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Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters

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From the earliest days, when hunters told of their exploits round the campfire, stories and eating have been companions. This book includes culinary-themed folk stories, retelling legendary tales such as how Jack traded his cow for beans and why Hansel and Gretel were lured into the gingerbread house.


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From the earliest days, when hunters told of their exploits round the campfire, stories and eating have been companions. This book includes culinary-themed folk stories, retelling legendary tales such as how Jack traded his cow for beans and why Hansel and Gretel were lured into the gingerbread house.

30 review for Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters

  1. 4 out of 5

    Manybooks

    Truth be told, I was at first glance filled with rather a bit of trepidation regarding Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters, as indeed it does physically appear to not be all that easily portable (and I was thus wondering if this scenario might well interfere with potential oral storytelling ease for the twenty-one selected folk and fairy tales as well as with trying to without too much stress prepare the accompanying recipes). But no indeed, the fact that Fairy Ta Truth be told, I was at first glance filled with rather a bit of trepidation regarding Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters, as indeed it does physically appear to not be all that easily portable (and I was thus wondering if this scenario might well interfere with potential oral storytelling ease for the twenty-one selected folk and fairy tales as well as with trying to without too much stress prepare the accompanying recipes). But no indeed, the fact that Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters is weight and circumference wise definitely and certainly rather a bit unwieldy actually has not at all interfered with my total and utter delight and joy regarding this literary cookbook. For not only are Jane Yolen's retold stories both delightfully diverse in nature and yes, also and equally most readable and wonderfully rendered (with pathos and entertainment, and importantly for and to me, always always keeping to the spirit and scope of the originals) the added bonus for me personally and academically is most definitely that for each and every presented folk and fairy tale, Jane Yolen also has included very detailed and informative side notes on its genesis (for example, its Aarne-Thompson tale type number and the cultures and areas of the world where variants of the featured story can be, have been found). Now with regard to Heidi Stemple's featured recipes (and Heidi Stemple is Jane Yolen's daughter), although I have not tried to prepare any of them yet (as Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters has only been in my possession for about a day or so tops), they all do look delicious, and indeed I also very much appreciate that Heidi Stemple has made her recipes generally simple enough with regard to both their list of ingredients and their preparation so that even novice cooks (and this also includes children) can or at least should in my opinion easily and safely be able to handle them (of course, I naturally also very much am smiling appreciatively at the interesting historic and cultural food notes that grace the side panels of each and every recipe, information such as that people used to always eat porridge with wooden spoons because metal spoons tend to often become too hot to handle without burning ones' fingers, that the first bread was made more than 10,000 years ago and that it was likely the Romans who introduced apples to Western Europe). And indeed, if Heidi Stemple's recipes were also accompanied by photographs of what the end products should appear like, I definitely would be one hundred percent happy with the recipes of Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters (and yes, my four star and not five star ranking for this book is only and simply because I always do think that cookbooks, but especially cookbooks geared towards children, and I do consider Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters as geared towards children, should always always show pictures, show photographs of what the end products, what the prepared repasts are supposed to look like).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Kotkin

    Text: 4 stars Illustrations: 4 stars Brilliant concept for a children's cookbook created by Jane Yolen and her daughter. With your child, read the fairy tale and then try to make the corresponding recipe. Strong connections between the tales and the dishes. Nice assortment of recipes covering all three meals with additional sections for soups and desserts. Also includes extra information about the fairy tales and some food facts in asides. Modern, whimsical illustrations add to the child appeal of Text: 4 stars Illustrations: 4 stars Brilliant concept for a children's cookbook created by Jane Yolen and her daughter. With your child, read the fairy tale and then try to make the corresponding recipe. Strong connections between the tales and the dishes. Nice assortment of recipes covering all three meals with additional sections for soups and desserts. Also includes extra information about the fairy tales and some food facts in asides. Modern, whimsical illustrations add to the child appeal of the book, but I do wish there were photos or illustrations of the prepared recipes. Makes a lovely gift.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Luann

