Food For Thought: Children’s Books on Cooking

Reading recommendations from our own Dr. Alice Mar
The next best thing to eating yummy food is reading about it. Here is a selection of books guaranteed to appeal to your imaginary tastebuds. For extra fun, pair the books with go along snacks or cooking adventures as a family. Bon appetite!
Bee Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park
This story follows a young Korean American girl helping her mother prepare a favorite meal. The simple watercolor and pen drawings will appeal to kids as much as the bouncy rhyming text. A recipe is included at the end of the book.
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
This book shows what happens if you want to make an apple pie but the grocery store is closed. The intrepid heroine of this story doesn’t give up but travels the globe looking in Italy for wheat and in Sri Lanka for cinnamon. This well-loved classic also includes a recipe at the end of the book that uses all the ingredients from the book. And if you like this one, be sure to check out How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A.
The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman
This is one of my favorite picture books. It may be because I was a very picky eater as a child. However, I was nowhere near as picky as poor Mrs. Peters, whose seven children each only eat one specific and difficult to prepare food. She cheerfully tries to keep up with their requests, but it is only at the end of the book that the kids themselves come up with a solution. The hilariously and beautifully detailed illustrations in this book are by the wonderful Marla Frazee, my favorite illustrator.
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban
This book also tackles the issue of a picky eater. Frances is a badger and a picky eater who only really wants to eat bread and jam. Her parents come up with a plan that works wonderfully well. I loved all the Frances books as a child, in particular for the songs that Frances likes to sing herself. They are also very good early readers for kids to read on their own or as paired reading.
Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat by Susanna Reich
This book is one of many picture book biographies of Julia Child. This one happens to be my favorite as it is told partially through the eyes of her cat, Minette. It focuses on the time in Child’s life when she is living in Paris and learning to master French cuisine.
Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
This is one of those perfectly silly picture books that will make kids giggle for its utter goofy concept. Dragons love tacos. If you want to lure dragons to a party—serve tacos. LOTS of tacos. But watch out for what happens when they get into the spicy salsa!
Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
This is a story that could only come from the imagination of Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Who else would think to examine the inner feelings of a utensil? If your kid enjoys this quirky simply illustrated book, also check out Chopsticks and Straw.