Author-illustrator Ruby Roth’s students and colleagues must really miss the former elementary art school teacher. The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids crackles with dynamic images and text that convey her impressive talent for breaking down important messages about healthy eating and environmental issues with passion and a rainbow palette of ingredients. The tone is upbeat and encourages young readers to tackle recipes themselves rather than wait for someone else to whip up some tuck.
And what color-drenched and enticingly-named concoctions these are: Party in a Cup (Fruit and Yogurt), Tomato Tornado (Tomato Soup), Hungry Caterpillar Nori Rolls and Puff Love (Toasted Mochi). All of the sixty-plus easy-to-make recipes are vegan and lean toward portable snacks, shakes, and smaller meals, though there are some recipes that are more complicated and are tagged with “Adult Alerts” when the cooking involves knives or heat. The spiral bound format and coated paper stock are extra thoughtful touches that make it easy to cook from its pages on a kitchen counter and wipe up spatters.
Roth’s illustrations are a combination of color photographs, short bursts of text in playful fonts and cartoony animals, fruits and vegetables that cavort in between. Each recipe has a unique one- or two-page layout and background color, boosting its kid appeal. And like the talented educator that she continues to be, Roth integrates sidebar messages about the nutritional and global benefits of a plant-based diet. It’s a complete package that delightfully beats a path to the kitchen, illustrated with vivacity and humor.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.