Downtown Bookworks: The Do It Myself Kids’ Cookbook and Other Great Books

7 Feb

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Downtown Bookworks is a children’s publishing company founded two years ago by Julie Merberg.  Julie is a mom of four and tests everything out on her own children. Their “mission is to raise a new generation of book lovers with books that engage, entertain, educate and feel good in small hands”.  Initially, I reached out to Downtown Bookworks for the The Do It My-Self Kids’ Cookbook but Julie invited me to their office to see more of their books.  They offer a variety of books for all ages.  They have a cookbook, a “green and groovy” craft series, activity books for on-the-go entertainment, and many adorable reads with beautiful illustrations. Downtown Bookworks accomplished their mission with both of my girls and here is how…

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Over the holidays I bought The Do It My-Self Kids’ Cookbook by Laurie Goldrich Wolfe on Zulily as a joint gift.  Since buying the cookbook, the girls have enjoyed making and eating many of the recipes.   I have used it as part of our morning or afternoon activity time to keep the girls busy so they won’t get caught up with the TV or scream for the IPAD. The recommended age on the book is 5+, but with support, direction, and preparing ingredients beforehand, the girls have been able to make many of the recipes.  Pela has had the most difficulty, as expected, but has no problem letting Maddie create so she can eat.  The best feature of the book, especially if you are using it with younger children, are the step by step illustrations for the recipe.  None of the recipes require anything sharp and are not hot, perfect for little ones.  We noticed many of the recipes have peanut butter as an ingredient.  Peanut butter can easily be substituted with alternatives like soy butter.  Our favorite recipes are the Cream Cheese, Strawberry Quesadillas, and the Orange Juice Strawberry Spritzer.  The Do It My-Self Kids’ Cookbook  would be a great addition to any parents kitchen and would make a wonderful gift for your child’s friends.

Making Cream Cheese Strawberry Pineapple Quesadillas

Yummy in my Tummy!

Ready to make Fresh Fruit and Yogurt Cones!


Books I received that are perfect to take to restaurants, the doctor’s office, long car rides, and other places you have to entertain while waiting:

Click to purchase from B&N

I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love keys.  It was the first item my girls tried to grab from me to play with as babies.  Now they take turns trying to unlock our mailbox and apartment door. Turn the Key  Around Town by Julie Merberg is a favorite for both girls.  They fight over it when we are out.  The book has a yellow key attached, and a little slot in the top of the book to store the key when not using it.  Each page has a door to different spots around town.  You have to unlock the door to see what is inside.  I tell the girls that they need to lock the door when they turn the page to go to the next store.  It is a great book to keep little ones busy while working on their fine-motor skills.  Maddie goes through it pretty quickly so to buy time we talk about our favorite neighborhood spots.  She also likes making up her own story with the illustrations.  It is a must when packing our activity bag. Recommended for ages 1-4.

Unlocking doors until Maddie finishes dance class!

Even great for a long drive!

Click to purchase from B&N

EYE Q Picture Puzzler by Georgia Rucker is a beautifully illustrated with bright themed puzzles.  Each puzzle is a different theme with three or more challenges.  The book includes a dry erase marker to complete the challenges.  Challenges include circling what doesn’t belong, counting, choosing your favorite treat, finding shapes and more.  Maddie  has difficultly completing the challenges independently.  If I am not there to help she attempts to do it on her own by circling her favorites.  Recommended ages 4 and up.

Waiting for dinner

Other books I received:

Click to purchase from B&N

Animals in Art: Art from the Start by  Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober teach children about animals through historic artwork.  The artwork makes it fun for adults too, you may see some of your favorite artists in there.  A list of the artists with museums is in the back of the book.  If you are feeling adventurous, visit the museum where your child’s favorite animal is.  Both of my girls love animals so this was a great book for them. There are two other Art from the Start books: How is Mona Lisa Feeling and Mama, Baby, & Other FIrst Words.  Recommended ages 0-3.

Click to purchase from B&N

Absolutely adorable is the only way I can describe The House That Mouse Built by Maggie Rudy and Pam Abrams.  We read it at least once a day.  Every detail of the house is so amazing, Maddie has asked to go to Mouses House.  The story is about a mouse that left cheese out and another mouse stole it and got hurt while running away.  Every time I read it I think about Maddie and Pela at meal-time.  Maddie always leaves food out and Pela runs off with it.  When Maddie tries to get it back Pela always ends in tears.  It is definitely worth reading. My girls love it.  Recommended age 4 and Up.

A book before bed!

Click to purchase from B&N

 I’m So Not Wearing a Dress be Julie Merberg is about a girl who would rather play sports and get dirty then wear pink and get manicures.  Her Aunts asks her to wear a dress for her wedding but does not want to. In the end she makes a deal and wears the dress. You need to read it to find out how her parents got her to wear a dress.  We haven’t read this book as much as the others but I often find myself making deals with Maddie when getting dressed in the morning because her choice is usually inappropriate for the weather.  Recommended age 3-6 years

"Reading" on the stroll home from school!

To find out more information and see more books visit Downtown Bookworks.  Books are available at Amazon,, and Barnes & Noble.
Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this post.  I received books for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

One Response to “Downtown Bookworks: The Do It Myself Kids’ Cookbook and Other Great Books”


  1. The Do It Yourself Kids’ Cookbook {GIVEAWAY} « Tastefully Childish - February 8, 2012

    […] out more about the cookbook and other great childrens books from Downtown Bookworks, check out my review. If you can't wait BUY NOW from […]

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