Weekend Cooking: Books for Young Foodies

Weekend Cooking is a meme hosted by Candace at Beth Fish Reads. Anyone with a food-related post can join.

My kids love books about food. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cookbook or a picture book, so lately we’ve been going out of our way to find more books with kid foodies in mind. It’s been a little hard finding fiction with recipes for kids but what we’ve found so far has been pretty good.

Cook-A-Doodle-Doo

Written by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel

Illustrated by Janet Stevens

48 pages

Published in 2005 by Voyager Books

Source: Library

Big Brown Rooster is tired of eating chicken feed all day, every day. As the great-grandson of the famous Little Red Hen, he decides enough is enough. If the stories are right and Little Red Hen was as great a cook as people say, then he can cook too. With the help of a few friends, Rooster decides to try and make his great-grandma’s strawberry shortcake. But will the shortcake turns out the way it’s supposed to?

What I really like about this book is that the authors illustrate beautifully that not everything you make will turn out well but the key is to keep trying until you get it right. Kids will laugh at the animals as they try to figure out Great Grandma’s instructions while learning how to measure, sift flour, and other things.  Included at the end of the picture book is the recipe the characters use. My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Pizza: How to Make and Bake More Than 50 Delicious Homemade Pizza

Written by Carla Bardi

128 pages

Published in 2011 by Reader’s Digest

Source: Library

If I were to describe Pizza, I would say “cute”. The book is shaped like a pizza. Bardi includes recipes for making pizza dough from scratch including whole-wheat and gluten-free dough. There are plenty of pictures for step-by-step instructions for the dough and for the various types of pizza the author included. As a mom with three picky eaters, there aren’t many recipes in this book that I could make and my kids would eat.  These aren’t your typical pizza recipes instead there’s eggplant pizza, bell pepper pizza, and even pizza with apple and Gorgonzola. There’s nothing wrong with the recipes but this isn’t a book I can really use. I’m still recommending it for those with a more “sophisticated” palate. My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Easy as Pie

Written by Cari Best

Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

48 pages

Published in 2010 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Source: Library

Jacob loves watching his favorite TV chef, Chef Monty, makes his famous recipes. When Jacob decides to make a peach pie, it’s a good thing he remembers all of Monty’s rules about cooking. There are a few mistakes and setbacks but Jacob’s determined to make his pie.

I thought this was a lovely book about making a goal and seeing it through until the end. With illustrations by Melissa Sweet, (A River of Words and Carmine), Easy as Pie is a book that will leave young foodies hungry for more. My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Have you read any of these? Are there any books you would recommend for young foodies?

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15 thoughts on “Weekend Cooking: Books for Young Foodies

  1. I am such a fan of kids’s cooking and foodie books. I especially love the sound of the Little Red Hen’s great-grandson. The pizza book sounds fund too, but there should have been more “regular” pizza recipes for kids to enjoy. I love the cover of Easy as Pie, so I’d pick that up just based on the illustrations.

  2. One of my total favorites is “Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You A Pie” by Robbin Gourley. It’s about Edna Lewis, the great pioneer African American chef and cookbook author who popularized southern cooking. The book is the story of her growing up, but it also has some kid friendly recipes, and the prettiest watercolor illustrations!

    1. Jill, thanks for reminding me of that book! I read it a couple of years ago and now that my kids are older, this would be a perfect time to read it again.

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  3. No eggplant on my pizza, either. No, no, no. I love kids’ cookbooks. Memories of cooking with my children are among the best, and they did seem to like cookbooks written especially for children.

  4. I think it’s awesome your kids like to read books about food! The only cookbook I had as a kid was Better Homes & Gardens Junior Cookbook that was published in 1950. There were some really weird recipes in that thing. :X

  5. Great reviews! These books look like a lot of fun, and I can’t wait until Greyson is older and we can get into some books like these. The only young foodie book I can think of is a novel I read a few years ago called Dear Julia by Amy Bronwen Zemser. It was a delightful chapter book about a girl with a dream to cook like Julia Child.

  6. I like the sound of some of these reads, particularly the pizza book. I know that my family is probably just as picky as yours and wouldn’t eat a lot of the pizza choices in the book, but it sounds neat, and I might eat them! I think it’s a great idea to get kids in the kitchen and thinking about food. We just had my daughter cook her first meal last night, and it came out wonderfully, and she was really proud of herself. I love that your kids are foodies!

  7. I’ve just recently become more comfortable with using yeast in cooking, and bread is SO YUMMY when you make it fresh! So now I think I want to conquer pizza dough, and that recipe book looks excellent :-)

  8. I love your idea of checking out cookbooks from the library! There are several in my pantry that I thought I really wanted but never use them for this reason or the other. Would have been nice to check them out and roadtest first.

    Also love the idea of cookbooks for kids! I remember my mom had one when we were little and it make cooking seem so much more accessible for us!

  9. Your first sentence made me feel so good. I’m glad to hear your kids love to read books about food. I care about having future foodies, but I also care about children having healthy and fun attitudes about food.

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