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the Redwall Cookbook

by Brian Jacques
95 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Bethany

A lovely book.

Plot

Compiled of various recipes taken from the series, "The Redwall Cookbook" takes you through Redwall Abbey's Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter feasts, with Friar Hugo and his seasoned cooks of Abbey mice, Badger Lords, Otter Crews and Cellar Hogs as your guide. It tells a story for every feast, and the preparation for it using whatever the Abbey dwellers have harvested that season, with a recipe on every other page.

Morality

As it is a cookbook, morality isn't really a part of it. It does tell a story (four stories, actually), but as far as morality goes, it's no worse than hilarious squabbles over who can lick the bowl, or characters chasing each other out of the kitchen with ladles. All harmless.

Spiritual Content

A grace is said that, as they are mice living in Mossflower country, doesn't mention any spirituality - rather, they "thank the summer season". It's more of a fun poem than a prayer.

Violence

None.

Drug and Alcohol Content

There is a recipe for Mossflower Mulled Cider that involves two cups of apple cider, but this could be taken as apple juice. The October Ale isn't alcoholic.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

None.

Conclusion

From a bowlful of Hare's Haversack Crumble to a delicious flagon of Mossflower Mulled Cider - from a ladleful of Mole's Favourite Deeper 'n' Ever Turnip 'n' Tater 'n' Beetroot Pie, to a generous helping of Cheerful Churchmouse Cherry Crisp! - this book is absolutely worth a read. Even if you don't cook, the illustrations of Redwall Abbey and Mossflower Country are gorgeous, and they make beautiful paintings in themselves. All the recipes are vegetarian, apart from "Shrimp 'n' Hotroot Soup". The cover is glossy so it can be cleaned, and the book is printed with full colour illustrations, some that spread over two pages.

There is a foreword from Mr Jacques, who says, potently, that the book is to make up for all the stories that included a hero riding off on his white stallion, back to the castle for a feast, where no explanation was given as to what he dined on and how it was made! Safety tips are given at the beginning in the form of “The Kitchen Rules of Old Redwall” and it is all Dibbun friendly.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 8-10

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