by Jessica Fishman Levinson, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., and Maja Pitamic

Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., $17.99, 128 pages

We Can Cook is a confusing book; it is more an activity book for children than a cookbook. The book is spiral-bound, medium format. The recipes range from simple, like smoothies, to rather elaborate ones (Stuffed Butternut Squash; Pizza). Nowhere do the authors indicate for what age group this book was written. Pictures show children from age four to six but instructions given suggest a much younger age. (“Show her how to peel banana,” or “halve the tomatoes and let you child add them to the bowl.”) It seems children are only allowed to do very simple tasks. There are many pages of activities that are good and instructive for young preschoolers using Pitamic’s training and experience. (“Grow Your Own Sandwich Filling;” “Using Your Nose.”) Many recipes have useful sidebars in Helpful Hints. The recipes are good and nutritious (Levinson is a dietitian), perhaps excessively so to the detriment of flavor. Brief head notes explain the recipe, ingredients and nutrients. Serving sizes vary from one to eight. Full-page photo illustrations show either a child with a parent in the kitchen or a recipe’s final product. Unfortunately, the index is poor. You will have problem finding a previously used recipe.

Reviewed by George Erdosh,