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Books: global cuisines

A World of Recipes: Italy; Japan; Mexico; India; Caribbean; ChinaBy Julia McCullochHeinemann pound;10.99 each. TES Direct pound;9.99 each (020 8324 5119)Festivals Cookbook seriesChinese by Stuart Thompson and Angela Dennington; Christian by Saviour Pirotta; Hindu by Kerena Marchant; Jewish by Ronne RandallHodder amp; Stoughton pound;9.99 each. TES Direct 9.49 each

If you are not travelling far this summer, you might like to explore the food of other cultures. A World of Recipes takes you on simple but authentic journeys, with some culinary history and food-related geography, before guiding you through essential ingredients. Although intended for key stage 2 pupils, the recipes are graded according to level of difficulty, and the most complex would be suitable for much older pupils.

The 17 recipes in each book include colour photographs of processes as well as the finished dish. Alongside obvious choices such as spaghetti bolognese, chicken stir-fry and vegetable biryani, each title includes dishes that will be unfamiliar to most children. These range from soups, main meals, salads and breads, to snacks, puddings (including ice creams that work) and, best of all, a Japanese bento box (lunchbox).

The Festivals Cookbook series will take you on the next stage of your journey, with more detailed background information but fewer recipes. Each book covers two or more religious festivals in depth, looking at the cultural and symbolic significance of the food eaten, regional variations and other celebrations.

Kate Schofield teaches at Falmer school, Brighton

A longer version of this review appears in this week's TES

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