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Cooking: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about cooking?

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!

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Top 10 Books About Cooking

#1
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Stone Soup
Written & illustrated by Jon J Muth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An award-winning artist adds a Zen twist to a favorite tale. As three monks travel along a mountain road, they encounter villagers ravaged by harsh times, making them cold to strangers. When the monks entice them to make soup from stones, the villagers discover how much they have to give. Full color.

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#2
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Chicken Soup With Rice: A Book of Months
Written & illustrated by Maurice Sendak
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

In this beloved classic, Maurice Sendak blends his signature artwork with rhymes you’ll want to read over and over—in every season.

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#3
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Strega Nona
Written & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Thoughts from Grammy
At our house, we have loved Tomie De Paola books for decades. The original Strega Nona is a big favorite! There are so many wonderful things about this book: the importance of listening carefully, trust, independence, natural consequences and having the punishment fit the crime, best of all, the magic in this book is really just three kisses. The color palate for DePaola's illustrations is right out of 'once upon a time' in Italy, as are the architectural details and costuming. It is a gentle cautionary tale with manageable consequences--which is a good thing because there is a little Big Anthony in all of us.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works in this classic Caldecott Honor book from Tomie dePaola. Strega Nona—“Grandma Witch”—is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical everfull pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. He is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, Big Anthony recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results. In this retelling of an old tale, author-illustrator Tomie dePaola combines humor in the writing and warmth in the paintings as he builds the story to its hilarious climax.

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#4
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What's Up Tiger?: Food
Written & illustrated by Cocoretto
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
I'm a big fan of this Cocoretto series of books with big sturdy flaps that my toddler can easily open himself as often as he wants with pretty much zero chance of them every ripping off. This book introduces a little bit of ethnic food, along with some fan favorites (like pepperoni pizza!) and it's a fun introduction to different types of baking and cooking. My two year absolutely adores this one right now and can "read" the whole thing himself, which is completely adorable!
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

What are the animals up to? There are lots of clues to help us decide, and we can lift the flap to see if we’re right. A playful way to exercise reasoning, prediction and memory skills, featuring colourful, high-contrast illustrations.

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#5
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Too Many Tamales
Written by Gary Soto & illustrated by Ed Martinez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Maria tries on her mother’s wedding ring while helping make tamales for a Christmas family get-together. Panic ensues when hours later, she realizes the ring is missing.

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#6
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Yasmin the Chef
Written by Saadia Faruqi & illustrated by Hatem Aly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Yasmin’s family is hosting a big party, but Yasmin is worried that the traditional food her family is cooking is too spicy–so her family challenges Yasmin to come up with a dish of her own.

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#7
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All Four Stars
Written & illustrated by Tara Dairman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A zesty new series for fans of MasterChef Jr. and Kids Cook-off! It’s “lights, camera, cook!” for four tween contestants–energetic Tate, charming Rae, worldly Caroline, and hyper-competitive Oliver–who are all about to enter a televised cooking competition. What will the kids cook up? How will they all get along on and off camera? Which junior chef will have the grit–and maybe the grits–to make it through each elimination challenge? And which junior chef will have to hang their apron up for good?

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#8
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Pie
Written & illustrated by Sarah Weeks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

After the death of Polly Portman, whose award-winning pies put the town of Ipswitch, Pennsylvania, on the map in the 1950s, her devoted niece Alice and Alice’s friend Charlie investigate who is going to extremes to find Aunt Polly’s secret pie crust recipe. Includes fourteen pie recipes.

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#9
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Lights, Camera, Cook!
Written by Charise Mericle Harper & illustrated by Aurelie Blard-Quintard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A zesty new series for fans of MasterChef Jr. and Kids Cook-off! It’s “lights, camera, cook!” for four tween contestants–energetic Tate, charming Rae, worldly Caroline, and hyper-competitive Oliver–who are all about to enter a televised cooking competition. What will the kids cook up? How will they all get along on and off camera? Which junior chef will have the grit–and maybe the grits–to make it through each elimination challenge? And which junior chef will have to hang their apron up for good?

