Grounded in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Programme, this book celebrates the potential to get everyone – not just children – excited by what they eat by learning to grow, prepare, cook and share fresh, seasonal vegetables and herbs. Never condescending or dumbed down, while the recipes are ones which primary- school-aged children have actually cooked with great success, beginner cooks of all ages and backgrounds will enjoy its mix of practical tips, straight-forward ‘of course you can do it’ encouragement and the range of food from simple to surprisingly sophisticated. Overturning the myth that kids only want familiar dishes that are bland and unchallenging, here you have recipes that spring from the diverse backgrounds of students taking part in the scheme, such as borani kadoo (Afghan braised pumpkin), Turkish karniyarik (stuffed eggplant), saag paneer, bagna cauda and quandong pudding. While it does give familiar favourites such as pasta and pizza, fritters and pancakes, they are only the starting point. From the springboard of a basic pasta dough, within a few pages your hand-shaped dough can be fennel and pea capunti with mozzarella, or broccoli and anchovy sauce with orecchiette (now there’s a myth-buster for starters!). Since recipes reflect the crops grown in the schools’ gardens, some ingredients may be unfamiliar to us and unavailable, such as bush tomatoes, warrigal greens and quandongs – sometimes substitutions are offered, sometimes they are not. While the entire soil-to-stomach cycle may not be possible for those of us without access to grow-your-own, the message is to let the kids jump in at whatever level they can and get involved. Aspirational it may be for some, but the idea is to not just tell your kids to sit down and eat their veges; instead, help them grow the plants, harvest them, prepare and cook them, and finish with a fun shared meal. Then they’ll not only be eating their greens, but actually choosing veges because they know they’re delicious. TRACY WHITMEY