Thursday, December 13, 2007

Some book reviews :)

There are some things that we've tried and really liked lately, so I thought I'd share my thoughts here. :)

THE SNEAKY CHEF by Missy Chase Lapine
I'm sure a lot of you have heard lots about this book. Its premise is to sneak healthy ingredients into comfort foods to up the nutritional value. So, you'll find spinach in brownies, beans in cookies and avocadoes in milkshakes, for example. Even though our kids love vegetables for the most part [I feel so blessed!], I still would like to increase their fiber, protein and vitamin/mineral intake. [That's the dietitian in me speaking. Hehe.] Anyhow, I was a bit skeptical but decided to try it out since our library had a copy. Wow, was I in for a big surprise! So far, we've tried 3 recipes and LOVED them all! We made a scumptious breakfast cookie, a decadent chocolate chip cookie and a super fluffy pancake. The best thing was that the kids could have these treats and I felt good giving it to them. No one (not even dear hubby) could tell there was all this added goodness in there. So, I highly recommend you check this out!

Lately, Ms. Lapine was criticized for trying to hide these nutritious ingredients instead of making them more apparent. Her critics were concerned that this was not teaching kids to each a more balanced diet. However, if you continue to encourage your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables (and more fiber) ON TOP of serving them nutritious treats, you can't lose. :) Just my 2 cents.

We go the library at least once a week and since Aidan and Jana love books, we usually end up carrying a bagful home each time. Here are some books Aidan has been pouring over recently:
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman - A wordless book that has an interesting twist to it. :)
What Do You Do With Tail Like This by Robert Page, Steve Jenkins - A wonderfully educational book that introduces fun animal parts to little ones. Awesome cut-out illustrations!
Flotsam by David Weisner - Another wordless book about being at the beach with an interesting twist.
Museum Trip by Barbara Lehman - [I guess we're on a roll with these wordless books, eh? I guess we've been picking them because I've been trying to speak more Chinese to the kids and it's easier not to translate, if you know what I mean. Also, Jana just likes looking at the pictures sometimes, so it helps her to stay interested. :) I also have Aidan tell me the story sometimes and without the words, he feels like he can tell it back to me more readily. :)] I love the surprise ending to this book! And Aidan likes to help the boy finish the maze. :)
The Adventures of Polo by Regis Faller - Polo has such an adventure in this book and it keeps you guessing - a real page turner for Aidan.
Fish Faces by Norbert Wu - Aidan liked it so much we bought it for him! But great pictures of various kids of fish with a guide in the back. Kev actually wrote in all the names right next to the picture of the fish so we didn't have to keep flipping back and forth. One of the first books Aidan memorized. ;)
My Visit to the Aquarium by Aliki - This book helped Aidan relive his aquarium trips. Sometimes when he asks to go the the awuarium and we're unable to, I try to whip out this book so he can go there in his mind, at least. :) Great illustrations!
Follow the Line Through the House by Laura Ljunkvist - A really fun book that has you literally following the lines through the house to explore all the rooms. There are also activities on each page to keep it educational. :) Jana just liked looking at all the stylistic pictures and bright colors.

Jana has been picking:
Where's Spot by Eric Hill - What can I say, a true classic! But I think what really drew Jana to this book was the fact that she got to say her favorite word of the moment at each page - "NO!". :)
Spot's First Walk by Eric Hill - I think she's loving the flip-the-flap books. :)
The Nose Book by Al Perkins - Aidan had really liked this one, too. But Jana loves this book and likes to point at all the noses she can find when we're reading it [though her finger sometimes ends up in your nose sometimes...haha!].
The Eye Book by Theodore Lesieg - She's also fascinated with eyes - maybe she's revelling in the fact that she knows her body parts and can point to them when asked?
Chicka Chicka ABC by Bill Martin, Jr, John Archambault, Lois Ehlert - A fun book similar to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Bright, fun colors, too! :)

Alrighty, more later! G'night!


Stephanie said...

I just read "The Sneaky Chef" too and was very impressed. It's a great cookbook. Watch for my full review on my blog in early 2008...

MommyKnows said...

Thanks for all the great tips! I am going to print this out for my next trip to the bookstore.


kevnjacks said...

Glad it's of help to someone! :) I'll probably be bloggin about more books soon! Enjoy!