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Recipe and Craft Guide to France (World…
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Recipe and Craft Guide to France (World Crafts and Recipes)

by Amelia LaRoche

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This attractive and very colorful little book includes 12 crafts and 11 recipes all related to French history and cuisine. Crafts are organized chronologically as they span all of France’s history, from prehistoric times to modern France. Interesting historical, artistic and cultural explanations are given on the corresponding time period (for example, about Gothic cathedrals, the Hundred Years’ War, Renaissance castles, etc.), which help put the related craft in context. The crafts usually demand a certain level of dexterity, and are best for older children. Examples are making a “stone” mask, building a model castle, making a Versailles-style frame and Napoleon’s hat. Most of the items needed for the crafts are easy for children to find, but some like clay and plaster of Paris will require help from an adult. The recipes are traditional French dishes and desserts like crepes, croque-monsieur (grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich), Three Kings cake, and quiche. An adult is needed every time a dish needs to be cooked (indicated in bold-type). When in French, the name of the dish is explained in English.

In both sections, items/ingredients needed are listed, and instructions are clear, but I believe instructions could have been numbered to make them stand out more as it can be hard to distinguish them at times from the background information given. When relevant, color photographs show pictures of the original item (Lascaux paintings, stained-glass windows, Renaissance castle...) as well as photographs of the craft being built and then finished (sometimes with children portrayed). Photographs of each dish are shown as well, often with children enjoying them, which is nice since this book is meant for children. Helpful tips on making a craft and cooking are given at the beginning of the corresponding section. The author has traveled to France many times, and is obviously well-versed in French culture and history. Further readings are suggested at the end of the book, and a glossary and index are included. I think the crafts are recipes contained in this book can definitely be fun to make for older children who will learn about France in the process. Grades 4 and up. ( )
  alebarbu | Dec 8, 2011 |
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France is a magical country with a lot to offer visitors.
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Provides recipes for several popular French dishes and includes instructions on creating crafts using household items.

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