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34 New and Noteworthy Picture Books About Food

Looking for the best picture books about food? These picture books about cooking and food for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about various topics cooking, famous chefs, making food and more for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Picture Books About Food:

Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin

How does Racoon love pizza? Oh, let him count the ways. He loves the gooey cheesy-ness, salty pepperoni-ness, sweet sweet tomato-ness, and of course the crispity crunchity crust. But someone is always chasing poor Raccoon away from his favorite food with a broom! What’s a hungry raccoon to do? Plan an elaborate secret pizza party, of course!
But shhh! It’s a secret! A hilarious picture book ideal for Kindergartners.

Looking for the best picture books about food? These picture books about cooking and food for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about various topics cooking, famous chefs, making food and more for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!
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Watercress by Andrea Wang

Driving through Ohio in an old Pontiac, a young girl’s parents stop suddenly when they spot watercress growing wild in a ditch by the side of the road. Grabbing an old paper bag and some rusty scissors, the whole family wades into the muck to collect as much of the muddy, snail covered watercress as they can.

At first, she’s embarrassed. Why can’t her family get food from the grocery store? But when her mother shares a story of her family’s time in China, the girl learns to appreciate the fresh food they foraged. Together, they make a new memory of watercress. A great book about Asian Americans and family history.

Dragons Love Tacos

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.

Pies From Nowhere by Dee Romito

Georgia Gilmore was a cook at the National Lunch Company in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus boycotts broke out in Montgomery after Rosa Parks was arrested, Georgia knew just what to do. She organized a group of women who cooked and baked to fund-raise for gas and cars to help sustain the boycott. Called the Club from Nowhere, Georgia was the only person who knew who baked and bought the food, and she said the money came from “nowhere” to anyone who asked.

When Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested for his role in the boycott, Georgia testified on his behalf, and her home became a meeting place for civil rights leaders. This picture book highlights a hidden figure of the civil rights movement who fueled the bus boycotts and demonstrated that one person can make a real change in her community and beyond. It also includes one of her delicious recipes for kids to try with the help of their parents!

A Turkey For Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

Mr. and Mrs. Moose invite all their animal friends for Thanksgiving dinner and the only one missing is Turkey. When they set out to find him, Turkey is quaking with fear because he doesn’t realize that his hosts want him at their table, not on it.

Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey by Joy Cowley

Young Puerto Rican boy Miguel refuses to go anywhere without his turkey companion, a bird too dear for the Thanksgiving table, and the pair delights everyone in their New York City neighborhood.

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta

When George Washington Carver was just a young child, he had a secret: a garden of his own.

Here, he rolled dirt between his fingers to check if plants needed more rain or sun. He protected roots through harsh winters, so plants could be reborn in the spring. He trimmed flowers, spread soil, studied life cycles. And it was in this very place that George’s love of nature sprouted into something so much more—his future. A story about a scientist and farmer who transformed farming for many!

Yoko by Rosemary Wells

Mmm, Yoko’s mom has packed her favorite for lunch today–sushi! But her classmates don’t think it looks quite so yummy. “Ick!” says one of the Franks. “It’s seaweed!” They’re not even impressed by her red bean ice cream dessert. Of course, Mrs. Jenkins has a plan that might solve Yoko’s problem. But will it work with the other children in class?

Sugarbush Spring by Marsha Wilson Chall

In the month of the Maple Sugar Moon in early spring, the snow’s too wet for angel making, icicles rain from Grandpa’s porch roof, and something is stirring in the woods. It’s sugarbush spring–time to tap the trees, prepare the bottles, then gather round the cook fire to eat chicken and dumplings, roast marshmallows, and tell stories while the cold sap heats through, thickens, and boils to make syrup.

Tough Cookie

Tough Cookie by Edward Hemingway
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Once upon a time, while Fox was visiting the land of Holiday Treats, a little cookie―still warm from the bakery oven―burst out the front door looking sweet and ready to be devoured. But, as it turns out, Cookie is not as fast as he thinks and when Fox finally catches him, they’re both in for a big surprise: Sugar Cookie does not taste delicious―and he’s certainly not fit to be eaten. What’s an unsavory cookie to do? Is there another option for this not-so-sweet treat?

