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Children's Nonfiction Cooking & Food

Eat It Up!

Lip-smacking recipes for kids

by (author) Elisabeth deMariaffi

illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan, Gabriel Morrissette, Jay Stephens, Steven Charles Manale & Wendy Ding

Owlkids Books Inc.
Initial publish date
Apr 2009
Cooking & Food, Comic Strips & Cartoons
Recommended Age
6 to 12
Recommended Grade
1 to 6
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2009
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


Informative, diverse, and fun, Eat It Up! celebrates chickaDEE Magazine’s 30th birthday with over 55 recipes, bright images, and tons of original Chick and Dee cartoons. These cartoons create a unique kids’ cookbook — one that can be read as much for its hilarious characters as for its mouthwatering food! A crash course in kitchen safety and easy step-by-step instructions allow children to be actively involved in the prep and cooking of meals with minimal supervision. These are recipes designed to pique readers’ senses of fun and creativity, while building their confidence in the kitchen. With a focus on savory dinners and lunches instead of sugary snacks (though there are a few of these too!) these are recipes the whole family can enjoy. And, through careful attention to vegetarian cuisine, food allergies, different diets, and nutrition, Eat It Up! teaches kids that nothing need stand in the way of a great meal. Fun asides encourage kids to experiment with fresh herbs and new ingredients. Watch as young chefs discover a different way to “play” with their food — add something new and an old standby becomes a favorite meal! Chick and Dee and their friends will welcome young readers into the kitchen. Don’t be surprised if they never want to leave!

About the authors

Elisabeth de Mariaffi is a mother of two, freelance writer, and poet who loves to cook with kids. Her work for adults has been published across Canada; her work for kids has mainly been seen in her kids' classrooms. She lives in Toronto.

Elisabeth deMariaffi's profile page

BROOKE KERRIGAN est une artiste, graphiste et illustratrice de livres pour enfants. Elle est diplômée du Sheridan College en illustration interprétative et a illustré plus de dix livres pour enfants, dont Fishermen Through and Through, Plan for Pops et The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain, qui lui a valu un prix Blue Spruce. On peut aussi voir son travail dans les pages du magazine Chirp. Brooke partage son temps entre l’Ontario et une petite ville des Alpes françaises



BROOKE KERRIGAN grew up surrounded by books and the love of art. Now she has illustrated more than a dozen books including Fishermen Through & Through, A Plan for Pops and the Blue Spruce Award Honour Books The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain and Kiss Me! I’m a Prince.


Her fun and whimsical illustrations are created in watercolour, gouache, pencil crayon and collage. Born and raised in Toronto, she now splits her time between Tiny, Ontario and a little town in the French Alps called Chamonix. Visit her at

Brooke Kerrigan's profile page

Gabriel Morrissette is an illustrator, animator, and comic book artist. He is a frequent contributor to chickaDEE Magazine and the co-creator of Northguard, Fleur de Lys, and Angloman with Mark Shainblum. He lives in Montreal.

Gabriel Morrissette's profile page

Jay Stephens created the popular Chick and Dee comic for the 20th anniversary of chickaDEE Magazine. He is also the author of Monsters! and The Land of Nod Treasury. He lives in Los Angeles, CA where he works on his Emmy-winning cartoon series Tutenstein.

Jay Stephens' profile page

Steven Charles Manale currently writes and illustrates the Chick and Dee comic for chickaDEE Magazine. He also creates comics for YTV and Thomson Nelson from his home in Toronto.

Steven Charles Manale's profile page

WENDY DING is an illustrator based in Toronto, Canada. Her specialty is digital illustration in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. She currently works full time as an apparel graphic designer and is available for freelance work weeknights and weekends. Wendy holds a BAA: Illustration degree from Sheridan Institute. Born in China in 1984, Wendy was no stranger to whimsical cartoons, stickers, and endless picture books growing up. A brief stay in the UK just before her teens introduced her to Barbie and the western world. Her inspiration comes from fashion, music, pin-up girls, and food. 80s and late 90s pop music will always have a special place in her heart. Some of her idols are Josephine Baker, Cyd Charisse, and Michael Jackson.

