Recipe: picture book that introduces sloppy cooking and social engineering

At my house, we've fallen in love with Recipe, a 2013 picture book about a little girl who tells her good-sport mom that it's time she learned to cook, and hands over a set of ingredients for Mom to buy, including a new puppy, a Cleveland Browns sweatshirt, a helmet, a water squirter, and 20 bags of marshmallows.

Kirsten (the little girl) and her mom proceed to cook up the most amazing, gross-out deadly-awesome dish in kid history, something straight out of Pinkwater's Fat Men From Space, by way of Kenny Shopsin's legendary lunch-counter. After abandoning the project of actually eating it, they haul it out onto the lawn on a tarp and reduce it to bite-sized chunks. They use baseball bats for this. Because they don't have a chainsaw.

Then they leave it for the raccoons.

This is one of those just delightfully anarchic picture books, a delight up and down and through and through. Illustrators Mike Bertino and Erin Althea put me in mind of Lynda Barry, while authors Angela and Michaelanne Petrella have a gift for prose that carries dry humor and kid-like glee at the same time. It's a great story of kid-power, grown-ups as co-pilots in discovery, creativity, and unfettered gross-out weirdness.