Sage Cookson series by Sally Murphy

Australian author Sally Murphy has recently launched her fantastic new series of books following the adventurous life of Sage Cookson.  Sage isn’t your average 10-year-old.  Her parents are television chefs who travel around Australia and the world meeting lots of different people, sampling the food and learning new cooking techniques.  They then share their new knowledge with their huge TV audience.  This means that Sage gets to travel with them, tasting lots of yummy food herself and getting into all sorts of adventures.  There are two books in the series so far:


In Sage Cookson’s Sweet Escape Sage and her parents visit a chocolatier to film a segment for their TV show. Things go drastically wrong when the competitive spirit gets the better of the chocolatier. 


In Sage Cookson’s Ring of Truth Sage and her parents visit a bakery to film a segment for their TV show. They are all in for a bit of a surprise when a treasured ring goes missing.

These books are perfect for early readers who are growing in confidence or for slightly older children who want a quick read.  The font is large, the chapters are short and there is lots of action to keep readers engaged.  I really like the way that Sally has given Sage the sense of a normal life by connecting her with her friend through the text messages they send to each other.  They are perfect for fans of Billy B. Brown but especially for kids who love cooking and baking and are fans of the many cooking shows on our TV screens.  Each book includes a recipe at the end (relevant to the story) that kids can make themselves.

If you’re looking for a fun new series for 7-10 year olds then Sally Murphy’s Sage Cookson series is perfect.

Check out for more information about the books and some great recipes to try.

Nic’s Cookbook by Nicholas Brockelbank

Is there a kid in your life who loves cooking or would love to learn how to cook?  You have to get them Nic’s Cookbook, by an inspirational young New Zealander called Nicholas Brockelbank.

Nic lives with muscular dystrophy and was the 2012 ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). He started cooking when one of his teachers suggested it might help with his schoolwork, and has since shown significant improvements in reading, spelling and maths. He put together his first ‘cookbook’ when he was eight years old, as a Christmas present for family and friends. This photocopied booklet of recipes was so popular he wrote another one and set up a website ( to sell the recipe books and artwork to raise money for the MDA, the Christchurch Earthquake Relief Fund and the True Colours Charitable Trust. The website also describes aspects of Nic’s life with muscular dystrophy from his point of view, like having a wheelchair and undertaking lots of hospital appointments and tests.

Nic, with the help of his mum and the wonderful people at Scholastic New Zealand, has produced his own cookbook, that contains some very yummy, easy-to-make recipes.  They’re perfect for kids who want to learn how to cook and it’s all food that kids will love, from savouries and rice paper rolls to chocolate slice and lamingtons.  There are heaps of photos to show you the delicious food and to help kids with the trickier parts of the recipes.  The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and Nic gives you lots of handy hints throughout the book.  There’s a very handy page at the start of the book which helps kids to understand the different terms used in the recipes and what each of the measurement abbreviations mean.  The things I really like about the book are that Nic lists the equipment needed for each recipe and he tells you how many people each recipe should serve.

Not only is Nic’s Cookbook full of great recipes, it’s also great value.  It’s only $10 and 50% of the royalties from the book are going to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  At that price you can grab one for every kid you know!