Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Guest Blog From David Atherton

31st July 2020

David Atherton

Lockdown has had all of us cooking and baking more than ever before, including lots of keen young chefs and bakers!

Getting the kids into the kitchen is a brilliant way to have some fun as a family and teach the children some important life skills at the same time. 

Often, we just need a bit of inspiration to get started and, happily for us, the winner of the 2019 Great British Bake Off - David Atherton is here to help!

David has put together some of his favourite family-friendly recipes in My First Cook Book, filled with delightful illustrations by Rachel Stubbs. The recipes have easy to follow step-by-step instructions and are all things kids will love to eat, from yummy baked treats to lunches, breakfasts and simple suppers.

Read David's guest blog below to hear more about writing his first cook book and why it's important to him to get kids cooking.

Toppsta
2020-07-31
Guest Blog From David Atherton

"This time last year I was busy baking in a hot tent under the watchful eye of judges, and with cameras trained on everything I was doing. I was taking part in The Great British Bake Off and although it was fun it was also very stressful.

Toppsta
2020-07-31
Guest Blog From David Atherton
David at the 2019 Great British Bake Off

After winning The Great British Bake Off I was asked to do so many fun and exciting things, but before it was even shown on TV I’d already decided that I wanted to write a children’s cookbook. I spent my childhood in the kitchen cooking and baking with my brothers and sisters. My mum was very patient in teaching us how to bake cakes and bread, but she also let us have fun and experiment. The kitchen got very messy, but we always helped tidy up. I still remember our favourite cookbook where we used to choose our bakes for that day. It got very dirty because we used it so much.

One of my best friends is Rachel and she is the illustrator of the book. She recently finished her first book with Walker Books called My Red Hat and so she was ready for another project. Rachel’s illustrations really bring the book to life. We wanted to make sure we included pictures of people having fun making, baking and cooking. 

Toppsta
2020-07-31
Guest Blog From David Atherton
David Atherton and illustrator Rachel Stubbs

I think it’s important that the book doesn’t have photographs of the final recipes. Photographs can be intimidating as everything looks too faultless. The most important thing is to have fun and eat good tasty food, you don’t need the pressure of trying to make it look perfect.


Toppsta
2020-07-31
Guest Blog From David Atherton
Illustrations from My First Cook Book

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen experimenting with food so coming up with the recipes for this book was the easy part. I also went down memory lane and remembered all the food we used to make with my mum. I think it is important that children get to be in the kitchen and should be involved in all areas or making food (including the washing up). You have to be allowed to try things to be able to learn. My mum let me crack an egg, use a knife, stir a pan, BUT she taught me how to be safe. Often the best way to learn is to watch an adult first, but you only really learn from trying. Cracking an egg in a bowl without dropping in some shell is tough, but you get better the more you do it. I know people my age (an ancient 37) who still can’t manage it.

It takes a lot of work to create a book. My name is on the book as the author, and Rachel’s name is there as the illustrator, but there are LOADS of other people who work really hard to edit, print, deliver and market the book so that it is looking good in a shop ready to buy. Usually I scribble down my recipes on bits of paper which don’t look pretty and can only be read by me, then I have to type them up. I really liked it when Walker Books sent me a copy of all the recipes and I did a final edit in a red pen.

Toppsta
2020-07-31
Guest Blog From David Atherton
David correcting his proofs

I loved it when I got a copy of the final book. All the clever people at Walker Books took my scribbly recipes, Rachel’s amazing drawings, and created a beautiful cookbook. The recipes in this book are the recipes I make all the time, now it’s over to you to have a go and make them your own. When you practice cooking and baking you’ll find that you can make changes, add new flavours, toppings, shapes so that the recipes become your own."


Toppsta
2020-07-31
Guest Blog From David Atherton
Book pages Placeholder Book

My First Cook Book: Bake, Make and Learn to Cook

Get inspired and get cooking with this first collection of fun recipes to make together by the 2019 winner of The Great British Bake Off . 

 
From speedy suppers to delicious bakes, this classic collection contains a wealth of imaginative recipes that will inspire readers to tie their aprons and get going on their first food adventure! Packed with beautifully warm illustrations, fun and healthy recipes and easy-to-follow steps to help readers master basic cookery techniques and get inspired about food, this first cook book is an essential introduction to cookery that will be treasured by generations to come.

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