Wendy Ding's profile page

Editorial Reviews

An excellent book to introduce children to cooking healthy meals and snacks…The products are so well presented and appetizing that kids will want to make every one of them.

Resource Links

The zany spirit of the cartoon personalities may contribute to a messy kitchen, but the diversity of recipes should lead to some happy eaters.

Publishers Weekly

Unlike many cookbooks launched into the juvenile market, this one is truly kid-oriented…The recipe instructions spell everything out, even the most basic techniques. Best of all, the food choices are appropriate for young diners…The visual elements of the book are excellent, and the color photos of food are especially effective…Eat it Up! will have wide appeal as a first cookbook for both girls and boys…

Quill & Quire

Containing nearly five dozen kid-tested recipes, Eat It Up! does almost all the things that an excellent recipe book for children should do.

CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials

In a busy world where many kids are eating lots more takeout food and prefab meals than when their parents were young, Eat it Up! is a big silver bullet to the bad-food monster.

Chronicle Herald

Some recipes are truly fabulous and kid-friendly…

School Library Journal

This updated edition of Owlkids’ first book offers interesting, delicious, varied menus and trusts children’s abilities to prepare and cook them…The [Chick and Dee] cartoons are sure to be enjoyed by the little ones who may also be drawn to try new foods because of them.

Canadian Children’s Book News

Learning to cook is important for children. On the practical side, there are so many mental and physical skills cooking helps children to acquire. Then the all-important part of cooking: getting to eat and share the results with families and friends. Eat It Up! adds another essential dimension to cooking: fun. The book is brilliantly colored, with food photos and step-by-step illustrations that make this book easy to follow as well as lively. Unlike some books that pander to children's love of sweets, Eat It Up also draws on savory favorites, our cultural diversity and healthy eating practices to offer young users a great introduction to a lifetime of independence and pleasure in the kitchen.

Elizabeth Baird, Executive Food Editor Canadian Living

...simple, easy, and yummy recipes.

The Family That Reads Together blog

Our Test Kitchen manager took this lively book home to her two daughters and they gave it rave reviews.

Canadian Living

Librarian Reviews

Eat It Up! Lip-smacking Recipes for Kids

illustrated by Jay Stephens, Steve Charles Manale, Gabriel Morrissette, Brooke Kerrigan and Wendy Ding

Cookbooks for kids often err on the side of excessive safety (boringly limiting the menu) or excessive elaborateness (offering intriguing food that children couldn’t possibly create themselves). Eat It Up! makes neither mistake. This updated edition of Owlkids’ first book offers interesting, delicious, varied menus and trusts children’s abilities to prepare and cook them.

With over 55 recipes, there is an exciting range of cuisines represented – from Better Be Butter Chicken (with rice and peas and a mango lassi on the side) through Sporty Stir-fry Dinner with coconut rice to Totally Terrific Taco Buffet and guacamole – along with more traditional staples like pancakes, sandwiches and hot chocolate. There are easy-to-execute recipes like yogurt and fruit parfaits for little readers and more challenging ones like homemade pizza (complete with yeast dough) for older ones.

The book begins with an easy-to-read spread on food safety – wash your hands, always wear oven mitts, tie back long hair, etc. There are illustrated pages of cooking equipment and terms and another useful page on allergies (each recipe is marked with allergy information as well). The general tone is that, while children should be as careful as adults in their cooking, they should feel confident to try each step – whether it’s adding the raw chicken to a stir-fry, blending the beans and salsa for a dip or mixing up the yeast for coffee cake.

Photos of each recipe and Chick and Dee cartoons enliven each section. The cartoons are sure to be enjoyed by the little ones who may also be drawn to try new foods because of them. Older readers may feel they are beyond Chick and Dee but are sure to be intrigued by the possibilities the recipes offer.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2009. Vol.32 No.3.

Other titles by Brooke Kerrigan

Other titles by Wendy Ding