A Big Mooncake For Little Star by Grace Lin

Pat, pat, pat…Little Star’s soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake. Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she’s not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can’t resist a nibble? In this stunning picture book that shines as bright as the stars in the sky, Newbery Honor author Grace Lin creates a heartwarming original story that explains phases of the moon.

Thank You Omu by Oge Mora

Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu’s delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

Teach kindness, courtesy, respect, and friendship: 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 a best enemy into a best friend.

An Orange For Frankie by Patricia Polacco

The Stowell family is abuzz with holiday excitement, and Frankie, the youngest boy, is the most excited of all. But there’s a cloud over the joyous season: Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and Pa hasn’t returned yet from his trip to Lansing. He promised to bring back the oranges for the mantelpiece. Every year there are nine of them nestled among the evergreens, one for each of the children. But this year, heavy snows might mean no oranges . . . and, worse, no Pa!
This is a holiday story close to Patricia Polacco’s heart. Frankie was her grandmother’s youngest brother, and every year she and her family remember this tale of a little boy who learned–and taught–an important lesson about giving, one Christmas long ago.

Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco

After being initiated into a neighbor’s family by a solemn backyard ceremony, a young Russian American girl and her African American brothers’ determine to buy their gramma Eula a beautiful Easter hat. But their good intentions are misunderstood, until they discover just the right way to pay for the hat that Eula’s had her eye on. A loving family story woven from the author’s childhood.

Escargot by Dashka Slater

Bonjour! Escargot is a beautiful French snail who wants only two things:

1. To be your favorite animal.
2. To get to the delicious salad at the end of the book.

But when he gets to the salad, he discovers that there’s a carrot in it. And Escargot hates carrots. But when he finally tries one―with a little help from you!―he discovers that it’s not so bad after all

Too Many Tamales

Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria. Snow had fallen and the streets glittered. Maria’s favorite cousins were coming over and she got to help make the tamales for Christmas dinner. It was almost too good to be true when her mother left the kitchen for a moment and Maria got to try on her beautiful diamond ring . . .

The Popcorn Book

Some people see animals and pictures in clouds.  The ancient Greeks believed that Hermes, the messenger of the gods, once stole the sun’s cattle, which were clouds.

In this unique picture book, Tomie introduces some of the most common types of clouds, as well as the myths and legends inspired by their shapes.  Simple, whimsical illustrations show the variations in shape and color that herald changes in the weather. 

Everyone Loves Bacon

Egg loves Bacon. Lettuce loves Bacon. Waffle loves Bacon. Bacon is sizzling with popularity, and pretty much everyone thinks he is the best.

That is-until Bacon’s fame goes to his head. He’s so busy soaking up the attention, that he soon forgets the important things in life, like friendship and family. How will it all pan out for our dashing, delicious hero?

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.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If a hungry little mouse shows up on your doorstep, you might want to give him a cookie. And if you give him a cookie, he’ll 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….

Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child

Follow Julia Child—chef, author, and television personality—from her childhood in Pasadena, California, to her life as a spy in WWII, to the cooking classes she took in Paris, to the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, to the funny moments of being a chef on TV. This is a comprehensive and enchanting picture book biography, told in many panels and jam-packed with lively, humorous, and child-friendly details. Young chefs and Julia Child fans will exclaim, “ooooh la la,” about this book, which is as energetic and eccentric as the chef herself.

Children’s Books About Cooking:

If you’re looking for books specifically about cooking, there are a number of good ones that could be used for cooking in the classroom!

Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard

This book won all of the awards and honors in 2019. Seriously, check the Amazon page for this book. If they put the medals on the cover, you wouldn’t see any of Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal’s illustrations. Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family about fry bread.

Gingerbread Baby

Another fun Jan Brett fairytale reimagining, this time of the Gingerbread Boy fairytale. The wintry setting of this version of the story also make it one of my favorite books for winter. The liftable gingerbread house flap at the end make this version extra for as a read aloud.

Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham

  At Granny’s, Sunday isn’t Sunday without a big family gathering over a lovingly prepared meal. Old enough now, our narrator is finally invited to help cook the dishes for the first time: He joins Granny in grating the cheese, cleaning the greens, and priming the meat for Roscoe Ray’s grill. But just when Granny says they’re finished, her grandson makes his own contribution, sweetening this Sunday gathering—and the many more to come.

Freedom Soup

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.

Feast For 10

Count from one to ten—then count again! What does it take to make a feast for ten hungry people?

Shopping, cooking, setting the table—everyone in this loving family pitches in to create a colorful and joyful feast. Lively read-aloud text paired with bright collage illustrations.

Walter the Baker

Walter the Baker is famous for his breads, rolls, cookies, tarts, and pies. The Duke and Duchess especially love his warm sweet rolls, delivered fresh to their castle every morning. But one day the cat spills the milk, and Walter is forced to serve the Duke and Duchess rolls made with water. After one bite the Duke throws down his roll in disgust and summons Walter to the castle. He threatens to banish the baker unless he can take the same dough and make a good-tasting roll that the rising sun can shine through three times. Will Walter succeed in his task, or will he have to leave his town forever?

Pancakes, Pancakes

The barnyard rooster crows and Jack wakes up—hungry, of course! What does he want for breakfast? A big pancake! But first, Jack’s mother needs flour from the mill, an egg from the black hen, milk from the spotted cow, butter churned from fresh cream, and firewood for the stove. Will Jack ever get his pancake?

Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament

When Filbert P. Horsefeathers walks into George Crum’s restaurant, he tells the waitress, “I have a hankering for a heaping helping of potatoes.” Fine cook that he is, George prepares a serving of his most scrumptious, succulent and sublime potato wedges, only to have Filbert send them back. “Too thick,” he says. So, George makes thinner wedges. But his picky customer sends them back again. And again.

Feeling a bit mischievous, George decides to use his sharpest knife to cut paper-thin potato slices, which he fries until they are crackling and then showers with salt. At last, Filbert is satisfied, proclaiming, “Perfection!” Which they are. Because, quite by accident, George Crum has invented potato chips!

Bee-bim Bop!

A Korean American girl celebrates food and family in this cheerful book about cooking a special meal by Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park.

In bouncy rhyming text, an excited and hungry child tells about helping her mother make bee-bim bop: shopping, preparing ingredients, setting the table, and finally sitting down with her family to enjoy a favorite meal.

Cora Cooks Pancit

Cora loves being in the kitchen, but she always gets stuck doing the kid jobs like licking the spoon. One day, however, when her older sisters and brother head out, Cora finally gets the chance to be Mama’s assistant chef. And of all the delicious Filipino dishes that dance through Cora’s head, she and Mama decide to make pancit, her favorite noodle dish.

With Mama’s help, Cora does the grown-up jobs like shredding the chicken and soaking the noodles (perhaps Mama won’t notice if she takes a nibble of chicken or sloshes a little water on the floor). Cora even gets to stir the noodles in the pot-carefully– while Mama supervises. When dinner is finally served, her siblings find out that Cora did all their grown-up tasks, and Cora waits anxiously to see what everyone thinks of her cooking. Also a great book for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

Bilal Cooks Daal

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?

A Fine Dessert

In 1710, a girl and her mother in Lyme, England, prepare a blackberry fool, picking wild blackberries and beating cream from their cow with a bundle of twigs. The same dessert is prepared by an enslaved girl and her mother in 1810 in Charleston, South Carolina; by a mother and daughter in 1910 in Boston; and finally by a boy and his father in present-day San Diego.

Includes a recipe for blackberry fool and notes from the author and illustrator about their research.

Best Picture Books About Food

What are some of your favorite picture books about food? Are there any must read picture books about food that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!

If you’re a member of the Picture Book Brain Trust Community, you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Looking for the best picture books about food? These picture books about cooking and food for elementary students are engaging for primary and upper elementary kids. Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about various topics cooking, famous chefs, making food and more for your kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth or fifth grade students. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!
PIN ME!

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Hey there! I’m Josh from Picture Book Brain here to share only the best literature for you to use with your students. If you are looking for a specific book, use the search bar below to check my archives. Glad you’re here, and glad to help you!

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