5 Minutes for Books:
Once Upon a Time in the Kitchen

Over the last decade or so, I’ve amassed a sizable collection of children’s books, for which I’m truly grateful. While most tend to be the standard picture book fare, a small part of the collection is made up of cookbooks written for use with young children. With the release of Carol Odell’s book Once Upon a Time in the Kitchen: Recipes and Tales from Classic Children’s Stories, I’ve added a unique and standout item to this part of the collection.

As the title makes evident, this book isn’t merely a series of recipes for children to enjoy, but instead offers excerpts from twenty-one pieces of classic children’s literature, along with a related recipe for families to make as an accompaniment to the reading. When one opts to read a little Winnie-the-Pooh, what better to snack on than a “Bear Honey and Nut Spread?” Or, if Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is your selection, why not share some of “The Queen of Hearts’ Jam Tarts?”

While the stories excerpted here will most likely be familiar to most parents picking up this book to share with their children (at least of my generation or older), I wonder if they are losing their ground with today’s children. I adored The Wind in the Willows and The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, but I’m not sure that my oldest child has included either of these in his reading pursuits yet. In addition to offering tasty-sounding recipes for families to make together, this lovely book, complete with inviting watercolor illustrations by Anna Pignataro, will also entice children and their parents to return to the library or comb their home bookshelves for some of the classics!

Our friends at Sleeping Bear Press are graciously offering THREE copies of Once Upon a Time in the Kitchen: Recipes and Tales from Classic Children’s Stories for this week’s giveaway. Just leave a comment below, U.S. and Canada residents only, please.

We’ll announce the winners in our July 12th 5 Minutes for Books column.

Our giveaway of a White House local cooking and eating cookbook and another children’s book from Sleeping Bear Press is still open. Enter at From the White House to Your House.

Book blogger Dawn’s cooking skills are far surpassed by her reading skillz. (Yes, they’re good enough to earn a ‘z.’) More wackiness can be found at her blog, my thoughts exactly.


  1. says

    I’d love to win this cookbook! The recipes sound so adorable AND delicious! I’d love to have a big Mommy-Daughter party and try these recipes!

  2. From Diapers To Dorms says

    We have a house full of children who love to try to help out with food preparations. We’d be thrilled to have this book. Thanks for the chance.

  3. says

    My kids are always wanting to help in the kitchen, what a fun way to do that and read them the classics at the same time. Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win.

  4. Kathryn Jones says

    I’m always looking for ways to get my 5yr old son into the kitchen…his attention might be easier to keep if reading stories is involved!

  5. Lori Ferguson says

    Stories and Food. What could be better fun? I’d love to use this book with my friends’ little ones who visit! (my imagination is going wild planning the party …)

  6. says

    I would love to win this for our family – it would help tie in so many stories with something in real life for my youngest daughter especially who has some delays. Our oldest would love the tie-in to her favorite stories as well! Great giveaway! :)

  7. says

    Cooking with your children not only is great family time it also helps instill good eating habits in children. Also, everything always tastes better when you make it yourself, the same goes for your children, they will be much more willing to try foods that they themselves took part in creating.

  8. Sheri says

    This sounds like a great book ! What an awesome combination!

    I would love to win a copy for a gift for my niece that loves to cook!!

  9. Jill H. says

    My girls would love this, they love to cook, and oldest loves to read, what a wonderful way to introduce new characters and stories!

  10. tennille says

    I love this idea! What great fun to have a matching snack. Hmmmmm what can I serve with all the truck and train books I’m reading lately?

  11. says

    My son loves to be in the kitchen. We make something together at least once a week, so I’m sure he would love this. It sounds like a great book!

  12. Amy W says

    What a great idea. I love to cook and would love to be able to cook with my little one or even my niece and nephews when they visit.

  13. Mary-Frances C. says

    I make my girls “butterfly” sandwiches, but would like some more ideas. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  14. Terry Mac says

    Would we ever love to be chosen one of the three lucky winners of this cookbook.

    Thank you for hosting such a great giveaway! (We love to cook as a family, and try out new recipes… well, we cook together once a week, and it is fun!)


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