A noteworthy review of Reading Rocks! from Booklist on January 1, 2008
Young cooks will enjoy this profile of a chef at work; so will kids who like eating out and want to know what goes on behind the scenes. Part of the Reading Rocks! series aimed at reluctant readers, this title invites children to shadow Jason Banks, head chef at a busy California restaurant. In a chatty, sometimes overly exclamatory narrative, Klein talks about Jason’s training in cooking school, and then the hard, daily work of planning menus, ordering supplies, and managing the kitchen. Plentiful, well-captioned photos marry well to the text, and a glossary reinforces technical terms, such as sous chef. One chapter focuses on Jason’s preparation of a special meal, coq au vin, from the moment it is ordered to the finished dish’s presentation to the table. This book’s focus on one chef in one restaurant, and then on one dish, will grab readers’ interest, and spur them (with adult help) to make use of the concluding recipe for vanilla cupcakes. A brief further-reading list concludes.