THE MUDDY CHEF is a recipe book for kids, but it’s not for making food.
Inside you’ll find recipes for unlickable lasagna, mud and seed cupcakes, nature’s nachos and other muddy creations perfectly suited to being whipped up in any outdoor space.
The rise in popularity of nature play in general and mud kitchens in particular, along with society’s current love affair with ‘foodie’ culture, sets the stage for this quirky yet accessible publication.
As screen time increases at home and in schools, so does the concern about what it’s doing to our kids. Research and popular culture alike are embracing the switch from screen time to ‘green’ time.
This book is a springboard for both parents and children who don’t quite know where to start when it comes to reconnecting with nature.
Outdoor play and mud kitchens are accessible to everyone with a bit of outdoor space, mud, and water—from a converted sandbox on a back patio to a fully functional wooden kitchen sold at the trendiest toy stores for hundreds of dollars.
This is a book for kids who love—or soon will love—outdoor play.
Summary of readers
Although aimed at 6 to 9-year-olds, like all cooking activities, there is something for the whole family to enjoy at any age and ability level. Play inspired by THE MUDDY CHEF can be done solo or in a group.
- Elementary-aged children engaging in outdoor play
- Toddlers with parental supervision learning life skills through play
- Parents who want to encourage “green time, not screen time”
- Gift buyers—this is the perfect present from a cool aunt, grandma, or best friend for the kid who “has it all”
- Teachers, educators, and staff of early childhood organizations (summer camps, childcare, scout-like groups)
About the Authors
Penny Whitehouse and Emma Bear bonded over their love of the natural world from the first day they met at university and they’ve been lifelong friends ever since. Their lives have taken surprisingly parallel paths, from careers as zookeepers, to environmental education officers who inspire children, to marketing roles that allow them to entice others into nature using the written word. Now, each with a young family, they love nothing more than writing and collaborating together—unless it’s exploring the forests and seashores of Brisbane, Australia, with their kids.
Penny Whitehouse is the passion behind Mother Natured (www.mothernatured.com). With degrees in wildlife biology and early childhood education, she is also an environmental education officer.
Mother Natured (www.mothernatured.com) is an inventory of nature activities that helps support parents to raise nature-connected kids. Aimed at mothers who are not quite ready to dive whole-heartedly into unstructured, muddy nature play, Mother Natured makes it easy to get started. You’ll find inspiration that encourages play, creativity, resilience, mindfulness, and motor skill development, all with the intention to get children outside connecting to their natural world.
Emma Bear lives the quintessential Australian life among the gum trees with regular visits from kookaburras, goannas and wallabies, much to the delight of her two elementary-aged children. It should come as no surprise that she has spent the last decade working for the parks and wildlife department, writing community engagement and marketing content about Queensland’s stunning natural attractions. She loves writing fiction in her spare time, and reading it too, when she has the chance.
Where to grab The Muddy Chef?
Contact Wild Dog Books for Wholesale prices.
The Muddy Chef Reviews
‘What a wonderful surprise this beautifully presented cookbook with a difference is. The main ingredient is mud!’
The Muddy Chef is not a prescriptive activity book, but a living, breathing extension of a child’s own imagination and world! Reading it, I found myself engaging with that part of myself, the part that isn’t afraid to get dirty, find wonder in the mess and see every pile of dirt, puddle and water as a canvas on which to play and co-create.
‘Sensory play is a beautiful staple of childhood, enhancing creativity and filling a child’s world with wonder. The Muddy Chef reminds us of the value of what is all around us.’
If you don’t adore The Muddy Chef and all the fun recipes that Penny and Emma have concocted, then you haven’t witnessed a child covered in mud and having the best time of their life. Every child should have access to nature through play and this book will fill your imagination with wonderful ideas and possibilities. Happy mud baking.
Purchase The Muddy Chef and send your receipt to Penny[at]mothernatured.com to receive a free Muddy Chef Printable Pack.
Please contact Wild Dog Book
Penny Whitehouse penny[at]mothernatured.com