Whether you already have a little chef on your hands or are looking to drum up a little more interest, these fun books about cooking are a great introduction to the culinary world from a literary perspective. From the Strega Nona’s classic magic pasta pot to board books that let you interactively make pizza as you turn the pages, there’s something on this age group for every interest level and attention span. Get out your aprons and mixing bowls, because these will have you in the mood to do some cooking sooner or later!
Atlas of Food - Discovering the flavors and traditions of cooking around the world! A worldwide trip among main and wellknown traditional dishes, to learn the tradition and the relation to nature of the people who created them. The drawings of the dishes on the maps take the reader on a journey through the flavours of the world, enriching their understanding of traditions and, why not, stirring the appetite.
Pancakes to Parathas - Breakfast varies from country to country, but it’s how all children begin their day. Explore the meals of twelve countries in this playful approach to the world! From Australia to India to the USA, come travel around the world at dawn. Children everywhere are waking up to breakfast. In Japan, students eat soured soybeans called natto. In Brazil, even kids drink coffee—with lots of milk! With rhythm and rhymes and bold, graphic art, Pancakes to Parathas invites young readers to explore the world through the most important meal of the day.
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.
Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao - Meet the funny, fierce, and fearless Amy Wu, who is determined to make a perfect bao bun today. Can she rise to the occasion? Amy loves to make bao with her family. But it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious. And her bao keep coming out all wrong. Then she has an idea that may give her a second chance…Will Amy ever make the perfect bao?
Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen - The first book in a new chapter book series featuring a spunky Japanese-American heroine! Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker! She’s also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophie—something special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous that her sister gets to help roll mochi balls by hand with the women. Her mom says that Jasmine is still too young to join in, so she hatches a plan to help the men pound the mochi rice instead. Surely her sister has never done THAT before. But pounding mochi is traditionally reserved for boys. And the mochi hammer is heavier than it looks. Can Jasmine build her case and her mochi-making muscles in time for New Year’s Day?
The Doughnut Fix - An Amazon Best Book of the Month! Superfudge meets The Lemonade War in this funny, heartwarming series debut about change, adventure, family, and of course, doughnuts. Tristan isn’t Gifted or Talented like his sister Jeanine, and he’s always been okay with that because he can make a perfect chocolate chip cookie and he lives in the greatest city in the world. But his life takes a turn for the worse when his parents decide to move to middle-of-nowhere Petersville―a town with one street and no restaurants. It’s like suddenly they’re supposed to be this other family, one that can survive without bagels and movie theaters. His suspicions about his new town are confirmed when he’s tricked into believing the local general store has life-changing chocolate cream doughnuts, when in fact the owner hasn’t made them in years. And so begins the only thing that could make life in Petersville worth living: getting the recipe, making the doughnuts, and bringing them back to the town through his very own doughnut stand. But Tristan will soon discover that when starting a business, it helps to be both Gifted and Talented, and It’s possible he’s bitten off more than he can chew…
Want to see books about family life?
Pizza! - -
Clementine Rose and the Bake-Off Dilemma 14 - Clementine Rose is bursting with plans for the school holidays! But with the announcement that a new cooking show will be filmed in the village, everything changes. While Clementine is disappointed that her activities have been cancelled, she soon has an idea and takes to the kitchen in a baking frenzy. If only her mother wasn’t feeling so sick and could help out when things turn sticky. Everyone wants to be a part of the show - especially Mrs Bottomley! - and it doesn’t take long before temperatures are running high. With the main event being held at Penberthy House, Clementine has the inside scoop and spies some surprising behaviour from the contestants. Will she uncover a secret? And will the show be a flop, or a scrumptious success?
Bear Goes Sugaring - Learn how to make syrup the old fashioned way with the help of a friendly bear and her amusingly unhelpful accomplices Dog and Squirrel in this informative comics-style picture book. Did you know that it takes forty gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup? “How many pancakes can I eat with that gallon?” wonders Dog. Every step of the process of making maple syrup is covered in this sweet (but never saccharine) informational picture book by Maxwell Eaton III, the creator of the popular “Truth About” series. It begins with Bear assembling the tools she’ll need for the project, continues with a discussion of the types of maples found in the area and why sugar maples are best for tapping, then on to drilling, tapping, evaporation and at the end of the process, real maple syrup and best of all, PANCAKES! Along the way there are hilarious asides from increasingly ravenous Dog and Squirrel, making this a book as funny as it is informative. Helpful back matter and suggestions for further reading complete the package. A Junior Library Guild Selection
Gabi's Fabulous Functions - Computer coding in the kitchen? Yes! Best friends Gabi and Adi are baking a special birthday treat-and making a recipe is a lot like creating a function in a computer code. These scientifically minded junior programmers are always on the lookout for ways to work coding concepts into their day with Code Play!
