I have always loved children's cook books. Since the heady days of my Henry's Cat Fun to Cook Book, which had the best picture of Henry's Cat ever on the front of it, I have enjoyed reading them. The recipes, however, often turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. Although I do remember the cheese straw whiskers in said book were actually pretty good.
Anyway, there are some fab children's cookbooks around today, of which we own a fair proportion. My favourite is almost certainly The River Cottage Family Cookbook, which groups recipes according to their main ingredient and provides background information on how and why the recipes work. It is a little on the "you must grind the wheat and sweat in to the bowl" sack-cloth and ashes style, though, so the kids tend to prefer the glossy Usborne baking books that don't bother with such fripperies as actual dinners, and deal simply with gingerbread men and chocolate mousse.
A got the above book out of the library last week, as part of her summer reading challenge haul. I resisted the temptation to say "but we've got loads of cook books at home!", because the rule in the library is that they borrow whatever they fancy, as long as its appropriate. I promised that she could choose a main meal and a pudding to make on Saturday, as I knew we'd be in all day with our only plans being the very vague "tidy up". So tonight we had burgers and gingerbread teddies (we don't actually have a person-shaped cutter) for tea.
Although the book is light on background reading, the recipes are very clear and easy to follow, and there are plenty of pictures so that the reader can see what each stage of the recipe is meant to look like, which is really valuable for the beginner cook, I think. The burgers were actually really very good - they didn't fall to bits in the frying pan, and were extremely tasty. The gingerbread teddies were also very palatable and were easily made by A following the instructions on her own.
If you don't already own all of the kids' cookbooks that The Book People have ever sold, as I do, I would thoroughly recommend this one. And put the Usborne World Cookbook in your basket too - the recipes aren't quite as well-explained but the short explanations of different world cuisines are very interesting.