32 Best Children’s Picture Books About Cooking: Food and Story

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Images of Children's book covers arranged in two rows over a teal background with bold text reading Food and Story books for kids. Book covers include images of colorful birthday balloons, dumplings, bowl of ramen, tamales, geese, picnic, and children.

Picture Books About Cooking. My little family and I had so much fun with this curated list of all our favorite children’s books featuring food in stories. This book list is perfect for your budding little chef or little baker. Find a great book and then cook up your favorite food for fun memories. Some of these books include a simple recipe in the back, I have noted this in italics. Stick around. I have a list of 50 coming soon. 🙂

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32 Picture Books About Cooking for Kids

1. Granny’s Kitchen by Sade Smith

Shelly-Ann’s grandmother is a wonderful cook who masters the delicacies of Jamaica. But Shelly-Ann struggles to cook like her grandmother. Her determination and love for food motivate her to keep going with a little help from her beloved granny. Kids will love the colorful illustrations. More books about perseverance. This has to be one of my favorite picture books about cooking!
Recipes included.

2. Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard

This picture book is a Native Family Story that features a unifying cultural food, fry bread. The beautiful illustrations are calming. I love learning about different cultures through food. This story can spark some difficult essential conversations.
Family recipe included.

3. Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende Devlin

Thanksgiving Day is Grandmother’s favorite holiday. Every year she invites a guest for dinner. Maggie, her granddaughter, was instructed to invite someone too, someone “poor or lonely.” Grandmother wasn’t happy when she discovered the young girl invited Mr. Whiskers to dinner for fear that he might steal her secret cranberry bread recipe. This wonderful book includes a recipe at the end. My two favorite things combined: cooking and reading.
More wholesome and wonderful picture books for Thanksgiving.
Recipe included.

4. How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

A closed market sends readers around the world to collect the ingredients to this deliciously silly recipe for apple pie. A simple apple recipe is included in the back. Apple season is the perfect time for food and story, find More picture books about apples with plenty of picture books about cooking with apples.
Recipe included.

5. A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins

This wonderful picture book details a delicious blackberry dessert throughout four centuries. The fine dessert is made in four different cities by four different families. It is truly fascinating to see how food, technology, and family culture have changed throughout history.
Here is our simple Blackberry Fool Recipe.
Recipe included.

6. The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone

This is a classic story of reaping what you sow. When the little red hen asks for help from all the different animals, no one wants to help. So, she is left to do all the work herself.
More Farm Picture Books for Kids.

7. The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman

This little picture book is about seven children with picky and silly eating habits and a sweet mom who embraces her silly eaters. Maybe I love this one so much because I understand the struggle with picky eaters. But this silly story always brings up the conversation about taking thankful bites and being grateful for the food on the table.

8. Blueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey

In this sweet story, little Sal goes to pick blueberries with her mother. When Sal wanders off, a little mix-up happens between a mama bear and a baby bear.
Fun list of Vintage Children’s Picture Books

9. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

This classic picture book is a must for a child’s home library. I cannot say enough great things about this beautiful book. The very hungry caterpillar has its fill of many different foods throughout the week. With a tummy ache, he munches on a green leaf before being a part of one of the most miraculous marvels of nature.
Best Board Books For Babies and Toddlers.

10. Dumplings For Lili by Melissa Iwai

I love that Nai Nai teaches Lili the secrets of the perfect baos, such as kneading the dough with love and being thankful for the ingredients. While making the baos together, her Nai Nai notices they are out of cabbage. Lili saves the day but first, she must help her neighbors and climb on so many stairs.
Recipe included.

11. Soup Day by Melissa Iwai

In this story, a young girl and her mom make nutritious vegetable soup for dinner. First, the go shopping for the ingredients. Then, it’s time to chop the fresh vegetables and cook the soup. As the soup simmers, they read, play, and build together. Once her dad is home, it’s time to clean up and sit down as a family and enjoy the soup together.
Recipe included.

12. Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco

In this precious book a little girl hides under the bed as thunder rumbles and lighting cracks across the sky. Her grandmother gently coaxes her out with a hug, encouragement, and a mission. The little girl and her grandmother go on a mission to gather the ingredients for a thunder cake, which includes brave feats.
Recipe included.

13. Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

In this fun book, Maria and her cousins try to eat themselves out of trouble after losing her mom’s diamond ring while making tamales on Christmas Eve. This may be the funniest book on this picture books about cooking.

14. Stone Soup: An Old Tale by Marcia Brown

Three hungry soldiers travel through a French village. The people see the soldiers coming and quickly begin to hide their food. But all they need are three stones to make a delicious soup. The old tale is packed with wit and humor as the village people make various offerings to the stone soup.

15. Thank you, Omu! by Oge Mora

In this heartwarming story of sharing, Omu, a generous woman, is so excited about her big red stew. The delicious smell brings many individuals from the neighborhood. And Omu shares her stew with all until it is all gone. She has nothing left for supper. Omu’s generosity is returned by her neighbors, bringing a community feast of delicious food into her home. This is such a lovely story and is a must-read of children’s literature.
More Books on Compassion for Kids.

15. Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

In this first book, Strega Nona helps the townspeople with all their problems using her magical pasta pot. One day, she leaves Big Antony in charge with strict instructions not to use the pasta pot, but he does not listen.
Content warning: This book includes references to magic and Strega Nona means grandma witch in Italian.

16. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

The tiny town of Chewandswallow is unique in its weather forecast. It rained meals three times a day, and the townspeople enjoyed it until the weather got out of hand.

17. Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

This book is so much fun to add to taco night. Dragons love tacos and especially taco parties, but make sure not to serve spicy salsa. Dragons hate spicy salsa.
Funny Picture Books for Kids

18. Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

Cat, Squirrel, and Duck live in harmony in their white cabin in the woods until Duck decides to stir the pumpkin soup, breaking tradition. In a rumble, Duck leaves their home. After his friends settle down, they become concerned and realize their actions were wrong. (All that is missing is a delicious pumpkin soup recipe listed at the end of the book.)
Content warning: There is an image of a witch as the animals picture scaring things they could find in the woods.
More Fall Favorite Picture Books

19. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert

This simple picture book is a great way to introduce young ones to gardening and where our food comes from. From gathering the essential tools, planting seeds, weeding, harvesting, washing, chopping, and cooking, young readers will learn all it takes to make a yummy garden vegetable soup. Budding chefs and gardeners will find this a great book on this list of picture books about cooking.
Recipe included.

20. Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham

Sundays are for gathering at Granny’s to enjoy family and food together. Granny teaches her grandson how to make all their favorite dishes.
Recipes included.

21. Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson

This little rabbit has too many carrots which overflow his house. His friends offer him help, but his greed ruins their homes. Rabbit learns his lesson and shares his carrots. This book made it onto the book list because my kiddos loved it, and it also led to making many delicious treats featuring juicy orange carrots.

22. Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson

This picture book is filled with fun rhyme and rhythm as Grandpa makes a whopper of a cake for Grandma’s birthday with an extra serving of love.

23. Luli and the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang

No one in Luli’s speaks the same language. The playroom is quiet, and Luli brings them together by hosting a tea party. I love the additional material in the back that explores the rich history of tea drinking across cultures.

24. Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke

This picture book is the perfect counting book for little readers. Baby takes a bite and stores all his yummy gifts in Mom’s basket. I had to include this book on this list because it’s one of my girls’ favorite books.

25. Never Trumpet With a Crumpet by Amy Gibson

The zoo animals attend a tea party and learn proper etiquette and behavior. The colorful illustrations creatively depict this humorous event.

26. Walter the Baker by Eric Carle

One day, Walter the Baker makes rolls for the Duke and Duchess that taste unacceptable. In a rage, the Duke orders that Walter make him a roll that the rising sun can shine through three times. Does Walter develop a good-tasting roll? This one had us baking bread the next day.

27. When Grandma Gives You A Lemon Tree by Jamie Deeihan

A young girl is upset that her grandma gives her a lemon tree for her birthday. The narrator instructs the little girl on how to behave when receiving an unwanted present. She follows the instructions carefully and discovers the lemon tree is exactly what she needs. The best part about this book is it could inspire a budding gardener.
Recipe included.

28. Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison

I’m all about adding baking to a seemingly mundane day. Nana finds a way to make an ordinary afternoon special. Nana passes down her beloved yummy, yummy fudge recipe.

29. Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang

This busy little girl spends the day making baos with her family. Amy Wu wants to make the perfect bao. After failed attempts and some problem-solving, she successfully makes a bao. I love that she perseveres. It is always daunting when everyone around seems to figure it out and you are struggling. This is a very simple book with bright and colorful illustrations.
Recipe included.

30. The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

This wildly imaginative Crocodile has a big fear of swallowing a watermelon seed.

31. Beep-Bim-Bop! by Linda Sue Park

This fun picture book about cooking a traditional Korean dish is filled with bouncy rhyming text about a little girl and her mom working together in the kitchen. Bee-bim Bop is translated as mix-mix rice.
Recipe included.

32. Ramen For Everyone by Patricia Tanumihardja

Every Sunday, Hiro’s dad makes the best ramen from a generational family recipe. Hiro dreams of making the perfect bowl, and it is time to make the beloved family recipe. He feels like a failure, but with his father’s advice, Hiro makes everyone a unique bowl of ramen.
Recipe included.

Interested in More Booklists for Kids: Check These Out

Fun Outdoor Adventure Books for Kids

A little girl stands looking at a creek ready for an outdoor adventure.

Get the complete booklist of Favorite Adventure Books HERE.

Favorite Garden Picture Books for Kids

Book covers are arranged on a pale green background with green artist designs and leaves with bold black text on the image for children books on plants booklist.

Get the complete list of favorite garden children’s books HERE.

Favorite Farm Picture Books

A white gravel road leads up to a red barn with white trim and white fencing up on a hill. The sky is blue with white fluffy clouds and the sun is just starting to set behind the trees.

Get the complete booklist HERE.

More Booklists Coming Soon!

Thanks for Stopping By!

Lastly, I want to thank you for stopping by! Please say Hi in the comment section and share your favorite picture book about cooking. I hope you and your children find a favorite book from this list of cooking picture books for kids and maybe even find a few new recipes to try. Happy Reading!

– With Great Joy, Katie


Images of Children's book covers arranged in two rows over a teal background with bold text reading Food and Story books for kids. Book covers include images of colorful birthday balloons, dumplings, bowl of ramen, tamales, geese, picnic, and children.

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