Rabbit Cooks Up a Cunning Plan! - The animals of the forest cook meals for Mountain Lion so he won’t eat them, but when it is Rabbit’s turn to cook, he devises a plan instead to get rid of Lion for good.
Noodlephant - Famous for her pasta parties, Noodlephant is shocked when the law-loving kangaroos decide noodles are only for them! Noodlephant won’t let this stand—Noodlephants can’t survive on sticks and branches, after all. Determined to do something to push back against an unjust law, she and her friends invent a machine that transforms pens into penne, pillows into ravioli, and radiators into radiatori. With that, the pasta parties are back! But that very night, the kangaroos come bounding through the door… ready to enforce their unjust laws. A zany tale of full of pasta puns, friendship, and one Phantastic Noodler, Noodlephant, written by Jacob Kramer and illustrated by K-Fai Steele, explores a community’s response to injustice.
Rabbit Stew - Fox brothers Rusty and Rojo toil and till in their vegetable garden all summer long until they’re finally ready to make their splendid, scrumptious, marvelous rabbit stew. Then they begin to pick colorful ingredients one by one, from lean, green runner beans and crunchy orange carrots to fresh sprigs of parsley and roly-poly blueberries. Meanwhile, their pet rabbit watches with his bunny family, all of them getting more and more worried about what’s coming next. Finally the brothers have almost everything they need. All that’s missing is one… big… round… white… bowl! And in a deliciously sweet surprise ending, they use the bowl to serve the concoction to their favorite rabbit, Stew! And his family, too. The whimsical and vibrant artwork is filled with clever details, and every scene includes Stew, his three baby bunnies, and their mother, all trying to stay out of sight, creating a search-and-find element for every spread.
Basil and the Big Cheese Cook-Off - Named one of “13 Detective Book Series You Obsessed Over as a Kid” by Buzzfeed and the inspiration for a hit Disney film, the masterful Great Mouse Detective is back and scurrying off to Paris to discover who’s threatening the organizers of the Great Cheese Cook-off! Basil the mouse detective is called to Paris when the organizers of the Great Cheese Cook-off (an international culinary competition) start receiving threats against the event. Who could want to deprive all of mousedom of one of its tastiest nights? Basil immediately suspects Ratigan, who has escaped yet again and was seen lurking around Paris (and who, perhaps, holds a particular grudge against the event’s organizers). He sets off on his investigation at the event’s location, the Parisian College of Cooking (where local foodie mice hide out and take advantage of the school’s kitchens after the human students have departed each evening). But Basil is baffled when circumstantial evidence shows that it couldn’t have been his old enemy after all. With one suspect crossed off the list, it’s up to Basil to find out what’s going on—before those anonymouse threats ruin the Cook-Off—for good!
Want to see books about animals?
The Cook and the King - 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.
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…
Want to see books about chefs?
Mini Rabbit Is Not Lost - Mini Rabbit is prepared to travel far and wide when he and Mother Rabbit realize they’ve run out of berries for the cake they’re baking. And really, it’s all about cake. Mini Rabbit and Mother Rabbit are just putting the finishing touches on a cake when they realize they’re out of berries! But before Mother Rabbit can even open her mouth, the intrepid Mini Rabbit is out the door. Must have cake, he repeats to himself, as he crosses oceans, climbs mountains, and treks through creepy forests, all the while keeping his eyes peeled for some delicious berries. And as he travels further and further from home, Mini Rabbit insists to everyone who asks that he is not lost. Or is he? At least there’s one thing that can lead Mini Rabbit back home no matter how far he roams…the alluring smell of cake.
