Lights, Camera, Cook! (Next Best Junior Chef) by Charise Mericle Harper, illustrated by Aurelie Blard-Quintard

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Summary:  Rae, Tate, Caroline, and Oliver all want to be the Next Best Junior Chef, but only one can win the title.  They’ll have to survive three big competitions in which one chef will be eliminated.  Along the way are field trips and mini contests that allow them to choose kitchen gadgets or get private cooking lessons that may help them in their quests to be the best.  They’re surrounded by professional chefs and strict rules about TV behavior.  Friendships are formed and rivalries develop as the four kids try to do their best under the pressure of trying to be the best.  Includes tips for how to use a chef’s knife and a preview of book two.  192 pages; grades 3-5.

Pros:  A series based on a reality cooking show in which one contestant is eliminated at the end of each book…how has no one thought of this before?  Kids will love this quick and easy read, with plenty of illustrations and illustrations of each character talking to the reader in cartoon bubbles every few pages.

Cons:  Who will be next?  Readers have to wait until mid-February to find out!

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