    I had never realized there are so many folktales with a food component! I love the idea for this book. I did expect a bit more from the fairy tales themselves, being retold by Jane Yolen. They did seem very simple - especially in the beginning. Some of the recipes were a bit simple, too, but that's probably okay since they are meant for young children to be helping out. Some of them do sound very delicious. Overall, I liked the variety of stories chosen and how the recipes link to the stories. T I had never realized there are so many folktales with a food component! I love the idea for this book. I did expect a bit more from the fairy tales themselves, being retold by Jane Yolen. They did seem very simple - especially in the beginning. Some of the recipes were a bit simple, too, but that's probably okay since they are meant for young children to be helping out. Some of them do sound very delicious. Overall, I liked the variety of stories chosen and how the recipes link to the stories. The part I REALLY enjoyed were the bits of trivia included in the margins - of both the fairy tales and the recipes. Some bits of trivia I already knew, but some I didn't and found very interesting. Did you know that a pumpkin is a fruit and was once used as a cure for freckles and snakebite? Did you know that both the apple and the pear are members of the rose family? The illustrations are a bit quirky, and I liked some more than others. But overall I thought they added a fun, whimsical feel to the book. This is worth checking out if you have an occasion to pair cooking with a folktale. I would like to try the Seaweed Stuffed Shells, the Cucumber Yogurt Salad, the Magic Pear Grumble, and Snow White's Baked Apples. 3.5 stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    what a fun idea! you read the fairytale with your kids, and then make the dish. genius! i think i'll order this for myself on half.com so i don't have to keep renewing at my library! check it out if you love to cook with your kids. what a fun idea! you read the fairytale with your kids, and then make the dish. genius! i think i'll order this for myself on half.com so i don't have to keep renewing at my library! check it out if you love to cook with your kids.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Katrina

