Food

Finicky and voracious eaters alike will love these books that celebrate delicious foods – both traditional and unique. Take a look at the most entertaining and exceptional children’s books about food.

Top 5 Children’s Books on Food

the very hungry caterpillar The Very Hungry Caterpillar: There’s no one hungrier than this little caterpillar! This book is not only a children’s classic, but there are a number of wonderful lessons to be learned here as well. The bright, primary colors are an excellent teaching aide, and each page has a day of the week. Kids can follow the caterpillar through his week, while he eats everything in sight. The book also shows the transition of the egg, to a caterpillar, a cocoon, and finally to a butterfly. Of course this adorable and whimsical tale can be enjoyed as a simple tale of adventure and change for a light, fun read.
cloudy with a chance of meatballs Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The small town of Chewandswallow is the focus of this sly book. The town is much like many, except that instead of rain and snow, the weather comes in the form of things like soup, juice, and mashed potatoes! Three times a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) the locals can expect the latest weather to come crashing down. It made for quite delicious living – until the day that the weather became too much for them! As the food gets larger, and the portions increase, the towns people must find some way to save their town.
green eggs and ham Green Eggs and Ham: This has been a favorite since the ’60s, and parents have been using it to get their finicky eaters to try something new! The timeless tale by Dr. Suess focuses on Sam-I-am, who tries relentlessly to get a skeptic to try the delicious concoction of green eggs and ham. Eventually, after pages and pages of trying, Sam-I-am is successful, and it comes as no surprise that the skeptic does indeed love those green eggs and ham. With whimsical rhymes and wacky illustrations, this is a book that will be read and loved by children for years to come.
jamberry Jamberry: A bear and boy are the best of friends in this romping and rambunctious tale. The two set off to explore Berryland, which is a world full of blackberry bramles, canoneberries and delicious blueberries. The book is chock full of fantastical rhymes and follows a silly musical beat. This is a book that’s best read aloud, and which will make readers giggle along with the pals on their great adventure. The illustrations are beautiful at first glance, but a closer examination shows really unique subtle touches that shouldn’t be missed, including a frog climbing out of a hat, crackers and butter taking the place of lily pads, and a hilarious sign near the raspberry skating rink.
blueberries for sal Blueberries for Sal: Sal is ready for some blueberries, but she just can’t seem to pick them faster than she eats them! For each handful she puts in her bucket, she eats just as many! This is a classic tale that really expounds on the appetite for curiosity many children have in their youth. At the same time that Sal is trying to fill her bucket with blueberries, a mother bear and her little cub are off on their own journey. After a series of hilarious errors and misunderstandings, everyone gets what they want. The gentle animal noises and the wonderful spirit make this a book to be treasured.

