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Starting from Scratch: What You Should Know about Food and Cooking Hardcover – Mar 15 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Owlkids (March 15 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1926973968
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926973968
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 21 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #125,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"An intelligent introduction to food and cooking meant for children 10 or older but useful for adult beginners as well." (Florence Fabricant The New York Times 2014-04-01)

"...a book I'd heartily recommend for elementary and middle school classrooms and libraries. Elton doesn't just talk about cooking and baking; she talks about nutrition, science and ethics as well."
(Julie Danielson Kirkus Reviews 2014-02-21)

"A lively, colorful and matter-of-fact introduction to the culture of food ... what will make the volume of interest to young readers are the eye-catching art and the many fascinating tidbits of information." (Kirkus Reviews 2014-02-01)

"Elton's insightful text is punctuated by Kulak's quirky, vintage art ... a sumptuous treat for any budding foodie to digest."
(Booklist 2014-02-15)

"For those kids who love cooking and eating, this title should be required reading ... written in a clear and engaging style, this title has plenty of kid appeal."
(School Library Journal 2014-04-01)

"There's more than enough in this encouraging book to get aspiring chefs started and plenty for confirmed foodies who enjoy working in the kitchen." (School Library Journal - Nonfiction Notes 2014-05-01)

"A well-organized, descriptive book about the science, history, and tools of cooking and food. ... This book will supplement the 641 section by adding a food science and history dimension that is rarely seen at the intermediate level."
(Carrie Randall Library Media Connection 2014-10-01)

"Recipes are demystified and cooking is boiled down to the basics... What a delicious idea!" (Canadian Children's Book Centre 2014-12-07)

"Starting from Scratch stands out because of its friendly, accessible approach to teaching kids about the importance of healthy eating and preparing your own food. ...Daring and picky eaters alike will feel encouraged to diversify their food choices by taking pride in their own cooking adventures." (Quill & Quire, STARRED REVIEW 2014-03-01)

"There are so many possible ways for teachers to use this book ... [it] deserves a place in every middle school (and yes, high school) library's nonfiction collection."
(Canadian Review of Materials 2014-05-16)

"Novice cooks of all ages will find Starting from Scratch an invaluable basic food preparation curriculum. Highly recommended!"
(The Midwest Book Review 2014-05-01)

“How are we going to teach our kids to cook? Sarah Elton has taken a big step with Starting from Scratch.”
(Michael Pollan via Twitter 2014-03-31)

"A boon to beginner cooks of all ages." (Alive Natural Health & Wellness Magazine 2014-09-01)

"An important book on this subject." (The Bracebridge Examiner 2014-10-12)

"If you have a future foodie in your midst, start exposing them to the science and FUN involved with cooking. With this book, they will become a chef for life!" (Green Teacher 2015-03-01)

"Will inspire your students to eat better, try new flavours, and understand what is on their plate." (Resource Links 2014-12-01)

About the Author

SARAH ELTON is an author and journalist who specializes in writing about food. Her bestselling books for adults include Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet and Locavore: From Farmers’ Fields to Rooftop Gardens, How Canadians Are Changing the Way We Eat. A food columnist for CBC Radio's Here and Now, she lives in Toronto. Visit sarahelton.ca and find Sarah on Twitter @SarahAElton.

JEFF KULAK is an Edmonton-born, Montreal-based designer-illustrator. From his studio, a converted room in a former nunnery, he creates art for books, magazines, album covers, and event posters.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Previously known for her adult non-fiction titles, "Locavore" (2010) and "Consumed" (2013), CBC Radio food columnist Sarah Elton has entered uncharted territory with "Starting from Scratch." She aims her new book at kids though newbie chefs of any age would appreciate this engaging and informative introduction to food and cooking.

Elton covers a wide range of topics here: the history of various international culinary traditions, the science of cooking, instructions on following a recipe, tips for organizing and stocking your kitchen and, of course, advice on beginning to cook. While the book’s early chapters deal mostly with food culture, Elton immediately works interactive elements into the pages.The “no-smell challenge,” for example, asks readers to taste the difference between an apple and an onion with their noses plugged by clothespins. Further along in the book, Elton offers simple recipes including pasta sauce, granola, and oatmeal cookies. Brief sections on food security and labels (organic, free-range etc) give older readers pause for thought. Finally, appendices include more recipes and a guide to pairing flavours as well as several handy measurement-conversion charts.

"Starting from Scratch" shines because of its friendly, accessible approach to teaching kids about the importance of healthy eating and food preparation. Although packed with information, the text never seems dense or overwhelming thanks to its presentation in easily digestible blocks of print and colourful sidebars. Jeff Kulak’s fun, bright illustrations add a whimsical touch and inspire readers to take pride in their own cooking adventures.
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Format: Hardcover
Back to basics in a fun way. Great for kids, interesting for adults too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ae0dcb4) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae03fb4) out of 5 stars 4.5 stars: Entertaining, practical intro to the practical science of cooking Aug. 3 2014
By Cissa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First, I need to say- this is a book for kids, maybe through young teens. It goes into enough depth to give a good grasp of many of the various aspects of cooking, from a practical-science perspective, but it may not get into enough depth for adults.

Second- NO recipes. Not a one. While everything in the book can be used to prepare and improve recipes found elsewhere, it doesn't include any. I can see the point, but personally I would have preferred a few simple ones that illustrated the points being made.

The text is entertaining and very readable, and accurate to the best of my knowledge (and I am something of a food prep nerd). The layout is great, including the illustrations, and make it fun to read.

I think if I were to give this to a kid getting interested in cooking, I'd accompany it with a solid recipe book. so s/he can apply their new knowledge as well as just read about it. I think it would be a great resource for homeschoolers, too- cooking is one of the best ways of showing kids how math really IS practical! I'll also mention that the other female chem majors I knew in college ALL got into chemistry through our love of cooking!

While it's not quite what I was hoping for when I bought it, I think it's an excellent book and fills a gap, especially for kids who want to know "why?" about everything!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b46e498) out of 5 stars Wonderful Introduction to the Joys of Cooking March 19 2014
By Dee Long - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Many kids in the 21st century who are in danger of thinking that food only comes in packages will benefit from this handsomely illustrated guidebook that offers an inviting invitation to young people to get cooking in the kitchen using fresh ingredients. Topics range from why some foods taste sweet or salty to the importance of proper measurements, why recipes are useful, to basic safety when using a knife and other kitchen tools. Parents and kids would benefit by reading this book together, then commiting to preparing a meal together with the entire family at least once a week!
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ad231c8) out of 5 stars The book is written in adult language, but is ... Sept. 16 2014
By Charlotte Jean Cohen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is written in adult language, but is obviously for six or seven year olds. It is a children's book, but I didn't find this out until I had the book, and got near the end. The information was absolutely silly. "How to boil water?" The book was apparently published through some program of the Canadian government. I wish I'd had some kind of alert before buying it.