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#10
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Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch
Written by Barbara Park & illustrated by Denise Brunkus
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Meet the World’s Funniest First Grader—Junie B. Jones! Something very wonderful is happening to Junie B. And it’s called—hurray, hurray!—she’s getting to be a professional lunch lady! And that means hanging out with Mrs. Gutzman in the cafeteria. And standing behind the counter. And even wearing a real actual hair net! Who knows? Pretty soon she could be the boss of the whole entire lunch operation!

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Cooking and...

Books About Cooking and Culture

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Stone Soup
Written & illustrated by Jon J Muth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An award-winning artist adds a Zen twist to a favorite tale. As three monks travel along a mountain road, they encounter villagers ravaged by harsh times, making them cold to strangers. When the monks entice them to make soup from stones, the villagers discover how much they have to give. Full color.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$15.79
Used $2.10
Prices as of Feb 25
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Strega Nona
Written & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Thoughts from Grammy
At our house, we have loved Tomie De Paola books for decades. The original Strega Nona is a big favorite! There are so many wonderful things about this book: the importance of listening carefully, trust, independence, natural consequences and having the punishment fit the crime, best of all, the magic in this book is really just three kisses. The color palate for DePaola's illustrations is right out of 'once upon a time' in Italy, as are the architectural details and costuming. It is a gentle cautionary tale with manageable consequences--which is a good thing because there is a little Big Anthony in all of us.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When Strega Nona leaves him alone with her magic pasta pot, Big Anthony is determined to show the townspeople how it works in this classic Caldecott Honor book from Tomie dePaola. Strega Nona—“Grandma Witch”—is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical everfull pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. He is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, Big Anthony recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results. In this retelling of an old tale, author-illustrator Tomie dePaola combines humor in the writing and warmth in the paintings as he builds the story to its hilarious climax.

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$7.64
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$8.99
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The Magical World of Strega Nona
Written & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Enter the marvelous, magical world of Strega Nona!

This wonderful treasury features six favorite stories about Strega Nona and her sidekick, the bumbling Big Anthony—including the original Strega Nona, as well as Strega Nona Meets Her Match, Strega Nona: Her Story, Strega Nona Takes a Vacation, Strega Nona’s Harvest, and Strega Nona’s Gift. Tomie’s brand-new introductions to each story take readers behind the scenes to see how Strega Nona’s world has developed through the years. Also including an original lullaby—with sheet music and a CD—a map of Strega Nona’s town, and some fun recipes, this collection will give readers and music lovers much to savor.

Strega Nona, Tomie dePaola’s beloved “grandmother witch,” has been enchanting readers since the publication of the Caldecott Honor Award–winning Strega Nona in 1975. Strega Nona’s gentle humor, irrepressible spirit, and matter-of-fact approach to life have won her legions of fans young and old, and the American Library Association called her “an enduring character who has charmed generations of children.”

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

Books About Cooking and Baking

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The Seven Silly Eaters
Written by Mary Ann Hoberman & illustrated by Marla Frazee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Seven fussy eaters find a way to surprise their mother.

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Cookies!
Written & illustrated by Lotta Nieminen
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Bake cookies from scratch inside this interactive recipe book - sift the flour, whisk the sugar, crack the egg, pour the chocolate chips, and more! Simple yet factual recipe text takes readers through the steps of baking cookies, from combining the dry ingredients to pulling fresh cookies out of the oven, while the interactive features invite them to participate in the process. Move the sifter from side to side to separate the flour, turn the wheel to mix the batter, pull the tab to crack the egg, slide the oven tray out, and more! One hundred percent adult-free, danger-free, and mess-free - baking cookies has never been so independent! The fourth book in Nieminen’s bestselling COOK IN A BOOK series. Ages 2-4

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Pie
Written & illustrated by Sarah Weeks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

After the death of Polly Portman, whose award-winning pies put the town of Ipswitch, Pennsylvania, on the map in the 1950s, her devoted niece Alice and Alice’s friend Charlie investigate who is going to extremes to find Aunt Polly’s secret pie crust recipe. Includes fourteen pie recipes.

