Kate the Chemist: The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids by Kate Biberdorf. Philomel Books, 2021. 9780593116197
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? This book combines a cookbook with science experiments. There are 25 recipes or projects included, most of which have an experimental component to them. When making Hollandaise sauce, the experiment is to try using just egg whites, just egg yolks, or the whole egg. When making sugar cookies, Dr. Kate directs the reader to use white sugar in some, light brown sugar in some, and dark brown sugar in others. Another experiment is to ripen bananas using different methods, and then use the method that created the sweetest bananas to make banana bread. The recipes are clearly labeled with a “messiness level” as well as if cooks will need oven mitts, latex gloves, and/or adult supervision. Additionally, each recipe includes a few questions to consider about how and why the science worked as it did, as well as an explanation by Kate. Lots of color photographs are included for each recipe, making it easy to follow along with the different steps.
Anything you did not like about the book. Out of the 25 recipes in the book, 18 would need adult supervision, and only 2 had a messiness level of 1 out of 3, so adults should be prepared.
To whom would you recommend this book? I would give this to kids who like to cook, especially if they are curious about trying new things. This would also be good inspiration for a science fair project. Read-alike with Edible Science: Experiments You Can Eat (2015) by Carol Tennant and Jodi Wheeler-Toppen.
Who should buy this book? Elementary, middle and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Nonfiction (cookbooks)
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Sarah Bickel, Greenlodge Elementary School, Dedham Massachusetts
Date of review: August 3, 2021