Paris! (Recipe for Adventure #2)
by Giada De Laurentiis's
Hardcover: 141 pages
Published: September 3, 2013 by Grosset & Dunlap
Age Range: 7 to 10 years old
I saw this at the Library as I was browsing. My kiddo and I have decided in addition to reading books together over the summer, we would do some cooking. Recipe for Adventure seemed just like the right book to get me in the spirit of things.
Aunt Zia has just come to live with siblings Alfie and Emilia. Not having read the first book, I missed out on a few things, but it was pretty easy to get up to speed. Aunt Zia appears to have the ability to transport the siblings to famous cities around the world (in the first it was to Naples), just by making them one of her special home-cooked meals. Aunt Zia has a passion for cooking and she wants the siblings to grow an appreciation for home cooked meals (not the store bought imitations), but the real deal, foods made from scratch. So, not only do they get to try new foods, they get to spend time exploring the new city they are in. In this case, they travel to Paris where they are mistaken for students in a French cooking school. They still don't know how Aunt Zia's magic works, but they'll have to figure it out in order to get home.
I have to admit that I didn't know who Giada De Laurentiis was until I picked up this book, so I didn't know that she went to Le Cordon Bleu or that she worked at Spago in Los Angeles. I pretty much didn't know that she has an Emmy Award show for the Food Network, not to mention all the cookbooks she has written. Which now I think is pretty cool. She certainly brings a passion to cooking that was evident while reading. Laurentiis really gave me the feel of Paris, and the food descriptions were lovely. "He scooped another bite of the cheese and bread-it was warm and oozed slightly over the edge of the bread. He added a slather of purple olive spread, which gave each bite a tangy flavor." Yep, I'm hungry. Recipe for Adventure is a lot like The Magic Tree House series, in that siblings are magically transported, except here everything was rooted in present day Paris with all it's famous landmarks and foods. Included at the back are two recipe cards (for Hot Chocolate and Crepes), which I wonder why they didn't make them permanent pages and not one's that could be torn out. Anyways, I thought this was a very fun book, I loved the description of Paris and the foods. I would have liked a little more description on preparing the foods, but it just prompts me to do some exploring of my own. A great book for a young reader who is interested in cooking, plus the next locations sound wonderful, Hong Kong, New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, and Hawaii.