Best Kids Books About Food

The Ultimate List of the 33 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.”

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie 25th Anniversary Edition book
#1
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.

The Watermelon Seed book
#2
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.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs book
#3
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
#4
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.

Dragons Love Tacos book
#5
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.

Green Eggs and Ham book
#6
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.

Happy Birthday, Cupcake! book
#7
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).

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.

Bear Likes Jam book
#9
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.

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato book
#10
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.

Too Many Tamales book
#11
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.

Cook-a-doodle-doo! book
#12
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.

Pancakes, Pancakes! book
#13
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.

Today Is Monday book
#14
Today Is Monday
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Learn the days of the week with bestselling author/illustrator Eric Carle through song! String beans, spaghetti, ZOOOOP, roast beef, fresh fish, chicken and ice cream are the delicious fare during the week in this popular children’s song. Until Sunday. Then, all the world’s children are invited to come together and share in the meal. Celebrated artist Eric Carle brings new energy to these much-loved verses as lively animals parade across the page, munching on favorite dishes, and introducing young readers to the names of the days of the week. Both art and song invite children to join in the procession and sing along.

Walter the Baker book
#15
Walter the Baker
Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

By order of the Duke, Walter the Baker must invent a tasty roll through which the rising sun can shine three times.

Everyone Loves Bacon book
#16
Everyone Loves Bacon
Written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Eric Wright
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"Everyone loves Bacon, but letting his fame go to his head may prove more dangerous than he thought"

Aw, Nuts! book
#17
Aw, Nuts!
Written and illustrated by Rob McClurkan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Squirrel sets off on a chase after the perfect acorn in debut author-illustrator Rob McClurkan's picture book Aw, Nuts! With bold, graphic art, Squirrel will have young readers laughing out loud on every page, eager to find out what will happen next. Squirrel loves acorns, so when he spots the perfect one, he must have it! But it bounces away. . . . So he jumps into a taxi, but the taxi runs out of gas. Aw, nuts! He bounces on a pogo stick, but it lands in a hole. Aw, nuts! He hops on a boat, gets shipped away, hitches a ride on a little girl's bike, and more! Will Squirrel be able to catch up to the most delicious acorn ever?

The Incredible Book Eating Boy book
#18
The Incredible Book Eating Boy
Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Like many children, Henry loves books. But Henry doesn’t like to read books, he likes to eat them. Big books, picture books, reference books . . . if it has pages, Henry chews them up and swallows (but red ones are his favorite). And the more he eats, the smarter he gets—he’s on his way to being the smartest boy in the world! But one day he feels sick to his stomach. And the information is so jumbled up inside, he can’t digest it! Can Henry find a way to enjoy books without using his teeth? With a stunning new artistic style and a die-cut surprise, Oliver Jeffers celebrates the joys of reading in this charming and quirky picture book. It’s almost good enough to eat.

Dragons Love Tacos 2 book
#19
Dragons Love Tacos 2
Written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When dragons run out of tacos, they travel back in time to get a fresh supply

Please Please the Bees book
#20
Please Please the Bees
Written and illustrated by Gerald Kelley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Benedict has a pretty sweet life for a bear. Every morning the bees leave a jar of honey on his doorstep, and every day he has honey for breakfast and honey in his tea. It’s an important part of his day. But all that changes when the bees go on strike. Now it’s up to Benedict to listen to the bees, and he realizes there’s a lot more he could be doing to help them. So he fixes up the hive and learns to be a better beekeeper. Will the bees be pleased?

The Night Before Thanksgiving book
#21
The Night Before Thanksgiving
Written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Tammie Lyon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Everyone’s favorite fun-filled, family-filled, food-filled holiday is almost here! Follow along as the feast is prepared, cousins are greeted, and everyone gathers around the table, all with an extra helping of holiday fun.

The Gingerbread Girl book
#22
The Gingerbread Girl
Written and illustrated by Lisa Campbell Ernst
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

The lonely old woman and the lonely old man decide to bake a girl this time, but when they open the oven, she runs off like her brother did. Never fear, this smart cookie has a plan to outfox the fox. Will it work? Let?s just say that the ending is sweet for everyone. ?Ernst's familiar art, here placed against gingham-check backgrounds, utilizes the oversize format to best advantage, with large characters leaping out of their frames. On the cover, the candy-studded Gingerbread Girl with licorice-whip hair stares boldly out at readers. Kids won't be able to resist following her inside.

Gingerbread Baby book
#23
Gingerbread Baby
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Remember how the Gingerbread Boy is eaten by the fox? Well, not this Gingerbread Baby in a delicious twist to a favorite old tale. It all begins when Matti opens the oven too soon and out jumps a cheeky little Gingerbread Bay. He leads Matti’s mother and father, the dog and the cat. And a whole colorful cast of characters on a rollicking chase through the village and into the forest, staying just out of reach, daring them to catch him along the way. But Matti’s not with them. He’s at home in the borders making what turns out to be a gingerbread house into which the Gingerbread Baby runs. Only Matti knows he is safely inside. And readers will too when they look under the lift-the-flap gingerbread house at the end of the story, and there he is!

The Picky Eater book
#24
The Picky Eater
Written by Betsy Parkinson and illustrated by Shane Clester
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Piper the piglet is a very picky eater, who will only eat food beginning with the letter "P"--and somehow her parents must break her of this strange quirk, and get her to eat other good foods.

Sun Bread book
#25
Sun Bread
Written and illustrated by Elisa Kleven
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

During the dreary winter, a baker decides to bring warmth to her town by baking bread as golden and glorious as the sun itself.

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