Best Children's Books About Food

The Ultimate List of the 49 Best Books for Food Lovers

Updated Feb. 19, 2019

Love food? Then you'll LOVE this list of the best books about food! Food, like books, is a big part of our lives. Food and books go together like peanut butter and jelly, they are basically peas in a pod. We dare you to try reading just one of these fabulous books because "reading one book is like eating one potato chip" (Diane Duane).

Whether you're a cereal connoisseur or a well-versed foodie, we're certain you'll love each one of these books. Grab your favorite snacks and have a food-themed read-a-thon, because as E. Nesbit perfectly put it, "There is nothing more luxurious than eating while you read—unless it be reading while you eat.”

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear book
#1
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
Written and illustrated by Don Wood, Audrey Wood
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

One of my absolute favorite children's books growing up, and it continues to be a favorite! As a fellow strawberry lover, I love the suspense the story builds with mouse thinking the big, hungry bear is going to come after his perfectly ripe and juicy strawberry. Simple, classic tale!

Little Mouse worries that the big, hungry bear will take his freshly picked, ripe, red strawberry for himself.

Mrs. Peanuckle's Vegetable Alphabet book
#2
Mrs. Peanuckle's Vegetable Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle and illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I absolutely love this series! I actually learned quite a bit about vegetables. It's fun to read, and absolutely gorgeous to look at! It highlights a different vegetable that starts with each letter in the alphabet.

Mrs. Peanuckle's Vegetable Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to a colorful variety of vegetables, from asparagus to zucchini. Perfect to read aloud, this vegetable buffet will delight children and parents alike with its yummy vegetable facts and vibrant illustrations. Learning the ABCs has never been so delicious! Mrs. Peanuckle's Vegetable Alphabet is the first in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, flowers, and trees.

Green Eggs and Ham book
#3
Green Eggs and Ham
Written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Sam-I-Am tries to persuade his friend to try green eggs and ham.

We're Going to the Farmers' Market book
#4
We're Going to the Farmers' Market
Written and illustrated by Stefan Page
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
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.

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.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book
#5
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

We had so much fun with this book. It is a book beyond all imagination. It gets all the wheels spinning in our little boys' minds. They love hearing all the descriptions of the chocolates and candies. And it is especially encouraging that little Charlie Bucket is such a good and caring boy that has good returned to him in every sense of the word.

From the author of The BFG and Matilda! Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

Mrs. Peanuckle's Fruit Alphabet book
#6
Mrs. Peanuckle's Fruit Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle and illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I've loved every Mrs Peanuckle book I've read thus far—informative, engaging, and so gorgeously unique. My son adores fruit above all else, so this is our family's current favorite of the series—it has the perfect mix of fruits he can recognize (peaches & pears, bananas, watermelons) and fun new fruit facts to learn (who knew xigua was Chinese watermelon?!) Also, bonus points for being an excellent "accordian read"—if my son starts to lose interest I just skip the facts and only read the fruit names—and for being intellectually stimulating for adults too. This is truly an amazing alphabet book!

Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to the colorful foods that will help them grow up to be healthy and strong. Children and parents alike will want to devour the fun facts and charming illustrations of fruits from the familiar banana to the not as familiar yumberry. Mrs. Peanuckle’s Fruit Alphabet is the second in a series of board books celebrating the joy nature brings to young children at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, bugs, flowers, and trees.

Little Pea book
#7
Little Pea
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book is pretty well known at this point, and for good reason. The illustrations are charming and the story about Little Pea who REALLY doesn't want to eat his candy for dinner is remarkably clever. It's on the longer side in terms of amount of text for a board book but is absolutely worth it, and until your baby/younger toddler has a long enough attention span go for the paraphrasing the story as you go along because this is definitely one worth owning. By turning the classic childhood distaste for vegetables on it's head this book hits the perfect note of silly for a message that might actually sink in.

Ten years ago, Amy Krouse Rosenthal burst into children's books with Little Pea, a book destined to become a classic. Her witty text about a little pea who won't eat his sweets combined with the whimsical yet warm hearted art by Jen Corace create a go-to baby gift, a hilarious read-aloud, and the perfect intervention for picky eaters.

Strega Nona book
#8
Strega Nona
Written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
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.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie 25th Anniversary Edition book
#9
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie 25th Anniversary Edition
Written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

If a hungry little traveler shows up at your house, you might want to give him a cookie. If you give him a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. He'll want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn't have a milk mustache, and then he'll ask for a pair of scissors to give himself a trim.... The consequences of giving a cookie to this energetic mouse run the young host ragged, but young readers will come away smiling at the antics that tumble like dominoes through the pages of this delightful picture book.

Tacos!: An Interactive Recipe Book book
#10
Tacos!: An Interactive Recipe Book
Written and illustrated by Lotta Nieminen
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
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!

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.

Dragons Love Tacos book
#11
Dragons Love Tacos
Written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs book
#12
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The beloved, bestselling tale of edible weather is brought to life! If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn't it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you'd have no choice. What if you didn't like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake?

