Comparing two children’s cook book’s
I have chosen to write about two childrens cookbooks. The first is called “Gruesome Grub and Disgusting Dishes” written by Susan Martineau, illustrated by Martin Ursell. The second is called “Starting Cooking” written by Gill Harvey, illustrated by Norman Young. I chose childrens cookbooks as it was very difficult to find an adult cookbook with illustrations in it. When I did find adult cookbooks with illustrations in it they were very small and not very interesting to look at. In childrens cookbooks there is a lot more colour and interesting pictures.
They have to be bright, colourful and full of interesting pictures so it is fun for children to look at them and read them. The books I have chosen have interesting, detailed pictures in them that look simple from a distance, but if you look closer have alot of detail in them. The first book I am going to talk about is called “Gruesome Grub and Disgusting Dishes” written by Susan Martineau, illustrated by Martin Ursell. The style of this picture is quite simplified, but clever. The recipe I am looking at is called “Throat Throttler. ” The illustrator has used a vampire in his paintings as a vampire sucks blood from the throat.
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The picture is how you would expect a vampire to be. He is lying in a coffin at the bottom of the page. He is wearing a black cloak and suit with a bow-tie and white shirt. The background is like a dungeon. The illustration has a bat in it, you would associate vampires with this. This style is obviously aimed at younger readers. All the illustrations and recipes are designed to make cooking more interesting and fun for children. The artists style is easily recognised. It is very simple when you look at it. Line drawings filled in with water colours.
But as you look closer you see lots of different colours blended together to make the simple colours more realistic and to make the picture more 3-D. The way Martin Ursell has painted the picture is in a very controlled manner. It doesn’t look rushed. You can tell he has taken his time and thought about which colours to use. Where he has painted shadows he hadn’t used black, he has used a colour that will blend in well with the colour he is painting on top of. It is quite cluttered at the bottom of the page. There is a coffin with the vampire in it holding the drink. This draws your attention the most.
This takes you to the top half of the page which is quite spacious compared to the bottom half. This is where the recipe is. It makes it easier to read as most of the illustration is at the bottom of the page. The drawing is an ink line drawing and has been filled in with watercolours. This carries on throughout the book. There are no areas of flat colour. Everything has tone in it. The coffin is a good example of this. The outline is quite noticeable but not in your face. The outside of the coffin has been painted brown. You can see the colour brown, but also you can see where white has been added to show the light.
In the areas where the light doesn’t hit you can see the different shades of brown. It almost looks black. This effect has been used to show different amounts of light. The vampires cloak is a good example of varying tone. Black has obviously been used, but on top of that white has been used, to make the cloak look more shiny. Line drawings have been well here to show the folds in the cloak and how it wraps around the vampire. On his white shirt, blue-grey paint has been used to emphasise the dark areas of shadow. The paint looks as though it has been applied in washes.
The areas of shadow and light have been built up on top of blocks of colour. Mostly dark, dull colours hae been used. Blacks, browns, greys and purples. Some primary colours have been used. Red is the brightest colour used. It has been used for the lining of the coffin, the lining of the cloak and the vampires belt. Blue has been used for the shadow on the vampires shirt. Blue has mainly been used for the shadows as it is quite a dark colour. I think that dark and gloomy colours have been used as the vampires coffin is set in a dungeon and dungeons are dark and dingy places.
The colours used would be associated with dark and dingy places. There are no bright “in your face” colours. Any bright colours that have been used have been toned down by purples and browns. Some other colours that have been used are pink – bowtie, green – the vine leaves and cucumber that was used in the recipe – and skin colour – the vampires hands and face. The shape of the book is portrait. It is A3 when open and A4 when closed. I think the illustrator chose this format so he could fit as much as he possibly could into his illustrations. Also so it is attention grabbing.
Also most cookbooks are presented in portrait fashion. The age group that this cookbook is aimed at is young primary children, aged about 6-11. The way the book is illustrated is to get young children interested in cooking. The illustrations are there to do this. It has lively illustrations, big bold writing and easy to follow instructions. This makes it easier and more interesting to read. The recipes have funny horrible names and all the recipes turn out like something from a Halloween party. It is a paper back so it is light and easy to hold so that small children will have no trouble holding and won’t drop it.
