{review} Joanne Newell’s Monkey Mike’s Raw Food Kitchen

in Review

Monkey Mike Cover“Did you know? That carrots weren’t originally orange? Until the 16th century, there were only purple, red, white and yellow carrots – to make orange carrots, Dutch growers combined yellow carrots and red carrots!” Straight from Joanne Newell’s e-book, this is one of dozens of quirky veggie facts, most of which come as a total surprise.

It’s only fitting that Ms. Newell would include such tidbits in this book made specifically for kids. Along with the illustrations, the very endearing title, and the fun manner of writing, the audience is clearly kids… but adults will find the information and recipes generally useful and at the least, entertaining.

Jason Botkin’s illustrations were unbelievably fun and really tied everything all together nicely. “Monkey Mike” himself rivaled any superhero, comic strip character, or popular and recognizable cereal box figure.

The mentioned “did you know” questions and the very detailed instructions with pictures of the ingredients made the book easy to follow and fun to read.

Some of the recipes don’t seem to have the level of creativity found in other uncook-books that are made for adults. During testing, the two recipes sampled were hit and miss. The Bunny Juice was a hit and surprisingly still good even when a bit watered down per the directions tailored to kids’ taste buds and needs. The Almond Hummus was not a hit for Isaiah, who was making it for his mom; his mom also found it to be too bland without the addition of some oil and salt.

Nevertheless, Isaiah (aged 7) who was making this recipe did most of the work on his own, following the simple instructions in the book. His excitement and enthusiasm for the preparation made it worth experimenting to find just the right balance for his family’s taste buds.

The crossword puzzle, word find, and other games were unexpected bonuses. Additionally, the very detailed information about what green smoothies are, written in a very kid-friendly manner was another good surprise.

Isaiah the HamA TIP
During the review process, the book was laminated first and then used by Isaiah (pictured here, hamming it up for the camera). Laminating helps anytime a cook or un-cook is in the kitchen, but it is especially easy for kids. Then there is no chance for them to have to sweat the small stuff.

You can also see the very kid-friendly “lettuce knife” that was used in the process. Even younger kids, can safely have fun in the kitchen.

One group – moms – will love this book. Kids – with the encouragement of Mom – may love it even more. Additionally, those who have nieces and nephews, who babysit, or just want an excuse to share raw food with the kids in their life, may find that this is worth having on hand for when they are around.

Individuals who do not have kids or are not interested in kid-friendly recipes will likely find this book cute but would better be suited with other raw food recipe books.

At the time of this writing, Monkey Mike’s Raw Food Kitchen can only be purchased online for immediate download and can be found here.


Review by Eva Rawposa


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