    I adore this book. Yolen retells the fairy tales in an engaging manner, with nice asides and additional tidbits of info, the recipes are fabulous, and the illustrations are engaging. Madeline and Erik love this book. It will be a gift for nieces and buddies.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    So cute! My stars this is such a delightfully fun idea!! :)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    The right family will like this more than I did. Too simple for me. But I do agree with Luann's review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.... Except the recipes I want to try are the Marinades for kebabs, the Lemon Tarragon skillet chicken (esp. for the method to make a roux style sauce in the same skillet at the same time) and the Party Beans. I add that I really appreciated the variety of stories included and the history sidebars that point out that some stories are original, such as the on The right family will like this more than I did. Too simple for me. But I do agree with Luann's review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.... Except the recipes I want to try are the Marinades for kebabs, the Lemon Tarragon skillet chicken (esp. for the method to make a roux style sauce in the same skillet at the same time) and the Party Beans. I add that I really appreciated the variety of stories included and the history sidebars that point out that some stories are original, such as the one by Andersen and the one by Yolen.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    A Caveat: this review will not consider the quality or outcome of the recipes within, because quite frankly I've haven't used any recipes within. However, this review would take into account how well and comprehensive the recipes are written and the like. Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters is a combination anthology and cookbook written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Philippe Béha, and recipes collected by Heidi E.Y. Stemple. Included in this book is a score of ret A Caveat: this review will not consider the quality or outcome of the recipes within, because quite frankly I've haven't used any recipes within. However, this review would take into account how well and comprehensive the recipes are written and the like. Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters is a combination anthology and cookbook written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Philippe Béha, and recipes collected by Heidi E.Y. Stemple. Included in this book is a score of retelling of folklore and fairy tales and accompanied by a recipe that the story inspired. The book is divided into five sections: Breakfasts, Lunches, Soups, Dinners, and Desserts. Yolen's retellings of the twenty fables both traditional and contemporary are excellently done and to my knowledge rather faithful to the original text (at least the stories I know). I appreciate the fact that she had chosen a diverse set of stories from around the world and popularity. For me, I knew about twenty per cent of the fairy tales chosen, so it was an illumination. Béha's illustrations are rather well done, whiter illustrating the fables or the recipes – it is rather well done and compliments the text rather well. Stemple's recipes are written well and very easy to understand. Although, I think some of these recipes are not as child friendly as it should be – considering the target audience for this book. There are no pictures of the end product, but occasionally there will be an illustration depicting the end result, which is preferable to no picture at all. However, these recipes don't include nutritional facts per serving, which is typically available in most modern recipes. All in all, Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters is a wonderful anthology of fairy tales and folklore and cookbook and illustrated well.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    This is a really excellent cookbook for kids! Easy recipes blend with stories that explain them, giving a reason behind the seasonings and that extra oomph that some people need for inspiration to cook. In the forward, Yolen talks about the syncronicity between the development of stories and recipes - how details change depending on the audience, what's available, how much you remember... Yolen encourages people to try the recipe as-is, then has a few suggestions on the side on how to customize. S This is a really excellent cookbook for kids! Easy recipes blend with stories that explain them, giving a reason behind the seasonings and that extra oomph that some people need for inspiration to cook. In the forward, Yolen talks about the syncronicity between the development of stories and recipes - how details change depending on the audience, what's available, how much you remember... Yolen encourages people to try the recipe as-is, then has a few suggestions on the side on how to customize. She encourages kids to branch off using the recipes as a foundation for their own conctions. I'm so excited to try some of these now that our oven is working!!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    A great book for parents with a young kid who likes to help out in the kitchen. The recipes were simple and I liked the way they also provided some alternative ways of dressing up what were pretty plain and easy dishes; the recipes had that nice, laid-back feel that you could play mix-and-match with ingredients and just enjoy yourself with cooking. I've tried the 'sea-shell pasta' recipe and loved it. I wasn't as fussed with the retellings as I thought I'd be; they seemed fairly close to the ori A great book for parents with a young kid who likes to help out in the kitchen. The recipes were simple and I liked the way they also provided some alternative ways of dressing up what were pretty plain and easy dishes; the recipes had that nice, laid-back feel that you could play mix-and-match with ingredients and just enjoy yourself with cooking. I've tried the 'sea-shell pasta' recipe and loved it. I wasn't as fussed with the retellings as I thought I'd be; they seemed fairly close to the originals and I might have been expecting something a bit more adventurous and new. The recipes and their playful spirit really made this book for me.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kellie

    This is a book that re-tells classic stories and has recipes to accompany them (like Jack and the Beanstalk with a recipe for Jack's Magic Beans aka pork and beans). The recipes themselves are good but nothing all that special or new. However, the presentation has been very successful in our house. My two younger girls have each picked stories with recipes they helped me cook and were then enthusiastic about a dinner I think they otherwise may have turned their nose up to a bit. So good, but bes This is a book that re-tells classic stories and has recipes to accompany them (like Jack and the Beanstalk with a recipe for Jack's Magic Beans aka pork and beans). The recipes themselves are good but nothing all that special or new. However, the presentation has been very successful in our house. My two younger girls have each picked stories with recipes they helped me cook and were then enthusiastic about a dinner I think they otherwise may have turned their nose up to a bit. So good, but best for a younger group. Get Honest Pretzels for kids who are serious about cooking. This book is more for providing a fun parent-child activity for 4-7 year olds.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Tilks

    I bought this book at the American Writers' Programs Book Fair. I picked it up because I have a dream to write Children's books some day and the concept of fairy tales and recipes together in one book for kids intrigued me. This book was so accessible for young readers and so much fun for the family to get involved. I envisioned reading a story to a child on a Friday night and then making the recipe that went with the story on Saturday. I had heard Jane Yolen speak during the conference but didn I bought this book at the American Writers' Programs Book Fair. I picked it up because I have a dream to write Children's books some day and the concept of fairy tales and recipes together in one book for kids intrigued me. This book was so accessible for young readers and so much fun for the family to get involved. I envisioned reading a story to a child on a Friday night and then making the recipe that went with the story on Saturday. I had heard Jane Yolen speak during the conference but didn't realize it was her book until I sat down to read it. I was happy to see that. I bought a copy for my niece to give to her on her birthday but kept a copy for myself too! :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kristine Mathias

