'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 23 December 2022

Review: The Muddy Chef

I’ve lost count of the number of hours I spent in the garden as a child, making lemon scented perfume, bitter ‘sourgrass’ shots and rose petal jam. My own children too, have been encouraged to  build, scoop, scrape, bury and bake in the garden.

Mindful, absorbing play. No meditation app required!

This wonderful picture book The Muddy Chef, is a testament to child’s play, gumboots and the invention of the washing machine. 

Encouraging those delicious moments of wholesome, dirty, muddy fun in an age of technology and screens, it’s a new-age bible for children and parents alike. 

It’s fun. It’s disgusting. It’s absolutely magnificent.

The Muddy Chef turns ‘plating up’ on its head to celebrate the ingenuity of kids and the glory vs gory of mother nature. It takes families step-by-step through the creation of their own outdoor kitchen complete with safety considerations, suggesting how and where to gather supplies and what to use if regular implements are not to hand.

Use a finger to stir. A stick to poke. A watering can for hydration. This book inspires all possible ways to have the best fun imaginable in your outdoor kitchen.
Make a cheerful brekkie muffin, an unlickable lasagne, a sandy blossom drip cake (my personal fave) and a muddycino for afters. All in the comfort of your own wonderful, messy backyard kitchen.

A celebration of the great outdoors and mother nature, through the best possible means – experimenting and getting your hands dirty. Heartfelt congratulations to Wild Dog books for this visionary and timely piece, on behalf of small children the world over  and our own mother nature.  

A perfect Christmas gift. Wrap it up with some repurposed op-shop utensils and a bucket!

Title: The Muddy Chef
Author: Penny Whitehouse
Illustrator: Emma Bear
Publisher: Wild Dog, $24.99
Publication Date: September 2022
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781742036380
For ages: 3+
Type: Picture Book