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The Adventures of the Little Chef – Book Review

by Simon on December 9, 2012

Photo of The Adventures of the Little Chef book on a bed amongst stuffed toys.The Adventure of the Little Chef is a children’s story book written by Mark Yeow, a friend and former food blogger of the well written and well renowned Sydney food blog The Ninja Review.

As the subject matter of the book revolves around chefs, cooking and food, I was approached by the author to offer a review of his first published book for the blog.

Please read on for a summary of the story, opinions and whether or not this may be right for you as a potential Christmas gift.

Photo of the back cover of The Adventures of the Little Chef book
The Adventure of the Little Chef is a story about a little girl, known only as the “little chef”, who sets off to learn how to cook in order to feed the two hungry monsters that lurk under her bed and keep them from eating her and possibly her family.

During her adventures she travels vast distances and braves the elements in order to find a chef to apprentice with. The pint-sized protagonist has to also deal with the predatory, profiteering baker Wheatley, not to mention the two ravenous monsters under her bed that await her return – a fire-breathing dragon with a high-pitched laugh and a boogeyman, a monster consisting of snot that’s not to be mistaken with the fear-inducing bogeyman.

The story is artfully written in rhyming verse and reads much like a poem. It’s broken down into four bite-sized chapters; a convenience for parent narrators as it can keep bedtime storytelling short and sweet.

The reading level for the book is intended for children around the ages of 7-10 from what I’ve been told by the author, though the story itself could be understood by children much younger. However, the moral to the story, a response to its thought provoking opening sentence, is as relevant to a child as it is to the adult reading the story to them.

When you sit down to eat, do you pause to think
About the hands which made the meal which sits in front of you?

When was the last time you really thought about the people who make the food you eat?

Photo of The Adventures of the Little Chef book on a bed amongst stuffed toys, opened to show some of its artwork.

The artwork in the book, illustrated by Jamie Lee, is charming with its child-like quality. While it won’t likely win any awards, it’s something that a young child could relate to and is appropriate for the story given the apparent age of the little chef.

All the illustrations are in black and white which lends itself to the opportunity for children too young to read the story for themselves to apply their artistic talents by colouring in the various characters and scenes to their heart’s content.

At $11 at the time of this post, this little book is great value for those of you looking for an inexpensive Christmas gift for your children, nephews, nieces and so on. It’s one that I’ll be looking to give to a little chef that I know; a story I’m sure that she’ll thoroughly enjoy.

All proceeds from the sale of this book will be generously donated to the Fred Hollows Foundation; a foundation based in Sydney that is focused on blindness prevention both here and in many regions, including Africa and parts of Asia.

The book is available online for purchase via LuLu. While you’re there, check out the preview of the book for further insight into the story.

Also, feel free to check out Mark’s blog The Tamago Report; a resource to help aspiring writers hone their craft, both creatively and professionally.

In the spirit of full disclosure, as mentioned in the intro the author of The Adventures of the Little Chef, Mark Yeow, is a friend of mine. However, as is my policy for this blog, all opinions are honest and all words are my own. 

The Adventures of the Little Chef book was provided courtesy of the author for the purpose of review.

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