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  1. Anna, Banana, and the Recipe for Disaster - Anna and Banana must cook up a solution when her jealousy gets her into some hot water in the sixth book of this “fast-paced, fun, and funny” (Megan McDonald, bestselling author of the Judy Moody series) illustrated chapter book series about the joys and challenges of elementary school friendships. After watching the contestants on The Batter-Up Bake-Off Show whip up sweet treats, Anna, Isabel, Sadie, and Banana are ready to put their culinary chops to the test. The plan? To make the best-ever cookie recipe for the town library’s bake sale! There’s only one problem: Isabel and Sadie have started hanging out with a girl named Monica, and suddenly she’s all they can talk about. Anna’s sure she, Sadie, and Isabel are complete as a trio, and winning the bake sale will prove it. But when Monica shows up with Sadie and Isabel for their big baking day things quickly turn from sweet to sour. Can Anna win back the attention of her two besties, or will she learn that friendship—like cookies—is best when shared?

  2. 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!

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

Books About Cooking and Soups

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Chicken Soup With Rice: A Book of Months
Written & illustrated by Maurice Sendak
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

In this beloved classic, Maurice Sendak blends his signature artwork with rhymes you’ll want to read over and over—in every season.

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Soup Day
Written & illustrated by Melissa Iwai
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This is a very unique book.I really enjoyed reading it. The little girl gets to help her mother make soup, and while it's cooking they get to play, and then clean up and then eat the delicious soup together. I loved that it showed how children can help their parents and then, often, their parents have time to play with them. When there is order there is enjoyment by all. It also has a recipe at the end which is a very fun touch.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Now in board book! A young girl and her mother shop to buy ingredients for vegetable soup. At home, they work together—step by step—to prepare the meal. A little later, the family sits down to enjoy a special dinner. Melissa Iwai’s Soup Day celebrates the importance of making a nutritious meal and sharing in the process as a family. A Christy Ottaviano Book

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Pumpkin Soup
Written & illustrated by Helen Cooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

By the Kate Greenaway Medalist Deep in the woods in an old white cabin, three friends make their pumpkin soup the same way every day. The Cat slices up the pumpkin, the Squirrel stirs in the water, and the Duck tips in just enough salt. But one day the Duck wants to stir instead, and then there is a horrible squabble, and he leaves the cabin in a huff. It isn’t long before the Cat and the Squirrel start to worry about him and begin a search for their friend. Rendered in pictures richly evoking autumn, Helen Cooper’s delightful story will resonate for an child who has known the difficulties that come with friendship. Included at the end is a recipe for delicious pumpkin soup.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Gazpacho for Nacho - Nacho likes to eat only one thing–gazpacho! Gazpacho for breakfast, gazpacho for lunch, gazpacho for dinner, for snacks, and for brunch. Nacho won’t even try other dishes–until he discovers miles and piles of mouthwatering vegetables at the market. This lively rhyming story, sprinkled with Spanish, will delight little chefs. A recipe for Gazpacho and a Spanish glossary are included.

  2. Every Color Soup - Purple, yellow, orange, and red. Just the right mix of colored vegetables make a delicious soup in this tasty introduction to colors, counting, and veggies. <p/>All you need is a pot, a spoon, an adult helper, and vegetables of many colors to make a very special soup–Every Color Soup! Learn colors and vegetable names in this bright and colorful picture book with minimal text perfect for the beginning reader. Jorey Hurley’s bright, graphic art and simple text make this vibrant book a perfect read-aloud for budding cooks and their families. This lively picture book also comes with a recipe!

