
Teacher’s Tip: Incorporate this book into a 4-6th grade lesson plan
- This is a great cultural book to read at home or in the classroom on a traditional Chinese holiday, such as Chinese New Year.
- If you have access to a kitchen, read the book to the class, pick a recipe, and assign ingredients for students to bring back to class and prepare together.
- At the beginning of the book, there are pages filled with pictures of different foods written in English and Mandarin. Try to incorporate this into a fun classroom activity, such as having them state their favorite Chinese food in English and Mandarin after reading through the list.