Enemy Pie book
#13
Enemy Pie
Written by Derek Munson and illustrated by Tara Calahan King
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy! In this funny yet endearing story, one little boy learns an effective recipe for turning your best enemy into your best friend. Accompanied by charming illustrations, Enemy Pie serves up a sweet lesson in the difficulties and ultimate rewards of making new friends.

No, No, Dinos! book
#14
No, No, Dinos!
Written by and illustrated by Kate Stone
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

Such a cute book with the tabs you can lift out on each page! I like that this board book isn't a counting or colors book, it adds some variety to my library and who doesn't love cute dinosaurs?! An added plus is that this book tells the dinos how to best eat messy and sticky treats, so little readers might learn to be a little cleaner with them. :)

Gobble! Chomp! Crunch! What happens when silly dinos eat sweets? Open their mouths to find out!

Dinnertime for Chickies book
#15
Dinnertime for Chickies
Written and illustrated by Janee Trasler
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is perfect for any picky eaters! When the chicks refuse to eat things, once they try a bite, they actually love it! I like the fun rhymes and that some of the words are playful like the way little ones talk (chocolate chippy and treaties). :)

Wash your wings, and take a seat. What will these tiny chickies eat? With the help of Cow, Pig, and Sheep, soon the chickies learn to cheep, "Pass the carrots. Pass the peas. Pass those yummy broccolis!" With engaging rhymes, endearing illustrations, and a soft padded cover, this book is perfect for babies and toddlers to enjoy, especially those picky chickies.

Happy Birthday, Cupcake! book
#16
Happy Birthday, Cupcake!
Written and illustrated by Terry Border
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

From the creator of Peanut Butter & Cupcake comes a birthday book starring everyone’s favorite dessert! What’s a cupcake to do when she needs to plan her birthday party? In this hilarious, kid-friendly homage to food and birthdays, Cupcake runs through tons of ideas while her best friend, Blueberry Muffin, finds reasons why they won’t work: Soup gets seasick; Donut melts in the sun; someome might get squashed during musical chairs; and Cupcake is not very good at limbo (her icing might get sliced off!). Just as Cupcake is ready to crumble, Blueberry Muffin has one last idea that just might save the day. With laugh-out-loud visual gags (like a band made up of beans–the musical fruit, of course), this book is sure to put a birthday smile on any kid’s face (and on adult faces as well).

The Watermelon Seed book
#17
The Watermelon Seed
Written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

With perfect comic pacing, Greg Pizzoli introduces us to one funny crocodile who has one big fear: swallowing a watermelon seed. What will he do when his greatest fear is realized? Will vines sprout out his ears? Will his skin turn pink? This crocodile has a wild imagination that kids will love. With bold color and beautiful sense of design, Greg Pizzoli's picture book debut takes this familiar childhood worry and gives us a true gem in the vein of I Want My Hat Back and Not a Box.

Cook-a-doodle-doo! book
#18
Cook-a-doodle-doo!
Written by Janet Stevens and illustrated by Susan Stevens Crummel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This fun story builds on the classic tale of the Little Red Hen as Rooster explores the cookbook of his great-grandmother, L.R. Hen. While Rooster doesn't have to cook alone, his assistants need a lot of assistance themselves! Rooster's patience and good natured manner makes it a great story of friendship, working together, sharing, and cooking!

With the questionable help of his friends, Big Brown Rooster manages to bake a strawberry shortcake which would have pleased his great-grandmother, Little Red Hen.

Foodie Babies Wear Bibs book
#19
Foodie Babies Wear Bibs
Written by Michelle Sinclair Colman and illustrated by Nathalie Dion
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from Grammy

This is a darling book about the realities of feeding and eating with babies, from preparation to sharing, with an especially tasty ending!

The sixth book of the Urban Babies board book series finds Foodie Babies browsing the farmers' market and dining with their favorite finger foods.

Bear Likes Jam book
#20
Bear Likes Jam
Written and illustrated by Ciara Gavin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I really like this series! This lovable blended family of ducks and a bear is humorous while simultaneously tackling real-life issues... in this case picky eating. The illustrations are fantastic and the love of a family seeps through every page in a delightful way.

In their blended family, Mama Duck worries when Bear eats too much jam, but when the ducklings play a game with their vegetables, Bear starts to eat the strange green things on his plate.

Too Many Tamales book
#21
Too Many Tamales
Written by Gary Soto and 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.

Soup Day book
#22
Soup Day
Written and illustrated by Melissa Iwai
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
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.

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

Pancakes, Pancakes! book
#23
Pancakes, Pancakes!
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

By cutting and grinding the wheat for flour, Jack starts from scratch to help make his breakfast pancake.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato book
#24
I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
Written and illustrated by Lauren Child
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lola is a fussy eater. A very fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until her brother Charlie reveals that they’re orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains that they’re cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many things Lola won’t eat, including - and especially - tomatoes. Or will she? Two endearing siblings star in a witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.

Llama Llama Yum Yum Yum! book
#25
Llama Llama Yum Yum Yum!
Written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Get cooking with Llama Llama in this scratch-and-sniff board book! Llama Llama and his Mama are in the kitchen whipping up some delicious treats! Join in the fun by reading along with this super-sweet story and scratching and sniffing the fun scents on each spread, like pickles and ice cream sundaes!

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.