It doesn’t have alot of writing and the language used is easy to read and understand. If it is a double page layout, there is the ingredients in the top left page. The instructions are also on this page. Each instruction is above the text in a square. The ingredients are usually illustrated as well. The ingredients are in columns, with bullet points. In the space next to the ingredients is an illustration of the ingredients you need. At the very top of the page is the name of the recipe which has been positoned in the centre. It looks as though it has been written in a piece of paper that has been ripped at the edges.
There are illustrations relating to the title on either side of the title. On the page that the recipe “Dead Man’s Hand” is on, the title is illustrated with a man on the left-hand-side dressed in a robe. The man has one hand which is holding the piece of paper. Holding up the right-hand-side of the paper is the man’s other hand which has been chopped off. The man has been drawn in a small illustration of a room. It has a wooden floor and a wall behind him. Hanging up on the wall is three carving knives. In the recipe “Cow Pat Pudding”, the left has been illustrated with a gate with hedges at either side of it.
It is a painting of a field. It has four cowpats in it. On the right-hand-side is a cow leaping through the air. The sun is positioned just above the cow. Underneath the cow is grass. On the right hand page is the main illustration showing you what have made should look and be presented. If it is a single page layout, like “Throat Throttler”, the title is again illustrated with things relating to the recipe name. On the left-hand-side of the title there is a young boy dressed as a vampire holding the drink. On the right-hand-side is a young girl dressed as a vampire holding the drink.
Tied on the top right hand corner is a bunch of garlic as vampires are scared of garlic On the left, underneath the title illustrations is the ingredients, this carries on down a third of the page. To the right of this is two squares positioned side by side with illustrations showing you how to make the drink. Underneath each illustration, is text explaining what is going on in the illustrations above. All of this takes up the top half of the page. The bottom half of the page has the main illusration of the vampire in his coffin, holding the drink in his right hand.
The coffin comes diagonally from the bottom left hand corner to the middle. Below the middle of the left-hand-side of the page are three dungeon doors. They are arched shapes. They come diagonally from below the middle to the left of the page in the centre of the page near the text. Coming from the middle of the right-hand-side of the page is a vine. It goes down towards the coffin. On the bottom right hand corner, there is a quarter of a circle. In it is text positioned in a diagonal way. From the bottom left the circle to the top right. It tells you how to make the drink scarier.
Underneath the text is the drink with what looks like eyeballs in it. The drink is a tall glass. It is made up of cola and ice-cream. It is a dark brown colour. It is frothing over the top of the glass. In the froth two straws are positioned, one to the left of the glass. This has a bend in it. The other straw is positioned to the right and has no bends in it. They both have red and white stripes on them, going around from the bottom of the straw to the top in a spiral. On the right-hand-side of the glass, at the top, is a slice of cucumber cut in the shape of vampire’s fangs. There are more illustrations than text in the book.
The illustrations are the same on every single and double page layout. The typeface that has been used is times new roman. The only bold text is in the titles and the “you will need” part of the ingredients. For the title I think size 0. 18 has been used and for all the other text size 0. 14. The title is sans serif. The rest has serifs. This style of lettering has been used as it is easy for young children to read. It is big enough to be seen and is reasonably spread out. The second book I am going to talk about is “Staring Cooking” written by Gill Harvey and illustrated by Norman Young.
This style is quite realistic. When I first looked at the book I thought it was full of photographs. I think it looks realistic because of the way the illustrations have been painted. They look quite simple, only basic colours have been used. But they have been developed by using dark and light colours to show the areas where shadow and light are. The pages are made up of small illustrations boxed off in rectangles. When you look at the page it looks quite cluttered. But when you look at the individual boxes of illustrations, they are quite simple, uncluttered illustrations.
They show you what the text underneath the box is telling you to do. Examples of this are an illustration of someone taking something out of the oven, or grating cheese or slicing a tomato. They are really simple illustrations with, at most, two-three things in them. I think the artists style is easily recognised. He has done very simple illustrations that show the information that the artist is trying to put across to us. He does this with simple use of bold colours and detail of shadow and light. The medium that has been chosen for these illustrations is watercolour.
The outline of the illustrations have been painted in dark colours like black, blue and brown. The illustrations are the same throughout the book. There are areas of flat tone. If it is grated cheese the illustrator is painting, then it looks like it has been painted yellow as a base coat, then whites and darker yellows are used to pick out areas of dark and light. On other things like tomatoes, cucumbers, cooking utensils etc. it is the same idea. This gives a look of roundness and texture. The way he has painted the grated cheese lets us see the inividual strips of cheese.