The Winner Is . . . - Two talented junior chefs have sliced and diced their way into the finale of Next Best Junior Chef. This week’s theme: innovation. Which junior chef will rise to the top and earn the title of Next Best Junior Chef? And whose goose is cooked? Two contestants compete on- and off-camera, but only one will win the whole enchilada. This is a finale you won’t want to miss! Bonus: includes real cooking techniques for the aspiring young chef!
What’s Your Favorite Food? - Everybody has a favorite food. Some enjoy sweet treats like rich honey or ripe, juicy berries. Others prefer the savory comforts of warming matzo ball soup or creamy chicken Alfredo. With beautiful illustrations and charming personal stories, fourteen children’s book artists share their favorite foods and why they love them. Artists include: Aki, Isabelle Arsenault, Brigette Barrager, Matthew Cordell, Benji Davies, Karen Katz, Laurie Keller, Juliet Menendez, Greg Pizzoli, Misa Saburi, Felicita Sala, Dan Santat, Shannon Wright.
Bring Me Some Apples and I'll Make You a Pie - From the whippoorwill’s call on the first day of spring through the first snowfall, Edna Lewis and members of her family gather fruits, berries, and vegetables from the fields, garden, and orchard on their Virginia farm and turn them into wonderful meals, a wonderful beginning for a woman who would become an award-winning African-American chef.
Dumpling Dreams - “The story of how Joyce Chen, a girl born in Communist China, immigrated to the United States and popularized Chinese cooking.”—
Holy Squawkamole! - This tasty takeonthe classic Little Red Hen story has a deliciously spicy twist! Yum, guacamole! That’s what Little Red Hen craves, and she could use some help gathering and mashing the ingredients. So she asks her friends, including an armadillo, snake, and iguana, to lend a hand. Every one just says “no.” But after Little Red Hen works hard to make the scrumptious fresh guac, all the animals want a taste. In a fun departure from the original tale, Little Red Hen cooks up a comeuppance for the slackers that they’ll never forget!
Boy Dumplings: A Tasty Chinese Tale - Enjoy this hilarious and fun-filled tale, now with extra illustrations! In long ago China, a ghost can’t wait to sink his teeth into his next meal. Luckily he finds a plump boy! But can the child think fast enough to avoid becoming a midnight snack? Maybe so, if the ghost tries cooking the tricky recipe for “boy dumplings”…
Katie in the Kitchen - Katie wants to be helpful, and so she starts making dinner on her own.
Want to see books about places and regions?
The Size of the Truth - A boy who spent three days trapped in a well tries to overcome his PTSD and claustrophobia so he can fulfill his dream of becoming a famous chef in Andrew Smith’s first middle grade novel. When he was four years old, Sam Abernathy was trapped at the bottom of a well for three days, where he was teased by a smart-aleck armadillo named Bartleby. Since then, his parents plan every move he makes. But Sam doesn’t like their plans. He doesn’t want to go to MIT. And he doesn’t want to skip two grades, being stuck in the eighth grade as an eleven-year-old with James Jenkins, the boy he’s sure pushed him into the well in the first place. He wants to be a chef. And he’s going to start by entering the first annual Blue Creek Days Colonel Jenkins Macaroni and Cheese Cook-Off. That is, if he can survive eighth grade, and figure out the size of the truth that has slipped Sam’s memory for seven years.
Bear and Chicken - When Bear finds a chicken frozen in the winter snow, he brings it home to try to defrost it. As Chicken thaws-um, awakens-he fears that Bear is actually prepping to eat him. Oh no! All signs are pointing to a fateful end for Chicken-being wrapped like a burrito, chopped basil and veggies sitting on the counter, the huge pot on the stove that’s just the right size for a chicken to fit inside. It’s almost time for lunch, so Chicken makes a run for it! But in the end, Chicken learns that perhaps he too quickly jumped to conclusions. This funny and clever friendship tale teaches kids that things are not always as they seem, while learning a thing or two about making soup with a friend!
Krista Kim-Bap - Krista and Jason have been best friends since preschool. It never mattered that he was a boy with reddish brown hair and she was “the Korean girl” at school. Now in fifth grade, everyone in their class is preparing their Heritage Month projects. Jason has always loved Krista’s Korean family, and particularly her mom’s cooking, but Krista is conflicted about being her school’s “Korean Ambassador.” She’s also worried about asking her intimidating grandma to teach the class how to cook their traditional kim-bap. Combine that with her new friends pulling her away from Jason, and Krista has a lot to deal with this year!
