The favorite books of our childhood were the volumes in the Wise Owl series, which featured a wide variety of areas of life with lovely drawings, in simple language that children can understand, yet with scientific accuracy. We could learn a lot about time, the weather, the crafts, the calendar, the sounds, the numbers, or the wonders of the blood, how the valiant cells protect our bodies, how they rush to heal a wound, for example.
Even in its format, these high-quality publications are cited in two books by Györgyi Kalas: a Count of Sandwich and Neapolitan pizza is surrounded by our favorite dishes, Miss Pavlova and drum cake and it introduces you to the history of cakes. It is a pleasure to take in the books with a delicate touch, and if we turn around, Ildi Horváth’s fairy-tale, yet essential drawings will appear on soothing, pastel-colored pages. The book as a whole is organized, its content is easy to follow, it is not very complicated, yet it is thorough, and again it only proves that
learning the facts and stories in itself is a lot of fun.
The Earl of Sandwich … starts with a map where you can start browsing where your ingredients – potatoes, cocoa, sugar cane, tea – led you. Our favorite foods are then grouped on a cutting board: lunch dinners – such as pizza, bologna spaghetti, fried meat or french fries – then nasik, including ice cream and pancakes, and then snacks and we also get some recipes.
But let’s not think these are such simple catches that there’s nothing to write about them! At the pizza, of course, we can learn the secrets of olive oil, buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes, but even simple dishes like buttered bread can be read through the pages. The mysteries of sourdough, the different kinds of bread according to nations, are sure to tell everyone new things.
And when we’re done with that, we can go upstairs and learn about the world’s most famous cakes – drum, black forest, sacher or carrot cake – as well as the history of sugar and flour with the help of Miss Pavlova, all in beautiful and informative figures, something interesting and through legible texts. We can find out why France is the cradle of confectioneries, which are Christmas spices and cakes, sponge cake and bird milk are laid out, and – after the history of chocolate – the chocolateiest cakes are followed, such as thrush or brownie. We also learn about the story of Jancsi Rigó, who was a gypsy primate and escaped the wife of a Belgian prince.
This book begins with a wooden task instead of a map – the reader will find the solution at the end of the volume.
You can read Györgyi Kalas’s books after dinner, before going to bed in bed (strictly full belly), but also lying on a blanket on the beach while eating apple pie or strudel, and if we know all the stories from the outside, we can pull the little stool to the kitchen counter and we can tell our kids more while cooking. Guaranteed the best fun.
(Cover image: Tamás Kaszás / Index)