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Books About Cooking and Chefs

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The Boy Who Wanted to Cook
Written by Gloria Whelan & illustrated by Steve Adams
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

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.

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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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  1. Molly, by Golly! - 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.

  2. Super Chef Contest - 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

Want to see books about chefs?

Books About Cooking and Cooking And Food

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Even Aliens Need Snacks
Written & illustrated by Matthew McElligott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the follow up to his breakout picture book, Even Monsters Need Haircuts, Matthew McElligott brings back the young monster barber in a new tale where his culinary concoctions bring him galaxy-wide fame. Creating snacks that make most humans queasy, this chef has found a new clientele–aliens. Readers will delight in McElligott’s gently offbeat humor and unique artistry as spaceships full of hilarious creatures line up for a taste of the intergalactic cuisine.

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We're Going to the Farmers' Market
Written & illustrated by Stefan Page
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This is one of my favorite board books! You can't beat the vivid, bright, beautiful colors and illustrations in this book, and I love that it talks kids through where their food comes from, starting with the farmers and ending up on their plates.
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

In this story, readers get to visit local farmers, fill baskets with fresh fruits and vegetables, and then head home to cook a feast, all with goodies from the farmers’ market! Featuring Stefan Page’s graphic art, this delightful board book is filled with bold splashes of color and unique patterns.

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Let's Eat!: Mealtime Around the World
Written by Lynne Marie & illustrated by Parwinder Singh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Author and travel agent Lynne Marie invites readers to try something new and learn about other cultures around the world.

Dig in to this fun and informational book that explores foods from 13 countries around the world. Meet characters from countries including Sweden, Peru, Pakistan, Nigeria, and more as they enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be inspired to try something new and learn about other cultures. Let’s eat!

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  1. Pizza! - The Book Snob Mom -

    This is a delightfully original take on a "cookbook" for kids, that combines the text of a recipe with minimalist illustrations and sturdy interactive elements that are 100% the pizzazz factor and without which it would be quite boring. WITH the interactive elements, however, kids get to experience a recipe and what it means to follow one while staying involved and doing some mess-free cooking!

  2. 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?

  3. Pancakes!: An Interactive Recipe Book - Cook pancakes from scratch inside this interactive recipe book -- readers whisk the eggs, flip the pancakes, and more!

  4. Fred Pudding - Grandma and her grandson are making bread pudding, but her dog, Fred, has his own plans! While the humans are in the kitchen, Fred is busy shredding papers and tissues in the living room. When Grandma mixes, Fred runs in circles, and when she bakes the pudding, Fred lies on the floor under a sunny window. Will the delicious dessert make up for the mess Fred made? This hilarious adventure, inspired by quintessential dog shenanigans, is sure to make all families and dog lovers laugh.

Books About Cooking and Multigenerational

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Yasmin the Chef
Written by Saadia Faruqi & illustrated by Hatem Aly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Yasmin’s family is hosting a big party, but Yasmin is worried that the traditional food her family is cooking is too spicy–so her family challenges Yasmin to come up with a dish of her own.

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Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao
Written by Kat Zhang & illustrated by Charlene Chua
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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?

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Octopus Stew
Written & illustrated by Eric Velasquez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

Books About Cooking and Animals

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What's Up Tiger?: Food
Written & illustrated by Cocoretto
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
I'm a big fan of this Cocoretto series of books with big sturdy flaps that my toddler can easily open himself as often as he wants with pretty much zero chance of them every ripping off. This book introduces a little bit of ethnic food, along with some fan favorites (like pepperoni pizza!) and it's a fun introduction to different types of baking and cooking. My two year absolutely adores this one right now and can "read" the whole thing himself, which is completely adorable!
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

What are the animals up to? There are lots of clues to help us decide, and we can lift the flap to see if we’re right. A playful way to exercise reasoning, prediction and memory skills, featuring colourful, high-contrast illustrations.