    This book is a collection of fairy tales with a recipe to match each one. Each recipe is from the fairy tale on that page. For instance Jack and the Beanstalk has a recipe for Jack's Magic Party Beans. The recipes are kid friendly and tasty. Although there are no illustrations of what the recipe will produce you will see it in the illustrations for that particular fairy tale. You could add this book to a Math unit and cook one of the recipes with your class! This book is a collection of fairy tales with a recipe to match each one. Each recipe is from the fairy tale on that page. For instance Jack and the Beanstalk has a recipe for Jack's Magic Party Beans. The recipes are kid friendly and tasty. Although there are no illustrations of what the recipe will produce you will see it in the illustrations for that particular fairy tale. You could add this book to a Math unit and cook one of the recipes with your class!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Penrose

    Outstanding! You get a bit of folklore with some cultural backstory in the margins, followed by recipes taken from, or inspired by the story along with loads of kick ass food history in the margins! You get twenty stories, some of which were new to me which is awesome, adorable illustrations, and twenty-five recipes. Loved it. Just found out while navigating to this book in goodreads that there are quite a few books in this series. I'm going to need to read them all! Outstanding! You get a bit of folklore with some cultural backstory in the margins, followed by recipes taken from, or inspired by the story along with loads of kick ass food history in the margins! You get twenty stories, some of which were new to me which is awesome, adorable illustrations, and twenty-five recipes. Loved it. Just found out while navigating to this book in goodreads that there are quite a few books in this series. I'm going to need to read them all!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Casey Godinez

    Casey Godinez’s book Review > Fairy Tale Feasts by Jane Yolen is a creative way to pair classic fairy tales with recipes. Young readers will enjoy reading the stories while feeling successful and rewarding after preparing the food in the recipes. Yolen uses an informal style approach and the recipes are clear and concise. I feel that children will love their favorite fairy tales paired with food that they can prepare themselves. I would recommend this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Love! This! Book! What a wonderful way to spend some time with your kids. We did one story with its corresponding recipe on our free evenings. The author does a great job of telling each tale without laying the moral/point of it out in your face. That leaves the kids open to draw some inferences and do a little critical thinking. Kindergarten through fifth grade ideal.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    I loved the book the moment I found it! It's great for cooking with kids and useful for children's parties! I loved the book the moment I found it! It's great for cooking with kids and useful for children's parties!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    What an interesting concept! This book includes a number of old folktales that are found around the world, but paired with a recipe or two that correspond with the story's content. There are several well-known stories like "The Little Mermaid" and "Snow White", but there are also lesser-known stories like "The Magic Cave" and "The Hodja Borrows a Pot". Overall, I was very impressed with the inclusion of recipes and I was exceptionally excited to see some variation notes are included for each rec What an interesting concept! This book includes a number of old folktales that are found around the world, but paired with a recipe or two that correspond with the story's content. There are several well-known stories like "The Little Mermaid" and "Snow White", but there are also lesser-known stories like "The Magic Cave" and "The Hodja Borrows a Pot". Overall, I was very impressed with the inclusion of recipes and I was exceptionally excited to see some variation notes are included for each recipe. But the stories themselves were a little lacking in content. While I appreciated that the stories tried to stay to 1-3 pages, I didn't think this author's renditions were as good as many that I have read. Good for a read, but I probably wouldn't suggest purchasing. I also did not care for the illustration style very much.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I love Jane Yolen, I really do... I was bummed I couldn't love this one more... So I get the concept: tie in food with literacy, clever...easy, simple... But the book is catered to a kid audience, in terms of reading level, but the recipes are almost ALL exclusively only manageable with an adults help, no matter how simple the recipe is...that's the downside for the kids: literally every story/recipe has 'Ask the adult" 'Let the adult do' etc...it kind of takes away the fun and for me, it took the I love Jane Yolen, I really do... I was bummed I couldn't love this one more... So I get the concept: tie in food with literacy, clever...easy, simple... But the book is catered to a kid audience, in terms of reading level, but the recipes are almost ALL exclusively only manageable with an adults help, no matter how simple the recipe is...that's the downside for the kids: literally every story/recipe has 'Ask the adult" 'Let the adult do' etc...it kind of takes away the fun and for me, it took the fun out of the book, thought I will say that a lot of the stories she uses are not ALL the stereotypical stories like Goldilocks or something, though porridge is in there, but its a cute concept....

