Sometimes the activity books for kids that we find are as much for the parents as they are for the kids, and such is the case with the Small Thyme Cooks Activity and Coloring Book. Created by Andre Huseston Mack, former French Laundry sommelier, creative thinker, and guy I’m dying to meet, this is a clever activity book for kids. But not just any kids; more like the ones who are up for unscrambling the names of the fish on the Le Bernadin menu or working their way through a maze that takes you from a farm to, of course, table.
Of course this might be a better gift for foodie friends with a sense of humor than for actual kids, who won’t get references like “the restaurant critic disguise kit.” But I think that despite the clear hipster irony, it’s actually a really cool way to talk to kids about food sources. Like learning the different kinds of oysters or mushrooms out there.
I also love seeing actual chefs featured in the book–Daniel Boulud, Charlie Trotter, Wylie Dufresne, Dan Barber, April Bloomfield–and not just the made-for-TV cooks that tend to dominate the cooking shows these days. Hey, maybe it will even inspire your kids to consider a new career path.
Of course there’s plenty of regular old activity book fun, like a page for coloring in your own food truck, or designing the next gorgeous Mast Brothers chocolate bar wrapper. (Also known to my kids as, “those expensive ones in Foragers that are just for Mommy.”) And I also really like the page featuring 10 questions about the Constitution, in honor of Chef Jose Andreas and his recent US citizenship.
Heck, my kids would do a word find any time, no matter what words they were finding. The fact that it’s shitake and portobello is just something a little more out of the ordinary. Of course my real goal? Getting them to actually eat them, too. Not holding my breath just yet.
[top colored page by Cat Baldwin for Trends on Trends]