Kids’ Book Corner: Mom & Me Books

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What better way to share the love on Mother’s Day than by reading with children? I’ve chosen books that will inspire memorable mom & me projects: Visiting farmers’ markets, knitting, baking and sandwich making. For those of you who are dads, uncles, cousins, aunts, or special friends with a child, these books are for you, too.

Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Size Sweets & Savories by Sarah Billingsley and Rachel Wharton is written for adults but Ellen Silverman’s alluring photographs of melt-in-your mouth pocket pies, tiny tarts, luscious fillings and adorable pies in jars will make it irresistible to children. I love the simplicity of this book and the sweet and savory choices it offers bakers young and old. I’d try the ricotta cheese pies first.

Mom & Me Knits: 20 Pretty Projects for Mothers and Daughters by Stefanie Japel with photographs by Aimee Herring offers matching patterns for mothers and girls. The patterns can be adapted for girls’ sizes 4 through 10 and adult sizes xs through xxxl. There are also patterns for babies that match the adult designs. I love the Mexican-inspired puebla top, the Aran coat and the surfer tee. All these projects would make make beautiful gifts.

Knits for Nerds: 30 Projects for Fans of Science Fiction, Comic Books and Fantasy by Joan of Dark (a.k.a Toni Carr) is the perfect craft guide for moms and kids more interested in Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly and Harry Potter than in Martha Stewart.  The projects are geeky, nerdy, hilarious and clever: Hobbit Feet slippers, a Möbius neckwarmer, a laptop bag that doubles as a chessboard, a Hogwarts-inspired e-book reader bag, a Baby Elf beanie, Manga legwarmers, robot dolls, Star Trek dresses, and Space Princess hats. For boys who knit there are many projects including a skinny tie and a Big Bang Sweater Vest.

At The Farmers’ Market With Kids: Recipes and Projects for Little Hands by Leslie Jonath and Ethel Brennan with photographs by Sheri Giblin is a deliciously appealing collection of recipes geared to the seasonal produce available at farmers’ markets. Each recipe is built around fresh produce and presents a special task for children (mixing, shelling, rolling dough). The recipes often double as edible gifts: homemade ketchup, refrigerator pickles, fruit leathers and citrus curds. Even the fruit-and-vegetable averse will find the photographs glorious and the recipes delicious and fun.

Insanewiches: 101 Ways To Think Outside the Lunchbox by sandwich artist Adrian Fiorino is a hilarious compendium of crazy sandwiches for kids (with supervision) and adults: the Cordless Mousewich with USB Cheesestick made from a dinner roll, hot dog, ham and white and yellow cheddar; The Healthy Cakewich that contains no cake, a rye bread birdhouse; a dumbbell made of bread, cheese and a hot dog; a Banana Split Trickwich that looks like ice cream; and sandwiches that double as wildflowers, cell phones, and hand drills. My favorites? The sandwich that looks like Hulk Hogan and Fiorino’s most insane insanewich,The Rubik’s Cubewich. This clever book will engage reluctant readers, too.

Remember that, with your help, even the youngest children can participate in almost every project, and that all children require careful supervision in the kitchen.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Jo Perry has a Ph.D. in English, taught literature and writing, and worked as a college administrator and as a television writer and producer. She is a reviewer for and is an ongoing contributor to kidsLA Magazine for which she writes about the city, children’s books, and conducts interviews. For two years she wrote the Kids’ Book Club column for the L.A. Times’ Kids’ Reading Room page.


About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.