Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"You've Got Recipes" Featured in OC Register Gift Guide

"Cookbooks make perfect presents. They're the easy-to-wrap, quintessential gift for everyone from grandchild to grandparent, whether they're actual cooks, wannabe cooks or vicarious cooks...

The story and illustrations in this enchanting children's cookbook are enough to pull even the most reluctant child into the kitchen. Geared to kids between the ages of 7 and 14, the recipes teach techniques they can easily use now, as well as throughout their lives.

You may recognize the authors' names. Di Vecchio was food editor at Sunset magazine for decades and Kirkman is a Paris-trained artist.

The story line centers on a ravenous and clever raccoon named Cleo. She lives under the porch of a San Francisco-based food writer; she and her animal friends bone up on their culinary skills and share ideas via e-mails.

As e-mails filled with tips and recipes bounce between Paris and San Francisco, fabulous little foodie details (in English and French) are revealed. Charming colored illustrations of woodland characters (even though well dressed in people clothes) are species correct. Cleo Raccoon was, in real life, Kirkman's pet who liked to play in the kitchen.

"At a recent cooking class, the kids chanted "I love artichokes," says Di Vecchio. "I think we need to recognize that they will try almost everything. They love the recipes in this book. Some may see them as too sophisticated, but they really aren't. It's interesting. Many adults are buying the book for themselves..."

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