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Summer reading resource?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kara Benoit

    Very fun. Would be a great book to read to children and then cook the recipes together

  22. 4 out of 5

    Relyn

    If you know me at all, you know I love fairy tales. If you know me, you know I love teaching and that I'm always on the hunt for novel ways to connect with books. Well. Jane Yolen is maybe my favorite author. Hard to say. I have so many favorites. She's definitely in the top five at all times. This book is a collaboration between Jane and her daughter, Heidi. The best thing I can say for it is that it is a very cool idea. I got some great ideas for which foods to combine with what stories. Howev If you know me at all, you know I love fairy tales. If you know me, you know I love teaching and that I'm always on the hunt for novel ways to connect with books. Well. Jane Yolen is maybe my favorite author. Hard to say. I have so many favorites. She's definitely in the top five at all times. This book is a collaboration between Jane and her daughter, Heidi. The best thing I can say for it is that it is a very cool idea. I got some great ideas for which foods to combine with what stories. However. I found the recipes unnecessary. Also, I could hardly stand the illustrations. And, illustrations count BIG with me. Add to that that these were all retellings of immensely familiar tales. Well, blech. Not bad. Just dull.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Heidi-Marie

    I love the concept of this book--a short fairy tale followed by a recipe or two. And the tales are told by Jane Yolen who usually does a good job. Skimming through, I saw a couple that weren't too bad. But then I saw a couple of others that seemed a bit "borderline" for me and I could not personally recommend them in a book talk. I could just hear parents coming back saying, "Did you know...?!" Let them discover that themself and choose how to react, instead of blaming me for the opinion and rev I love the concept of this book--a short fairy tale followed by a recipe or two. And the tales are told by Jane Yolen who usually does a good job. Skimming through, I saw a couple that weren't too bad. But then I saw a couple of others that seemed a bit "borderline" for me and I could not personally recommend them in a book talk. I could just hear parents coming back saying, "Did you know...?!" Let them discover that themself and choose how to react, instead of blaming me for the opinion and review that I gave.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This little book has a bunch of fairy tales and a recipe to go with each. The illustrations are good, too. A fun way to either expand on the story telling, or make cooking a little more fun.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becca

    I like the concept. This book had some fun recipe connections to fairy tales. The tales themselves were too abbreviated for me, but enjoyable nonetheless.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Turrean

    A collection of fairy tales. Each tale is matched with a recipe or two. The tales are simply told, but are not for the youngest kids.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Beka

    Amateurish. I like the idea of reading a fairy tale and having a corresponding food, but this could have been done better.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katie Priest

    I prepared to book talk this for class and will be book talking it again this summer. This is a fun book for families to explore and enjoy over time or all together in one sitting.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Stories with recipes, not a cookbook inspired by fairy tales. No index. Awfully cute, and with neat fun fact sidebars.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    The marginalia is my favorite part. It's a clever concept, but I'm glad that I checked it out from the library. I've read more interesting cookbooks for kids. The marginalia is my favorite part. It's a clever concept, but I'm glad that I checked it out from the library. I've read more interesting cookbooks for kids.

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