Original Recipe - Finley’s best friend Henry is about to turn nine, and Finley has a major problem: she has no idea what to give him for his birthday. He already owns all of her best creations! The school cook-off might be the perfect solution. The grand prize is a year’s worth of Flying Pie Pizza ― Henry’s favorite. But coming up with something original and tasty is harder than it looks. As one crazy concoction leads to another, Finley discovers that cooking is just like the rest of life ― things don’t always turn out as planned and friendship is the real prize.
Jewish Holidays All Year Round - Explains the origins and meaning of the major Jewish holidays, describes how they are observed, and suggests related crafts and recipes.
Bone Soup - One Halloween morning three witches are looking for a tasty treat and they find only a small bone in their cupboard. So they decide to go from door to door in their village to find just the right ingredients for their Bone Soup. No one in the village is convinced that soup can be made from a bone, until the littlest monster reveals just what the special ingredient should be.
A Sweet Passover - In this charming and humorous story, Miriam discovers—with the help of her family and a little matzah bread—the true meaning and importance of Passover. Miriam loves spending time with her family during Passover, and all week long she is happy to eat lots of matzah. But when she wakes up on the last day of the holiday, she is sick of matzah and refuses to eat it ever again. Then Grandpa makes his special matzah brei for the whole family, and Miriam learns there’s more to Passover than just the matzah.
Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons - Rabbi Benjamin loves his congregation, and they love him. That’s why on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the Rabbi’s congregation presents him with a special holiday vest with four silver buttons and decorated with designs symbolizing the major holidays celebrated throughout the year. Rabbi Benjamin loves it! He also loves all the holiday treats that his families proudly fill him with-including delicious, crispy latkes; scrumptious matzoh-ball soup; irresistible apple torte; and honey cake. As the year passes, Rabbi Benjamin’s beautiful vest stretches tighter and tighter across his belly, and one by one the shiny silver buttons pop!-pop!-pop! off. When summer comes, Rabbi helps his congregation with their gardening, with the hiding of Chanukah presents, with the apple picking, and the fishing. Will all this hard work help Rabbi fit into his beautiful vest when Rosh Hashanah rolls around again?
Want to see books about holidays?
Octopus Stew - What do you do when an octopus captures Grandma? Put on your superhero cape and rescue her! Two stories in one from award-winning Afro-Latino artist Eric Velasquez. The octopus Grandma is cooking has grown to titanic proportions. “¡Tenga cuidado!” Ramsey shouts. “Be careful!” But it’s too late. The octopus traps Grandma! Ramsey uses both art and intellect to free his beloved abuela. Then the story takes a surprising twist. And it can be read two ways. Open the fold-out pages to find Ramsey telling a story to his family. Keep the pages folded, and Ramsey’s octopus adventure is real. This beautifully illustrated picture book, drawn from the author’s childhood memories, celebrates creativity, heroism, family, grandmothers, grandsons, Puerto Rican food, Latinx culture and more.
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat - From highly acclaimed author Jenkins and Caldecott Medal–winning illustrator Blackall comes a fascinating picture book in which four families, in four different cities, over four centuries, make the same delicious dessert: blackberry fool. This richly detailed book ingeniously shows how food, technology, and even families have changed throughout American history. In 1710, a girl and her mother in Lyme, England, prepare a blackberry fool, picking wild blackberries and beating cream from their cow with a bundle of twigs. The same dessert is prepared by an enslaved girl and her mother in 1810 in Charleston, South Carolina; by a mother and daughter in 1910 in Boston; and finally by a boy and his father in present-day San Diego. Kids and parents alike will delight in discovering the differences in daily life over the course of four centuries. Includes a recipe for blackberry fool and notes from the author and illustrator about their research.
Applesauce Day - Maria and her family visit an apple orchard and pick apples. Then it’s time to turn the apples into applesauce! Every year they use the special pot that has been in the family for generations to make applesauce. First they wash the apples. Then Grandma cuts them into quarters. Follow each step in the process as everyone helps to make delicious applesauce!
The Secret Recipe - Sofia helps her abuela make arroz con leche for the church dinner, but things don’t go as planned. Find out if Sofia is able to fix the recipe so her grandma isn’t embarrassed in this early chapter book.