Food Books: Honorable Mentions

if you give a mouse a cookie If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: : You never would have guessed that a teeny tiny mouse could outlast a boisterous, energetic boy, but this book will show you otherwise. When the boy gives the mouse a cookie, the mouse has a seemingly endless list of demands. How about some milk to wash that cookie down with? But how is the mouse to drink it without a straw? At the end of the day, after the boy has been running around trying to meet the mouse’s demands, it’s no wonder he’s so tuckered out! The pictures that illustrate this book are jam packed with subtle features that kids will linger on for hours.
strega nona Strega Nona: Strega Nona, which translates to “Grandma Witch,” is the loving grandma of an entire Calabrian town. She makes potions, magic, and cures to heal and comfort the people she cares about so dearly. Big Anthony, a wonderful resident of her town, is especially taken by her magical always-full pasta pot, which feeds his hungry belly whenever he needs it. In return, it’s his job to tend to her home and garden. One day, when Strega Nona takes a trip of her own, Anthony recites her magic verse over the pot himself – and something hilariously terrible happens! This is a cute story that kids love.
the little mouse, the red ripe strawberry, and the big hungry bear The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear: There’s nothing Little Mouse loves more than a freshly picked, delicious, red, ripe, juicy strawberry. Lucky for Little Mouse, he’s found the perfect one! The bad news is that Big, Hungry Bear has found it too! This teeny mouse will stop at nothing to ensure that the bear doesn’t get his strawberry – even if it means the reader getting the berry! This book was first published in 1984, but the adorable story and bright pictures have been beloved by children ever since. This is a classic story with tons of twists and near misses.
eating the alphabet Eating the Alphabet: A great way to introduce younger readers into the wide range of delicious fruits and vegetable that are available to them, Eating the Alphabet is a book full of illustrations that are so colorful, you’ll wish you could eat them up! Each veggie and fruit is detailed and vibrant, and the collage design makes them look fascinating and quite appealing. A great book for kids who are weary of trying new things, or those who’ll try anything! The book includes introductions to such delicacies as kiwi, endives and papayas. Kids can learn about the alphabet as they get their daily lesson in nutrition.
the carrot seed board book The Carrot Seed Board Book: A little boy plants a carrot seed, just to see what will happen. Everyone tells him that it won’t grow, but there are some things this boy just believes in! He plants his seed, he waters the soil, he pulls the weeds, and he waits to see if his faith will pay off. This book was first published in 1945 and has been in print every since. It’s a wonderful combination of simple, compelling text and eloquent, classic illustrations that get the imagination going. This is a deeply satisfying story that will have readers rooting for the boy in his seemingly impossible adventure.
how do dinosaurs eat their food? How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?: Curious kids love this story by the best-selling, award-winning team of Yolen and Teague. This is a playful dinosaur tale that teaches kids how dinosaurs behave during dinner time – and it’ll teach the kids a thing or two about good manners at the same time. Does a dinosaur clear his plate? Does he burp or belch? Does he pick at his food, or throw his plate? Kids will get answers to these intriguing questions, and will be treated to wonderful, truly amusing pictures and playful verses that are meant to be read aloud with their families.
who needs donuts? Who Needs Donuts?: Sam loves donuts so much that he travels all the way into the Big City just to get his share. Once he’s arrived, he befriends Mr. Bikferd, who is a world class collector of donuts. But when Mr. Bikferd is distracted by love and gives his entire donut collection to Sam, what will happen to them both? It turns out that Sam loves one thing more than he loves donuts – helping out a fellow person in need. This is an absurd yet heartwarming story that’s full of quirky humor and is on target for kids with a dazzling sense of humor.
stone soup Stone Soup: Based on a folktale that’s familiar to many, this book includes new pictures and a simpler telling of a well known story. It revolves around a young ne’er do well who tricks an elderly woman into brewing him a delicious and hearty soup. Initially, the woman refuses him food, but after placing a stone in the pot, he claims that all he needs is a few onions to make the soup cook faster. He gradually adds other little requests, until the the woman has added onions, barley, butter, and vegetables. The drawings in this book are quite angular and give it a truly unique look.
the little red hen (makes a pizza) The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza): This is another of the children’s books about food that’s actually based on a much older tale. This modern retelling includes a little hen who sees a can of tomato sauce in her cabinet, and decides she’d like to make a pizza. The hen asks her friends for help, but none of them, not the dog, not the duck, not the cat, will help her along with her pizza making adventure. She slaves over the dough making, adds the toppings and cooks the pizza. In a surprising twist, her friends do show up to help her in a most unexpected way.
the incredible book-eating boy The Incredible Book-Eating Boy: Henry is similar to many children in his love of books, but the way he loves books is quite different! You see, Henry likes to eat books. He doesn’t care what kind of book – from picture books to reference books , if a book has pages, then he wants to eat it. The twist is that the more books he eats, the smarter he gets. He’s on his way to being the smartest boy in the entire world, when he starts to feel sick to his stomach. With so much information rolling around, he simply can’t digest it!
the runaway dinner The Runaway Dinner: Imagine a dinner that decided it had better things to do then be eaten! That’s just what happens to a hungry little Banjo, who looks forward to chowing down on a savory sausage who goes by the name of Melvin. When Melvin decides he doesn’t want to be eaten, an exciting, fast-paced race ensues. Eventually, everyone gets involved – including the fork, knife, plate, chair – even the table! This book is chock full of visual comedy, funny puns, and offers kids a fast paced story line. This is a great choice when the only goal is finding a fun tale that will bring on the giggles.
