Before L'naya arrived, I had gone to a bookstore to see if there were any new Molly books that we didn't already own. I bought one called Molly Just for Fun and put it away for a rainy day while my niece was visiting. Well, weather being what it has become lately, we never saw a single raindrop, so I just gave it to her.
Molly Just for Fun is exactly what it is described as: a make-it, play-it, solve-it book of fun - in other words, an activity book. I thought that since L'naya was learning about World War II and the Holocaust this year in school, it might be fun to see what kinds of things kids did back them.
I was wrong!
Molly Just for Fun is basically an expensive book, $12.95, of do-once-then-become-bored activities. The first activity is called Sticker Sudoku. You solve the puzzle using pictures from Molly's 1940s life instead of numbers. And I am pretty sure that no one had even heard of Sudoku back then. L'naya did like learning how to make a secret code, but I could have shown her that - I learned this particular method when I was a kid. Very few of the activities call for a child to use their imagination or involve any of the arts and crafts projects kids usually enjoy so much.
So I am sorry to say, I would not recommend Molly Just for Fun. Much better is Molly's Cookbook: A Peek at Dining in the Past with Meals You Can Cook Today. This is an old 1994 edition that belonged to my daughter when she was young and was published by The Pleasant Company.
Molly's Cookbook really does teach kids about food during the war when shortages and rationing made life so very difficult. And there lots of fun recipes like Volcano Potatoes and Deviled Eggs, both of which we have often enjoyed.
Molly's Cookbook is not to be confused with Molly's Cooking Studio, a newer, more high priced book published after The Pleasant Company was sold to Mattel. And even though Molly's Cookbook is not longer published, it is easily available online, sometimes as low as 25¢. This is a wonderful book for adults and kids to work together in the kitchen. Kids learn not just about food in the war, but also how to prepare simple but tasty food and basic kitchen safety.
In my house the all-time favorite recipe in Molly's Cookbook is a breakfast dish called Toad in the Hole which I learned how to make in Girl Scouts when we called them Sunshine Eggs.
Non-Fiction Monday is hosted this week by The Nonfiction Detectives