Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Buzz on "Yum-Yum Bento Box" by Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa

For the lawyer's personal pleasure: I was given this game by Quirk Publications for FREE to review and you can pry this book from my dead, cold hands.  Or, I could just leave it to you in my Last Will & Testament.  That might be easier. 

Confession:  When I saw that I had a message from Quirk Publications, I got a little excited.  They are a publisher of amusing, unusual reads and I knew they were probably offering to send me something worth reviewing.  And when I realized they were offering to send me a copy of book solely about bento boxes, I knew I had hit some Review Blog Gold.

When I received Yum-Yum Bento Box by Crystal Watanabe and Maki Ogawa, I sat down to read it and finished it one sitting.  It was entertaining and some of the results were just too twee for words (the mushroom on the cover is "Capital A" Adorable.)  This book also left me with a strong hankering for an egg mold.  Ahem.

Official Description:
Divided into “Cuties and Critters,” “Fairy-Tale Friends,” and “Special Day Treats,” Yum-Yum Bento Box also includes additional recipes for mini snacks and save-it-for-later lunches, a glossary, and much more. Inside, readers will learn:

·         Which tools are needed to craft bento boxes and where to find them.
·         How to style and shape foods into charaben (or cute characters) using bento basics and advanced techniques.
·         How to make a Piggy Burger, plum flowers, miniature omelets, animals, elves, princesses, and more!

Whether you’re an experienced bento maker eager to expand your repertoire or a bento newbie looking to spice up a ham and cheese sandwich in a fast five minutes, Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches has something for everyone. Why spend money on generic, unhealthy packaged lunches when you could be making unique and wholesome bentos?
The upshot?  If you are a beginner to bentos, this is a good place to start - the book is crammed with all sorts of little photo insets which provide step-by-step instructions that demonstrate how to create many of the items displayed.  There are also "quick tips" offered throughout this book as well.

We have the Laptop Lunchbox systems (which hey, I totally paid for with my own real dollars!).  However, in regard to lunches, my kids are still in their granola bars, nuts, cheese and applesauce moods.  In the meantime, I am keeping this book for future reference. 

If you are currently doing lunchmeats, cheese and crackers for your kids' lunches, you can already get some mileage out of this book just on those ingredients alone.  For the more experienced bento enthusiast, there are some more complicated creations as well.

This is a bright, colorful and perky publication with a sturdy construction.  Definitely, it is gift quality.

And I still have plans to get that egg mold the next time I am at our Asian superstore. Yes, my kids love hard-boiled eggs.

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