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A Recipe for How Much I Love You
Written by Danielle Kartes & illustrated by Dubravka Kolanovic
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3

A sugary sweet board book that brings together feelings of love in a unique “recipe” that’s perfect for sharing!

Saying “I love you” is one of the many reasons people cook for each other. Discover the special ingredients you need to make a joyful lives with those you love!

½ cup togetherness
2 heaping cups of love
just a pinch of courage
plenty of snuggles
and YOU!

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The Cazuela That The Farm Maiden Stirred
Written by Samantha R Vamos & illustrated by Rafael López
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This is the story of how the farm maiden, farmer, and five farm animals all work together to make a surprise recipe (rice pudding or arroz con leche) that they serve at a fiesta. With the familiarity of “The House That Jack Built,” this story bubbles and builds just like the ingredients of the arroz con leche that everyone enjoys. Cleverly incorporating Spanish words, adding a new one in place of the English word from the previous page, this book makes learning the language easy and fun. Rafael Lopez covers each page with vibrant, exuberant color, celebrating tradition and community. Back matter includes a glossary of Spanish words and a recipe for arroz con leche—perfect for everyone to make together and enjoy at story time.

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  1. Duck Soup (Max the Duck) - Max the duck is cooking up an amazing soup. But what’s this? A feather floating in the soup! And where’s Max? Brody the dog, Dakota the cat, and Bebe the bird race about in their hilarious search for the missing Max. But remember, sometimes things just aren’t as they appear.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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Books About Cooking and Contests

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Lights, Camera, Cook!
Written by Charise Mericle Harper & illustrated by Aurelie Blard-Quintard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A zesty new series for fans of MasterChef Jr. and Kids Cook-off! It’s “lights, camera, cook!” for four tween contestants–energetic Tate, charming Rae, worldly Caroline, and hyper-competitive Oliver–who are all about to enter a televised cooking competition. What will the kids cook up? How will they all get along on and off camera? Which junior chef will have the grit–and maybe the grits–to make it through each elimination challenge? And which junior chef will have to hang their apron up for good?

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Heat Is On
Written by Charise Mericle Harper & illustrated by Aurelie Blard-Quintard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
The competition heats up in episode two of this zesty series for fans of kids' cooking competitions!
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The Size of the Truth
Written by Andrew Smith
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

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  1. 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.

  2. Princess and the Peas - In this adaptation of The Princess and the Pea, Ma Sally cooks the best black-eyed peas in Charleston County, South Carolina. Her son, John, is a highly eligible bachelor, and three local women vie for his hand in marriage by attempting to cook as well as Ma. At the last minute, a surprise contestant named Princess arrives at the door. Princess and John are well-matched, but Princess has her own ideas. When told she has won John’s hand, she asks him to scrub the pots and pans before she’ll give him an answer. Her answer, it turns out, is that she wants to spend some time getting to know John first. Backmatter includes an author’s note and a recipe for Princess’s Black-eyed Peas.

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Books About Cooking and Friendship

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All Four Stars
Written & illustrated by Tara Dairman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A zesty new series for fans of MasterChef Jr. and Kids Cook-off! It’s “lights, camera, cook!” for four tween contestants–energetic Tate, charming Rae, worldly Caroline, and hyper-competitive Oliver–who are all about to enter a televised cooking competition. What will the kids cook up? How will they all get along on and off camera? Which junior chef will have the grit–and maybe the grits–to make it through each elimination challenge? And which junior chef will have to hang their apron up for good?

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Just Add Magic
Written by Cindy Callaghan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Take three friends. Add an old cookbook. Combine with cute boys and a pinch of magic…and see what kind of chaos ensues! When Kelly Quinn and her two BFFs discover a dusty old cookbook while cleaning out the attic, the girls decide to try a few of the mysterious and supposedly magical recipes that are inside. To their surprise, the Keep ‘Em Quiet Cobbler actually silences Kelly’s pesky little brother and the Hexberry Tart puts a curse on mean girl Charlotte. Is it possible that the recipes really are magic? Who wrote them and where did they come from? And most importantly of all, when boys get involved, what kind of trouble are the girls stirring up for themselves?

