Gr 5-8-Eye-catching covers tempt novice as well as experienced cooks in these titles. "Before You Begin" discusses general safety rules in the kitchen as well as specific rules for using knives. Regions of Italy and Mexico are defined along with a description of how geography influences crops, celebrations, and traditions that flourish within each area. Cooking terms are explained; meticulous black-and-white illustrations of "Helpful Kitchen Equipment and Utensils" appear throughout; and "Essential Ingredients" in the Italian or Mexican kitchen (alphabetically arranged from anchovies to vinegar, or allspice to tortillas) are included. Sharp, colorful photographs, many full-page, complement the texts beautifully. The 19 recipes in Italy include soups, salads, pasta, sauce, pizza, polenta, chicken, pork, vegetables, cake, and fruit. Soups, salsas, snacks, vegetables, rice, beans, meat, desserts, and more are featured in Mexico. Along with the "Easy Menu Ethnic Cookbooks" series (Lerner) and "A World of Recipes" series (Heinemann Library), Locricchio's books will be popular additions to most collections.-Augusta R. Malvagno, Queens Borough Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.