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Dining: Books For Kids

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

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

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. 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 dining, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Boy Who Wanted to Cook to popular sellers like Fortunately, the Milk to some of our favorite hidden gems like Pancakes for Breakfast.

We hope this list of kids books about dining can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Fortunately, the Milk
Written by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by Skottie Young
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

“I bought the milk,” said my father. “I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: t h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road.” “Hullo,” I said to myself. “That’s not something you see every day. And then something odd happened.” Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious New York Times bestselling story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.

George Washington's Breakfast
Written by Jean Fritz & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

A fun take on history from Newbery Honor-winning author, Jean Fritz!

George Washington Allen, a boy who never gives up until he finds out what he wants to know, is determined to learn all there is to know about his namesake, including what the first president ate for breakfast!

Pancakes for Breakfast
Written & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Tomie de Paola. A wordless picture book about the trials of a little old lady who attempts to make pancakes for her breakfast. Three-color illustrations. Paperback.

Little Mouse's Big Breakfast
Written & illustrated by Christine Pym
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Hungry Little Mouse is looking for some breakfast, and he knows just where he can find it. Scampering into the kitchen next door, he finds a perfect bright blueberry. But just before he leaves, he spots a rosy-red apple, and Little Mouse loves rosy-red apples. And as if that’s not enough, there are sugary sweets, a chunk of cheese, a plump pickle . . . the list goes on and on. Yum! But as he finally finds something that’s his absolute favorite, Little Mouse discovers that he’s not the only one looking for breakfast. In this hilarious tale from talented author-illustrator Christine Pym, readers will cheer for Little Mouse and his big appetite for the world.

Hungry Little Mouse is looking for some breakfast, and he knows just where he can find it.

Do Not Take Your Dragon to Dinner
Written by Julie Gassman & illustrated by Andy Elkerton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A child discovers that when dining out, you really should not bring your fire-breathing dragon—far better to practice his dining etiquette at home.

  • Dinner at the Panda Palace - Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dinner at the Panda Palace! In this charming counting book, perfect for back to school, children will learn the importance of inclusion. Join one hungry elephant, two carsick lions, three pigs running from a wolf, and dozens of other playful yet famished animals as they swing, bound, and bounce into the Panda Palace for a hearty meal. But when the restaurant is totally full, will Panda make room for one more guest?

  • Dim Sum for Everyone! - A Chinese American family sits down to enjoy a traditional dim sum meal. Dumplings, cakes, buns, and tarts are wheeled out in little dishes on trolleys, and each family member gets to choose a favorite treat! Lin’s bold and gloriously patterned artwork is a feast for the eyes. Her story is simple and tailor-made for reading aloud to young children, and she includes an informative author’s note for parents, teachers, and children who want to learn more about the origins and practice of dim sum.

  • Munch Your Lunch! - A new generation of children love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, inspired by the classic series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood! Daniel Tiger is the lunch helper at school and gets a sweet surprise from Mom Tiger in this 8x8 storybook based on an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood that comes with tiger-tastic lunch notes to pack in your little one’s lunchbox! It’s lunchtime at Daniel Tiger’s school. Teacher Harriet tells everyone to take a deep breath and open their lunch boxes. Daniel Tiger’s lunch box has a sandwich, strawberries, and a special surprise: A note from Mom Tiger! With the Daniel Tiger lunch notes included in this 8x8 storybook, parents and guardians can add special messages in their little one’s lunchboxes to show how much they care!

  • The Case of the Stinky Stench - There s a stinky stench in the fridge and our favorite foodie friends must solve a smelly mystery! Inspector Croissant begs Sir French Toast and Lady Pancake for help in finding the source of the foul odor. Could it be the devious Baron Von Waffle? A fetid fish in Corn Chowder Lake? Featuring delectable wordplay there s even an actual red herring and delicious art, this tasty tale is a treat for kids!”

