January 20, 2009

My favorite children's books with food

As our move north draws closer, I'm trying to start sorting and getting ready-- unsuccessfully so far. I donated a lot of our adult books a few years back in a fit of cleaning, I'm not a big rereader. However, our children's book stash is ever growing and much harder to part with. There could someday be another child, and hopefully someday grandchildren!! When I read a post on The Greasy Skillet listing their Top 5 Children's Books that Play with Food it got me thinking about our children's book collection and how many of our children's books deal with food. Both my husband's favorite children's book and my own are food related. I wanted to come up with a master list from our bookshelves and here it is. Please add more favorites in the comments.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a favorite from my husband's childhood about the wild land of ChewandSwallow where food falls from the sky. We have the copy from when he was a kid but had to buy a second copy because this got read so often.

The Giant Jam Sandwich, a favorite from my childhood about a town plagued by wasps and the townpeople's solution to the problem. We have my original copy of this too.

In the Night Kitchen, fussed over for it's "scandalous" little boy parts this is a great book about a little boy's surreal dream.

Watch Out for the Chicken Feet in Your Soup, for those whose grannies were from the old country.

The Popcorn Book, I loved Tomi DePaola as a kid! This is out of print but we have an original copy from my childhood.

The Pooh Cookbook, my son Alex wasn't interested in the Pooh stories but I poured over these recipes as a child. Hint: There's lots of honey.

Green Eggs and Ham, probably the most popular pick, who hasn't read this?

The Story of Cherry the Pig, a cute story from Japan about a baking pig who doubts herself.

Chicken Soup with Rice, a great rhyming book to sing to little ones that teaches the months. Also see the video at the end of the post.

Pickle Chiffon Pie, a charming fairytale about true princes and crazy sounding pie.

Nate the Great and the Monster Mess, the Nate the Great series is full of wonderful short chapter books and I like any book with recipes for cookies in it.

Peter Rabbit's Giant Storybook, Peter makes vegetables sound extra tasty. This big storybook got a lot of use.

Babar Learns to Cook, I had a lot of Babar books. This one has the little elephants making a mess in the kitchen and made me crave cucumber soup as a kid.

Curious George Makes Pancakes, we like it when Curious George makes good trouble.

The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!, we prefer Knuffle Bunny and Today I Will Fly! by Mo Willems but this is his book that deals with food. It's fun to do Pigeon's voice.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, I'm not a big fan of the sequels to this book but the first is a fun story about the escalating wishes of a hungry mouse.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a classic counting book.

The Gingerbread Man, the taunting cookie meets his inevitable end.

The Little Red Hen, an industrious chicken with unhelpful friends makes a loaf of bread the Martha Stewart way.

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?, gorgeous illustrations and a big hit with the dinosaur lovers.

How are you peeling? and Food for thought, real fruits and vegetables anthropomorphized. You'll never look at the ends of bell peppers the same again.

Fanny at Chez Panisse, the story of Alice Waters' daughter in the famous kitchen of Chez Panisse, with recipes. I think you might need a little girl to appreciate this one.

*Thanks to muddywaters of The Greasy Skillet from Kansas for the inspirational post, The Greasy Five: Children's Books that Play with Food. Go there to see four other books.

**The concocting kid drawing on the top was done by my husband. When I met him he was illustrating a children's book called Poppyseed Bread which sadly never was published. He did have illustrations published in one children's book before he moved on to making PC games. You can find his drawings in the book I Wanna Iguana.

***Update:  I found a great forum thread on Chowhound recently that has a whole bunch that I missed or didn't know about.  Check out the thread, Children's Books that Feature Food.  

****Update #2: For some more unique and nearly lost treasures, check out this Storybook Neverland at Rook No. 17

"Chicken Soup with Rice" sung by Carole King from 1975's Really Rosie cartoon.
I had this on cassette and played it all the time as a kid.