pumpkin soup Pumpkin Soup: Travel deep in to the woods, and you can find an old white cabin, where three friends live and make their pumpkin soup every day, in the same way. Each has their own duties: the cat cuts up the pumpkin, the squirrel keeps the soup stirred, and the duck adds the salt. That is until one day when the duck decides he’d like to stir – and there is a terrible squabble! When the duck leaves, the cat and the squirrel run off to make sure he’s safe. This is a book with beautiful illustrations that really capture the feel and look of fall.
gregory, the terrible eater Gregory, the Terrible Eater: Gregory the goat is different than most of the other goats. While his friends and family will eat anything from old shoes, to boxes, to the caps of bottles, Gregory would rather munch on tasty and healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, eggs and fish. Mother Goat and Father Goat are quite concerned, and so they take him to visit Dr. Ram. Finally, Gregory develops a taste for foods the goats approve of, but he ends up eating like a pig! This is one of the children’s books about food that will teach habits of healthy eating, and finding foods that will please your palate.
the seven silly eaters The Seven Silly Eaters: Mrs. Peters has quite a problem on her hands. Her son Peter only wants milk. Lucy will only drink lemonade, and Jack is hopelessly craving applesauce. Every new addition to Mrs. Peters home has their own demand for their favorite meal. What can Mrs. Peters do? She continues to try and please everyone, but with so many different demands, it gets more and more difficult. Finally, her birthday arrives, and with it, a special gift that is both helpful, hilarious, and heartwarming. This silly book is sure to please parents of picky eaters, and kids who love a whimsically told tale.
too many pumpkins Too Many Pumpkins: Rebecca simply hates pumpkins – which is no surprise once you understand her story. Rebecca grew up as a poor child, and her parents could only afford pumpkins. She grew up eating baked pumpkins, steamed pumpkins, boiled, stewed, mashed – even rotten! Years later, Rebecca is an elderly woman when, out of no where, a pumpkin fell into her yard. Her grand plan was to bury the pumpkin and get it out of sight, but she wasn’t counting on the hundreds of pumpkins that grew as a result! The drawings in this book are spunky, unique and truly delightful.
the ugly vegetables The Ugly Vegetables: Anyone can find the beauty in a garden that’s packed with colorful flowers, and wonderful fragrances. But what is one to do with a patch of ugly vegetables? This charming, original, and eloquent story focuses on the fact that everything is not always what it seems. While these veggies may not look beautiful while they’re growing, you soon discover that come harvest time, they make the most delicious dishes! This is a really fun, light, bright book that even comes with a handy guide on the Chinese pronunciations of the vegetables in the book, as well as a recipe for the ugly veggie soup.
donut chef Donut Chef: It all starts with a baker setting up shop on a small street. Before he knows it, the line for his donuts reaches down the block, which leads to a new baker coming to town. A battle of the donut makers ensues, and as each baker makes a new type of dount, the other baker tries to top him. Eventually there are so many types and flavors of donuts that it’s simply overwhelming. Little Debbie Sue, a little girl from the town, brings the bakers back to basics when she gives a rousing speech on the lack of a simple, delicious glazed donut.
good enough to eat Good Enough to Eat: You won’t find another book like this one! It focuses on teaching kids the basics of nutrition. It’s written in a fun, interesting and engaging manner, and is sure to get kids excited about the delicious and healthy foods that are available to them. From cookies to carrots, this book leaves no food unturned. Topics include the nutrient groups, the functions of each of the nutrients, and how to find foods that contain the important nutrients. While it’s written for a child and at a level children can understand, parents are likely to learn a thing or two from this comprehensive guide.
thelonius monster’s sky-high fly-pie Thelonius Monster’s Sky-High Fly-Pie : When kids are in the mood for a silly story, it doesn’t get much better than this hilarious tale about a fly, a pie, and a silly, silly guy! This is a book best read aloud, as the fun word plays and fantastically lyrical language will excite the tongue. It begins with a monster who creates a goo-filled pie crust, and then tricks hundreds of flies into the pie. He invites all his grossest friends to his pie party, but a surprise ending will have everyone giggling. The hairy, funnily scary illustrations make this a book that will stand out.
scratch and sniff: food Scratch and Sniff: Food: Scratch and Sniff is a wonderful addition to a book that will help kids get even more excited about sitting down to read. This is a sturdy board book that includes many scents for the little ones to smell. One of the best advantages of this book is that each of the scratch and sniff pads is quite large – about the width and length of a post-it note. The smells include standard fruits like bananas, oranges, and strawberries, but there are plenty of surprises here as well, like spicy pizza which smells just like fresh basil. This is a book kids will be asking to read over and over again.
the monster health book The Monster Health Book: Another book about nutrition, this book covers a wide range of issues in fun, accessible and simple ways. The book includes discussions of healthy meals and less healthy meals, and teaches kids how they can read food labels and what it means to count calories. It encourages readers to make time for healthy habits, like eating breakfast and packing a healthy lunch. There is also a discussion of the benefits of eating a sit down dinner versus a fast food on-the-run-dinner. Exercise and sleep are also covered, which makes it a comprehensive guide to health and nutrition for little ones.
hubert the pudge Hubert the Pudge: Vegetarian parents will love this vegetarian tale, which helps to showcase some of the reasons most vegetarians have elected not to eat meat. It focuses on Hebert, who is a pudge – and everyone knows that pudges don’t grow up! Instead of growing old, they are taken off to the meat factory and become TV dinners, or microwave sausage links. Herbert the pudge makes a wild dash and ends up escaping to the wild. There he finds delicious, natural foods that help him become the most giant pudge since ancient times! This is a quirky tale that can help kids make sense of vegetarianism.

These children’s books about food are wonderful examples of how kids can learn exciting lessons from their reading. These food-focused books help make eating fun.

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