This cookbook is brought to you by the sound “Yummmmm!”

“Let’s Cook!” from Sesame Street is a lovely, bright, easy-to-follow cookbook that will make kitchen time with little ones fun.

Even better, the recipes are more sophisticated than many other children-oriented cookbooks, which offer over-simplified variations on mac-and-cheese or using cookie cutters to make interesting sandwich shapes.

“Let’s Cook” has two things going for it: The Sesame Street reputation for a high-quality product and a target audience that is, if they’re anything like my kids, already hooked on “Master Chef Junior” with Gordon Ramsay, “Cupcake Wars” or one of the innumerable YouTube kids cooking shows.

I also liked that many of the recipes are kid-friendly while embracing a more adventurous palate – bold peppers make an appearance in several recipes. Muffins with dried cherries – not chocolate chips. Muesli, garbanzo beans, kale, lentils and ginger are found throughout the cookbook.

“Grover’s Gado-Gado” recipe explains its Indonesian roots, and the accompanying photo has fun facts about Indonesia and the advice to “Be adventurous! Try new foods and flavors from around the world!”

The cookbook is also great for early readers. The recipes have cute titles with well-known characters (“Cookie Monster’s Me-Love-Warm-Green-Bean Salad” and “Abby Cadabby’s Magical Squish-Squash”), bright photographs and fun facts and jokes sprinkled throughout. (How do you fix a broken pizza? With tomato paste! Why was the cucumber mad? Because it was in a pickle!)

Each recipe also lets parents and kids know which steps are good for little hands – highlighted with a bright picture of Elmo – ensuring kids know just when they can jump in. A brown bag icon lets them know the recipe is good for packing in a bag lunch.

The cookbook spells out alternatives that are low-fat, vegetarian or dairy-free when possible, and encourages creativity with alternative ingredients.

My 6-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter pored over the pages, picking out a month’s worth of recipes to try. We started with a pineapple-mango smoothie, which had the bonus of the kids getting to push the buttons on the blender – always a big hit. We also made a pizza, which was a multi-page fiesta of recipes for both dough and suggested toppings, plus tips on how to knead and punch the dough.

Off to the side of the page, Count von Count posed a few questions for the young chefs to answer: “How would you divide a pizza pie for two hungry monsters so that each gets a fair share? How about four hungry monsters? Eight? Draw a round pizza on a piece of paper and see!”

I highly recommend this cookbook for its direct, fun approach to cooking with kids.

But before I go, can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? I need to stop by Hooper’s Store to pick up some ingredients for dinner.

– NOEL K. GALLAGHER

Rosita’s Fresh Pineapple-Mango Smoothie

Makes 4 cups

2 cups fresh pineapple chunks

1 mango, cut up

11/2 cups orange juice

1 cup low-fat strawberry or vanilla yogurt (or nondairy yogurt)

Pinch of ground cinnamon

4 fresh strawberries

1. Combine the pineapple, mango and juice in a blender. (Make sure to keep your children’s fingers away from the sharp blender blades.) Whirl on high speed until very smooth, about 1 minute.

2. (Kid step!) Add the yogurt and cinnamon to the blender.

3. Whirl on high speed for 20 seconds longer.

4. (Kid step!) Fill 4 tall drinking glasses with ice cubes.

5. Pour the smoothies over the ice, garnish each glass with a strawberry (if using) and serve.

Editor’s note: This cookbook was edited by children’s book author Leslie Kimmelman, who is Food & Dining editor Peggy Grodinsky’s sister.

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