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Chefs: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about chefs?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to chefs. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about chefs.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about chefs, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Boy Who Wanted to Cook to popular sellers like Super Chef Contest to some of our favorite hidden gems like Hole Story of the Doughnut.

We hope this list of kids books about chefs can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Little Chef
Written by Matt Stine and Elisabeth Weinberg & illustrated by Paige Keiser
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

In honor of the special day, Lizzie wakes up super early, as any good chef should, to prepare the perfect meal for her grandmother, whom Lizzie lauds as the greatest chef in the world.

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Hole Story of the Doughnut
Written by Pat Miller & illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

In 1843, fourteen-year-old Hanson Gregory left his family home in Rockport, Maine, and set sail as a cabin boy on the schooner Achorn, looking for high-stakes adventure on the high seas. Little did he know that a boatload of hungry sailors, coupled with his knack for creative problem-solving, would yield one of the world’s most prized and beloved pastries. Lively and inventive cut-paper illustrations add a taste of whimsy to this sweet, fact-filled story that includes an extensive bibliography, author’s note, and timeline.

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Molly, by Golly!
Written by Dianne Ochiltree & illustrated by Kathleen Kemly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Introduces the first known female firefighter, Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City’s Fire Company 11, who one winter day in 1818 with many volunteers sick with influenza jumped into action to stop a house fire.

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Super Chef Contest
Written by Geronimo Stilton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

My cousin Trap was entering the Super Chef Contest, which determines the best cook on Mouse Island – and he was bringing me along as an assistant! Slimy Swiss cheese, I don’t know the first thing about cooking fancy dishes . . . and I didn’t think Trap did, either. I was in for an appetizing adventure!

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The Cook and the King
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The king searches his kingdom far and wide for the perfect cook. He’s very particular, and none of the cooks can get the job done just right. Until the king meets Wobbly Bob. The king thinks Wobbly Bob might be the perfect fit, but there’s just one small hitch—Wobbly Bob is afraid of everything. He’s afraid that he’ll nick himself with the sharp kitchen knives, and he’s afraid he’ll get dirt from the vegetable garden on his new apron. Wobbly Bob needs a companion to help him feel brave, so the king himself tags along every step of the way. This tale of unlikely friendship is a fun and hilarious romp from a bestselling team.

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  • A Dash of Dragon - A thirteen-year-old master chef has a lot to prove as she tries to run a five-star restaurant, cook the perfect dragon cuisine, repay a greedy loan shark, and outsmart the Elven mafia in this entertaining novel that combines all of the best ingredients—fantasy, humor, adventure, action, cute boys, and a feisty heroine! Lailu Loganberry is an expert at hunting dangerous beasts. And she’s even better at cooking them. For years Lailu has trained to be the best chef in the city. Her specialty? Monster cuisine. When her mentor agrees to open a new restaurant with Lailu as the head chef, she’s never been more excited. But her celebration is cut short when she discovers that her mentor borrowed money from Mr. Boss, a vicious loan shark. If they can’t pay him back, Lailu will not only lose her restaurant—she’ll have to cook for Mr. Boss for the rest of her life. As Lailu scrambles to raise the money in time, she becomes trapped in a deadly conflict between the king’s cold-blooded assassin, the terrifying elf mafia, and Mr. Boss’ ruthless crew. Worst of all, her only hope in outsmarting Mr. Boss lies with the one person she hates—Greg, the most obnoxious boy in school and her rival in the restaurant business. But like Lailu always says, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. And she’s determined to succeed, no matter the cost!

  • How the Cookie Crumbled - In this unique and clever picture book, Gilbert Ford sheds a little light on everyone’s favorite sweet treat—the chocolate chip cookie—and reminds readers everywhere that just because a story is told doesn’t mean it’s true. Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! Mmmmm! Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies! But not everyone knows where they came from. Meet Ruth Wakefield, the talented chef and entrepreneur who started a restaurant, wrote a cookbook, and invented this delicious dessert. But just how did she do it, you ask? That’s where things get messy…

  • The Boy Who Wanted to Cook - Ten-year-old Pierre dreams of being a chef at his parents’ restaurant, La Bonne Vache, in the south of France but is told he is too young; however, when an important guest comes to visit, Pierre sees an opportunity to prove himself. Includes notes about dining in France and a glossary.

  • Because of Thursday - From critically acclaimed author Patricia Polacco comes a heartwarming story about a girl named Annie, her lucky Thursdays, and a special cat who comes into her life just in time to make everything right. <p/>Thursdays have always been lucky for Annie Fetlock. She was born on a Thursday. She won her first cooking contest at the age of eight on a Thursday. She met the love of her life, Mario, on a Thursday. They were married on a bright Thursday afternoon and their two children were both born on a Thursday. Annie is known far and wide for her Poke Pasta Salad and has the most popular restaurant for miles around. <p/>When Mario suddenly passes away, Annie’s joy and love of cooking disappears. Before too long, a little kitty appears and Annie takes the kitty in, and, of course, calls it Thursday. Annie is back making Poke Salad in no time. Thursday the cat is known for amazing twirls and tricks and one day his twirls land him in Annie’s draining rigatoni, causing the pot of hot oil, garlic, and peppers to spill into the pasta! Then the entire container of Parmesan cheese overturned into the mix. The customers were horrified until they noticed that what looked like a big mess had the most amazing aroma and turned out to be the most delicious pasta dish ever created! Ugly Pasta–the dish that would make Annie famous for miles around–was born. And of course it was a Thursday!

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Dumpling Dreams
Written by Carrie Clickard & illustrated by Katy Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“The story of how Joyce Chen, a girl born in Communist China, immigrated to the United States and popularized Chinese cooking.”–

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