Arrivederci, Crocodile
Written & illustrated by Fred Marcellino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

First that dastardly Napoleon kidnapped Crocodile from his beloved Egypt, then he dragged him to Paris to be gawked at, and THEN he tried to eat him! Luckily our dear croc escaped, but while Parisian life may be glamorous, life in Paris’s sewers is not. If only Napoleon had taken Crocodile to a more aquatic reptile–friendly city. Perhaps one with an excess of canals and better food… “NAPOLEON TO TOUR ITALY: FIRST STOP, VENICE” Surely Napoleon wouldn’t mind if Crocodile hitched a ride out of Paris… Will our crocodile find his perfect home amongst Italian high-society? Or will he be revealed as an impasta? Pack away your pasta—Crocodile is heading to Italy in this long-awaited sequel to Fred Marcellino’s award-winning I, Crocodile.

Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast
Written & illustrated by Josh Funk
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A thoroughly delicious picture book about the funniest “food fight!” ever! Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast have a beautiful friendship—until they discover that there’s ONLY ONE DROP of maple syrup left. Off they go, racing past the Orange Juice Fountain, skiing through Sauerkraut Peak, and reeling down the linguini. But who will enjoy the sweet taste of victory? And could working together be better than tearing each other apart? The action-packed rhyme makes for an adrenaline-filled breakfast . . . even without a drop of coffee!

Nipper and the Lunchbox
Written & illustrated by Lucy Dillamore
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Nipper hates being left alone all day while his best friend Richard is at work. But when he realizes one morning that Richard has left his lunchbox behind, Nipper sets off on a difficult journey to deliver it. Will Nipper find Richard in time? Will he survive the many dangers along the way? And what will happen when he gets there? A touching story from a new talent about the power of determination and the strength of true friendship.

Lucky for Good
Written & illustrated by Susan Patron
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The residents of Hard Pan, California, come together to help Brigitte and Lucky when the County Health Department threatens to close down the cafâe, and meantime Miles’s life is complicated by his mother’s return.

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.

  • 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 Little Kid's Table - Everyone knows that the little kids table is the place to be for any holiday or family gathering. They just know how to have fun! This silly, rhyming story follows a group of rambunctious cousins from table setting to dessert. A universal theme, The Little Kids Table will have kids—and parents!—howling with laughter.

  • The Runaway Dinner - What happens if someone’s dinner decides that, well, it doesn’t want to be eaten? For a hungry little boy named Banjo and a savory sausage named Melvin, it’s a plight that can only result in a breathless escape — and what a chase it is! Off speeds the sturdy sausage — leading fork, knife, and plate, chair and table, a handful of fries with various French names, and three fat little peas — out the door, down the street, and around the park, with poor Banjo taking up the rear. Will the famished boy ever catch them? And what (gulp) happens to Melvin if he does? Allan Ahlberg is in his element with this fast and funny tale, while Bruce Ingman’s kid-friendly illustrations add visual comedy to the chase.

  • What's for Breakfast? - “Wake up!” says Rufus, a large and very hungry owl. “It’s time to catch the fearsome mouse. I’m in a mood for a bowl of mouse soup for breakfast.” Pip, who’s better at sleeping than swooping, leaps from the nest and lands right on top of that fearsome mouse whose name, he learns, is Theodore. Is it time for breakfast. . . . or friendship?Find out in this clever and classic picture book about two owls, a mouse, a banana, and an unlikely friendship.

A Crazy Day at the Critter Café
Written by Barbara Odanaka & illustrated by Lee White
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Swish, zoom, swish. Clickety-clack! When a bus full of critters breaks down, a sleepy roadside café suddenly wakes up! Raccoons, elephants, zebras, and rams are only a few of the many animals demanding grub, and it is all that a cook and a waiter can do to keep up. But when Skateboard Cow swerves her way through the crowd, more than a few feathers are guaranteed to be ruffled! Rhythmic text and energetic illustrations combine for a romp of pure fun and entertainment.

Hello, Hot Dog
Written by Lily Murray & illustrated by Jarvis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Hot Dog is relaxing on some comfy bread with a little corn and some fries when disaster strikes! It looks like he’s about to become lunch. Prepare for a laugh- out-loud picture about this little hot dog’s quest for freedom. Boldly illustrated by the brilliant Jarvis, winner of Best Illustrated Book at the V&A Illustration Awards 2017, Hello, Hot Dog is told entirely in speech bubbles, and is sure to be a winner with kids and parents alike.

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