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Bear and Chicken
Written & illustrated by Jannie Ho
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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!

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  1. Julia, Child - Julia and Simca are two young friends who agree that you can never use too much butter – and that it is best to be a child forever. Sharing a love of cooking and having no wish to turn into big, busy people who worry too much and dawdle too little, they decide to create a feast for growing and staying young. A playful, scrumptious celebration of the joy of eating, the importance of never completely growing up and mastering the art of having a good time, <i>Julia, Child</i> is a fictional tale loosely inspired by the life and spirit of the very real Julia Child – a story that should be taken with a grain of salt and a generous pat of butter.

  2. Mr. Men: A Very Thankful Thanksgiving - Get ready for an extra-big helping of fun when you celebrate Thanksgiving with the characters from Mr. Men Little Miss! It takes a lot of work to get everyone around the table on Thanksgiving. But once all the Mr. Men Little Miss characters sit down, they realize they have a lot to be thankful for.

Books About Cooking and Social Themes

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Freedom Soup
Written by Tami Charles & illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Join the celebration in the kitchen as a family makes their traditional New Year’s soup — and shares the story of how Haitian independence came to be.

The shake-shake of maracas vibrates down to my toes. Ti Gran’s feet tap-tap to the rhythm.

Every year, Haitians all over the world ring in the new year by eating a special soup, a tradition dating back to the Haitian Revolution. This year, Ti Gran is teaching Belle how to make the soup — Freedom Soup — just like she was taught when she was a little girl. Together, they dance and clap as they prepare the holiday feast, and Ti Gran tells Belle about the history of the soup, the history of Belle’s family, and the history of Haiti, where Belle’s family is from. In this celebration of cultural traditions passed from one generation to the next, Jacqueline Alcántara’s lush illustrations bring to life both Belle’s story and the story of the Haitian Revolution. Tami Charles’s lyrical text, as accessible as it is sensory, makes for a tale that readers will enjoy to the last drop.

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Bilal Cooks Daal
Written by Aisha Saeed & illustrated by Anoosha Syed
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Six-year-old Bilal introduces his friends to his favorite dish—daal!—in this charming picture book that showcases the value of patience, teamwork, community, and sharing. Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting. Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does? This debut picture book by Aisha Saeed, with charming illustrations by Anoosha Syed, uses food as a means of bringing a community together to share in each other’s family traditions.

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A Place at the Table
Written by Laura Shovan and Saadia Faruqi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12
A timely, accessible, and beautifully written story exploring themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong, featuring sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara's mom.
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  1. 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.

  2. Every Night Is Pizza Night - Pipo thinks that pizza is the best. No, Pipo knows that pizza is the best. It is scientific fact. But when she sets out on a neighborhood-spanning quest to prove it, she discovers that "best" might not mean what she thought it meant.

  3. 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…

  4. Potion Problems - Kelly Quinn and her friends must figure out a way to save a beloved local store and find their infamous Secret Recipe Book, which has gone missing in this sequel to Just Add Magic (the inspiration for the family-friendly TV series)! Kelly Quinn and her best friends, Darbie and Hannah, are having the worst day ever! Their Secret Recipe Book accidentally gets included in frenemy, Charlotte’s used book drive. Not good. As if that’s not enough, the girls find out that their cooking program is on the chopping block at school, thanks to big budget cuts. Kelly & Company decide to take matters into their own hands and apply for famous TV chef Felice Foudini’s Recipe Challenge. The prize? $10,000 and webisodes on Felice’s site. With the Book and the special ingredients from their beloved mentor, Senora Perez’s, store LaCucina, the girls are sure to win. But when they turn to Senora Perez, for help, they discover La Cucina is in danger of closing! Then Kelly gets a mysterious delivery—a package with the missing Secret Recipe Book with a note: “From KE.” KE is one of the Book’s authors, but who is KE exactly? It’s up to Kelly, Darbie, and Hannah to get to the bottom of the mystery, save the cooking program, and help Senora P. keep her store!

