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Funny Food Made Easy Puts Creative Meals at Your Fingertips

Funny Food Made Easy:
Creative, Fun, & Healthy Breakfasts, Lunches, & Snacks
by Bill and Claire Wurtzel
(Welcome Books; $19.95)

 

Funny Food Made Easy: Creative, Fun, & Healthy Breakfasts, Lunches, & Snacks book cover

 

 

Funny Food Made Easy is an entertaining book and sure to be one for both the coffee table and kitchen table! It’s beautiful and fun at the same time. I must say that Bill and Claire Wurtzel are extremely creative with simple ingredients. They can make broccoli look like a poodle dog or fried eggs with cheese look like a cute couple holding hands. They show you how you can make whimsical items and people out of cut watermelon or pineapple as well as oatmeal with a bit of raisins and sliced apples. They offer plenty of suggestions for variations but show a lot of step by step instructions too. Basically the title says it all.

I recently had some of my kids’ friends over and these 7-10 year olds were having the best reactions with the book. They would say, “Oh, that’s so cool!” one minute, to “Eww, I don’t think I want to eat that, but it looks neat,” to “I wish I could make that!” Sometimes they just laughed out loud delighting in devouring page after page of neat faces and food art displayed in this extremely original book, a companion to the always popular Funny Food from 2012. It was such fun to watch the kids enjoying the book so much!

Funny Foods Made Easy has very simple and healthy ingredients and the authors have put a lot of time and attention into detail. They have suggestions and instructions how to have your own funny food workshop and it seems like a great idea for kids and their parents. While you may remember your parents telling you not to play with your food, this book encourages lots of play with food. After seeing the array of all you can do with your meals and snacks, you may never look at toast the same way again!

  • Reviewed by Lucy Ravitch

 

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Petit Collage: 25 Easy Craft and Décor Projects for a Playful Home by Lorena Siminovich

Petit Collage: 25 Easy Craft and Décor Projects for a Playful Home by Lorena Siminovich

Today’s book review comes to us courtesy of guest reviewer Brittany Banis, a former nanny and a soon to be graduate from UCSD. Brittany is pursuing a career in business. In her free time she enjoys crafting, organizing and baking.

As a nanny I was constantly looking for new ways to create fun yet organized environments for my little ones to enjoy. Trying to find a way to store games and toys where they are accessible to kids AND in such a way that the kids can easily put them away is easier said than done. That’s why I was immediately excited when I came across Petit Collage: 25 Easy Craft and Décor Projects for a Playful Home (Potter Craft, $24.99) by Lorena Siminovich. While it does contain a few crafts for kids, most of the projects are meant for adults to build and kids to enjoy.

The book is broken up into three chapters. “Room to Grow” includes projects for decorating and organizing children’s rooms or playrooms. “Family Life” has organization ideas for the whole house. And “Playtime” offers crafts that kids can help with and then use for play. Templates are available for many of the projects in the back of the book. The best part is the projects are designed to use mainly materials most of us already have at home!

One of my favorite projects was called “Masterpieces.” The step-by-step instructions help you create a family gallery where you can display all of your children’s artwork and schoolwork. I don’t know about you, but I was always at a loss as to what to do with the kid’s schoolwork … I wanted to display it somehow so they would know how proud I was of their accomplishments, but there is only so much space on the refrigerator. With the family gallery you can create a board that matches your home décor and proudly shows off your children’s best work!

Another great craft was the “All in the Family” memory game. Here you create a set of memory cards using family pictures. I think this game is perfect for toddlers and elementary school aged kids! It allows children to sharpen their pairing or memory skills while reinforcing family relationships. I would be sure to include photos of family members who live far away as a way to remind the kids of their extended family.

Whether you’re interested in decorating on a budget, or simply adding some wow to a worn-looking wall, Petit Collage is a great resource for parents and caregivers in need of a little creative inspiration.

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