A Fiction Feast: Leveled Readers for the Family


Mixed: all ages

Fiction Feast


Board Books

Early Chapter Books



Cooking Skills


Today is #TheFictionFeast once again! With the summer winding down and the school year ramping up, I thought about the days at home (and nannying) when the need for an activity for multiple ages is needed before we all get cabin fever and try to cut our own bangs. My favorite hobby of course, is baking! I have an early chapter book and a phenomenal board book to share with you today, but the cookies are all mine…sorry not sorry.

Cook in a Book: Cookies! An Interactive Recipe Book

Illustrated by Lotta Nieminen

Published by Phaidon

I love a good board book; they have so many uses and can stand the classroom test of constant use and easy wipe downs. The Cook in a Book series uses a real recipe and puts step by step instructions into a unique and engaging book with flaps that are some of the best that I’ve seen! There are multiple foods in the series, but the Cookies! book was perfect for today.

Throughout the book readers learn cooking skills and rich vocabulary words and can flex their fine motor skills by replicating aspects of the recipe like mixing, sifting, and picking the cookies off of the sheet post-baking.

Being able to go through the recipe step by step to create expectations of what will happen when real ingredients are added is a huge plus, and I can definitely see myself having used this series in a preschool classroom before a cooking activity! It explains the process start to finish and I’ll be honest the flaps are a complete delight. I’ve played with all of them multiple times and they’re extremely sturdy. This large board book goes delightfully with an early chapter book that also focuses not just on baking, but friendship as well!

Aven Green Baking Machine

By Dusti Bowling & Gina Perry

Published by Sterling Kids

Aven is a force, and I’m here for it. She’s creative and witty and ready to win…this specific instance is a baking competition but I feel like she would give anything a whirl, really. Aven has retired from her life as a detective (it was a big month) and she’s planning to enter a competition with her friends…if they can decide what to bake!

This chapter book series covers a lot of ground in a hundred or so pages, especially in the social-emotional learning sphere. Aven has a lot of gumption and conviction, which occasionally comes off as a bit abrasive and insensitive. Navigating grade school is tricky, and opinions are deeply held. Author Dusti Bowling deftly uses food preferences to show that our immediate reaction can hurt feelings at the very least, and insult someone’s culture without meaning to.

As you can see from the cover, Aven also has no arms. While this isn’t an own voices book, there is very little about her limb difference in the story besides a few humorous offhand comments about how skilled Aven’s toes are. While we need more authors writing about their authentic lived experiences, I think this is a wonderful and underrepresented spunky narrator that I’m glad has been brought to life!

These books were kindly sent by the publishers above, but all opinions and decisions to review are my own!

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