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Cookbook season is now in high swing. The cookbook section of every bookstore is overflowing with a bevy of wonderful new books. While we all hear stories about how tough times are in publishing, sales of cookbooks are up. And the publishers have responded this fall with many very enticing new titles.

We’ll be reviewing as many of these books as we can before the end of year, offering suggestions for holiday gifts or your own bookshelf. We’ll discuss new recipes and techniques that are simply beautiful.

First up among these books? SpongeBob’s Kitchen Mission.

Yes, I’m serious. This is a lovely little cookbook with the combination kids need: a favorite cartoon character presenting excellent, healthy recipes.

By personal experience, or by observation, we all know that children can be harsh food critics.

“Why don’t you try this, sweetie?” a mother will say.

“NO,” comes the very, very unambiguous reply.

Kids can just be tough in the kitchen and dining room table. And those early years, when their brains and bodies are both growing, is the time when nutrition is key and life-long habits are formed.

So anything that can intrigue kids to eat better and especially to become involved in the preparation of their meals is going to be a benefit. This book, SpongeBob’s Kitchen Mission, hits the target.


The book is filled with kid-oriented recipes. In the Sea Star Casserole, you cut star shapes out of bread to top the casserole. You won’t do that for yourself, probably, but if it entices you child to eat a casserole of spinach and cannellini beans, then it’s a good idea. Or, you could just spoon up some spinach and put it in front of your child. What is likely to happen?


There are some sweet treats in here, of course, but the book is brilliant in applying names to some very solid, almost adult, recipes:

  • Hot Polynesian Pops are barbeque skewers with pineapple, mushroom, pea pods combined with soy sauce and sesame seeds
  • Half Moons are Asian dumplings filled with cabbage, celery and carrot
  • Salt Sea Cucumbers are cucumber marinated with vinegar, dill seeds, and mustard seeds

If you have kids, this book can be a wonderful resource for you. Somewhere in your circle of friends and family there are certainly parents and kids who’ll love every page and recipe.