On things like knives or graters that are metal the illustrator uses varying tone. There are areas of grey, both light and dark, and also white has been used to make the metal look realistic. The materials have been applied in washes. Base coats of bold colours have been painted. Then using a very small brush, dark and light areas have been painted in to give us the effect of dark and light. It makes the individual illustrations look more detailed. Bright primary colours have been used. Dark colours have been kept to a minimum to make the book more attention grabbing for the age group it is aimed at.
They are realistic colours. They are the colours you would expect the things in the illustrations to be. The way the colours have been painted makes the objects look more realistic. The shape of the book is portrait. It is just bigger than A5 when closed and slightly bigger than A4 when open. I think the illustrator chose this format because he wanted the pages to be attention grabbing. Maybe so he could fit a lot on the double page spread and by looking at the book he seems to have done this. This book is aimed at young children about 5-8 years old.
I think this because it has a lot of little symbols saying things like “take care” with an illustration of knives in a circle. On some of the pages, there is also columns explaining how to chop or grate or how to use the microwave etc. I think it will be easy for young children to read as there are no big long words that the children won’t understand. The writing is big enough for them to see and is well spread out. Incase they don’t understand they can follow what is going on in the illustrations. It is a small book, but it is a hardback, so it might be a bit heavy and they could hurt themselves if they drop it.
The pages are laid out with the title in the top left hand corner of the double page spread. Underneath this there is some text telling you what this double page is going to teach you. Underneath this the name of the dish is given. Boxed off underneath the name of the dish is given. Boxed off underneath the name of the dish, is the ingredients. The ingredients is usually illustrated. The “Cheese and Ham Toastie” ingredients is illustrated with mice eating cheese. The “Summer Pudding” ingredients is illustrated with children picking summer fruits out of a tree. So the ingredients is illustrated with something relating to the dish.
Underneath the ingredients is a long rectangle going from the left of the page to the right at the bottom of the left hand page. In it there is instructions telling you how to use a certain piece of apparatus. On the particular page I am looking at, it is grating. (It varies on each page. ) The word grating is in the top left corner of the rectangle. There are three different steps to take. There are three illustrations side by side each boxed off inside the bottom of the large rectangle. Above each illustration is some text. On the right hand page there are six little illustrations on the left of the page.
Two illustrations side-by-side at the top of the page, in the middle of the page and at the bottom of the page. One column of illustrations is to the left of the page and one is in the middle of the page. Each illustration has text underneath it. The illustrations in the column in the middle are all boxed off. The other two illustrations in the left hand column are not boxed off. To the far right of this page is a rectangle going from the top of the page to the bottom of the page. In it, it shows you how to chop and slice. “Chopping and Slicing” is at the top of the rectangle with a little circular symbol with “Take Care” written above it.
And over the circle two sharp knives have been painted, crossing over each other with the blades at the bottom. Underneath the title is some text telling you how to chop a tomato. Underneath the text is an illustration of someone chopping a tomato. The illustration is boxed off. Underneath this illustration is text telling you how to slice a tomato. Underneath the text is an illustration of someone slicing a tomato. Again it is boxed off. Underneath this is text telling you how to slice a cucumber. Underneath the text is an illustration of someone slicing a cucumber. This illustration is also boxed off.
There is text on every page. The text will either be above or below a small illustration. The amount of text and illustrations is about the same on each page. The layout sometimes varies throughout the book. The layout is different on each page to make the book look more interesting. Everything I have mentioned in my description is on each page. The typeface is times new roman. The only bold text is the title in each rectangle, the main title the name of the dish and the “you will need” part of the recipe. The size of the text that has been used is 0. 14. For the main title 0. 18 has been used.
For all other titles it is size 0. 16. All of the text has serifs. I think this style of lettering was used as it is suitable for almost anything. It goes well with all the illustrations. It is quite a popular text and is used in most typed text. I think it is suitable for the age range as it is easy to read. It doesn’t have lots of fancy flicks that make it difficult to read. It is simple for younger children to read. My favourite out of the two books would have to be “Gruesome Grub and Disgusting Dishes” as it has really good recipes in it. The illustrations are always related to the title in some way.
They are quite simple to look at but when you look closer at them you see all the detail that has been put into them. They are fun and will keep the reader interested. It will make the children more interested in trying out the recipes. This is the best out of the two books. In the other book all the illustrations looked the same and had the same colours. “Gruesome Grub and Disgusting Dishes” doesn’t. Every illustration is different and has different colours in it. This makes the book better as you have something different to look at on each page and that is what I like about it.