Books About Cooking and Places And Regions

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Tacos!: An Interactive Recipe Book
Written & illustrated by Lotta Nieminen
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This is such a fabulous interactive book, though I'd recommend it being for a little bit older children, as there are a lot of pieces you can take out of this book. This interactive book is perfect for little ones interested in food and cooking, and I love that it has an actual recipe full of directions!
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

For kids who cook in a play kitchen or a real kitchen, this interactive recipe book invites readers to chop the vegetables, mash the avocado, warm the tortillas, and more - all inside the book! Step one: Cut the chicken into cubes and toss it in a bowl with the spices. Step two: Warm oil on a skillet on the stove, then add the chicken. Step three: While the chicken cooks, chop the scallions, slice the radishes, shred the cabbage, mince the cilantro. Simple yet accurate recipe text takes readers through the steps of cooking tacos, while the interactive novelty features such as pull tabs, sliders, wheels, and pop-out pieces invite them to participate in the process. Perfect for kids who love to help in the kitchen, or any child who prefers to “do it myself.” This is the third title in the COOK IN A BOOK series.

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First Book of Sushi
Written & illustrated by Amy Wilson Sanger
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Miso in my sippy cup, tofu in my bowl! From tekka maki to wasabi, tasty treats await young readers in this colorful, rhyming ode to Japanese cuisine. With pages full of tummy-tempting foods, the books in the World Snacks series are a delicious way to introduce even the littlest eaters to cuisines from all around the globe.

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Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen
Written by Debbi Michiko Florence & illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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?

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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”…

  4. Katie in the Kitchen - Katie wants to be helpful, and so she starts making dinner on her own.

Books About Cooking and Holidays

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Sharing the Bread
Written by Pat Zietlow Miller & illustrated by Jill McElmurry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Celebrate food and family with this heartwarming Thanksgiving picture book. “We will share the risen bread. / Our made-with-love Thanksgiving spread. / Grateful to be warm and fed. / We will share the bread.” In this spirited ode to the holiday, set at the turn of the twentieth century, a large family works together to make their special meal. Mama prepares the turkey, Daddy tends the fire, Sister kneads, and Brother bastes. Everyone—from Grandma and Grandpa to the littlest baby—has a special job to do. Told in spare, rhythmic verse and lively illustrations, Sharing the Bread is a perfect read-aloud to celebrate the Thanksgiving tradition.

“A warm and wonderful holiday treasure.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred

“A paean to the pleasures of Thanksgiving, with rhymes so musical readers may just burst into song.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A delightful holiday book that shows the heartwarming tradition of food and family.” —Booklist

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Christmas Is Coming! An Advent Book
Written by Chronicle Books & illustrated by Katie Hickey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Lift the flaps every day of December to discover a delightful new Christmas tradition with this unique advent book! Each flap on the cover of the book reveals a clue to a festive activity that can be found inside the pages. It might be a recipe for a delicious homemade treat, instructions for a cozy craft, a game to play, a carol to sing, or a beautifully illustrated story to read with the whole family. This inviting twist on the traditional advent calendar is perfect for families who love to put their own spin on celebrating the holidays, offering fun-filled activities that can be fondly shared together year after year.

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A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World
Written by & illustrated by Susan Gal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A World of Cookies for Santa
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  1. 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.

  2. Arturo and the Bienvenido Feast - 'The interaction between Abue Rosa and her young grandson is comfortable and loving. . . Lewis' warm palette cocoons the characters in manifest familial love. . . Fans of uncomplicated, family centric stories won't be disappointed."

    --Kirkus

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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