Saturday, November 24, 2012

Book Review: Maccabee Meals by Judye Groner & Madeline Wikler, Illustrated by Ursula Roma

*****This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.*****

Maccabee Meals is a book full of “Food and Fun for Hanukkah”. It starts off explaining the story of Hanukkah and then gives kitchen tips. It also explains how to use the cookbook by showing symbols, degrees of difficulty, and metric conversions. There is a menu listed for brunch, afternoon tea, Shabbat dinner, a winter picnic, an open house, after-school snacks, a pajama party, and Rosh Chodesh Twilight Supper. It even explains appropriate party etiquette for the party giver and the party guest. It is full of many colorful illustrations for the food, stories, and games that are explained.

I like most Jewish foods and I also like helping with children’s events sometimes which is why I was excited to review this children’s cookbook. It might be nice for some people who don’t eat raisins and nuts to know that there are some recipes that include both raisins and nuts, although I think they can be easily omitted from the recipes. I was wondering if maybe they should have signified in this cookbook that some of the food items should/can be kosher, since this is geared towards Jewish food. For instance, for the recipe for Hot Dog Mini-Kebabs: instead of just listing hot dogs as the main ingredient for that menu item maybe it should have signified kosher hot dogs, or maybe that’s what is to be assumed. I felt that there were many additional bonuses to the book such as stories about the menu items, games, how to light the Hanukkah candles, and how to make decorations and table crafts. 

The food, stories, and games in this book are meant for children ages 7-12 / grades 2-5, although I think it can reach out to children in many other age groups as well. I feel that this is a great book to keep around for all the days of Hanukkah; it is so much more than a cookbook. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a free copy of this book from Kar-Ben Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

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