The Center for Children's Books

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Books with Recipes and Other Delicious Selections - April 2011

Selected and annotated by CCB Volunteers

This bibliography is inspired by the Edible Book Festival which the CCB co-sponsors each year. Some selections are also borrowed from the Bulletin Dozens, a list of bibliographies compiled each month by the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books available at

In the Field: Books about Gardens and Farms
In the Kitchen: Books about Cooking
Adventures with Food
Food Poems

In the Field: Books about Gardens and Farms

Sobol, Richard. The Life of Rice: From Seedling to Supper. Candlewick, 2010. 40p. Ages 8-12.
Learn about rice cultivation by following a photographer’s travels through Thailand. Photographs illuminate the religious, cultural, and economic impact rice has on the people of Thailand.

Mansfield, Howard. Hogwood Steps Out: A Good, Good Pig Story. Illus. by Barry Moser. Porter/Roaring Book, 2008. 32p. Ages 4-7.
Join the 600-pound pig Christopher Hogwood as he escapes from his pigpen to enjoy a spring day. Readers will have fun seeing Hogwood feast on other people’s gardens.

Kennedy, Marlane. Me and the Pumpkin Queen. Greenwillow, 2007. 192p. Ages 10-13.
After the death of her mother, Mildred decides to follow in her mother's footsteps by becoming Pumpkin Show Queen of Circleville, Ohio. Mildred combats nature and naysayers to try to grow a monstrous pumpkin and win the contest.

Robbins, Ken. Pumpkins. Porter/Roaring Books, 2006. 32p. Ages 3-7.
Vivid photographers laced with bright autumn colors highlight the life cycle of pumpkins in this picture book. The book shows the transformation of pumpkins from seedling to jack-o’-lanterns.

In the Kitchen: Books about Cooking

Gold, Rozanne. Kids Cook 1-2-3: Recipes for Young Chefs Using Only 3 Ingredients. Illus. by Sara Pinto. Bloomsbury, 2006. 144p. Ages 9-14.
Get in the kitchen and start cooking with this collection of recipes that use only 3 base ingredients. Kids will have fun using these recipes and as they become “seasoned” pros; they can use the included tips to take the recipes a step further.

Crespo, Claire. The Secret Life of Food. Photos by Eric Staudenmaier. Melcher Media/Hyperion, 2002. 108p. Ages 9-15.
This collection of fun and wacky recipes will have kids using their creativity in the kitchen. Recipes range from new twists on classics (gingerbread skeletons) to gross-out recipes (spaghetti with eyeballs).

Adventures in Food (with occasional recipes to go along with the story)

Morse, Scott. Magic Pickle. Graphix/Scholastic, 2008. 112p. Ages 7-11.
This action packed graphic novel follows the adventures of a scientifically engineered superhero pickle and his human friend as they fight a league of evil produce. Young readers will enjoy the wacky humor as Agent Kosher deals out Dill Justice.

Durant, Alan. Burger Boy. illus. by Mei Matsuoka. Clarion Books, 2006. 32p. Ages 4-7.
The Gingerbread Boy meets tongue-in-cheek cautionary tale when Benny eats so many hamburgers his mother’s warning, “If you don’t watch out, you’ll turn into a burger one day,” comes true. Now everyone wants a bit of Benny but fortunately mom has a plan.

McGowan, Keith. The Witch’s Guide to Cooking with Children. illus. by Yoko Tanaka. Ottaviano/Holt, 2009. 192p. Gr. 4-6.
Young siblings Sol and Connie know something is odd about their neighbor Holaderry. But they don’t know the truth. Holaderry’s hobbies include cooking, and as a witch she prefers her cooking ala Hansel and Gretel and the siblings look like tasty treats.

Compestine, Ying Chang. The Story of Noodles. Illus. by YongSheng Xuan. Holiday House, 2002. 32p. Ages 5-9.
Illustrations that combine qualities of traditional Chinese cut-paper art and stained glass accompany the story of what happens when mama enlists her boys to help with the dumplings she is making for the annual cooking contest. Will their mischief destroy her chances or better them? Includes a recipe!

Urbanovic, Jackie. Duck Soup. illus. by Jackie Ubanovic. HarperCollins, 2008. 32p. Ages 5-8.
In this funny and warm story, Max the duck attempts to create a legendary soup recipe. While he is searching the garden for an herb to perfect his dish, his friends arrive. Chaos ensues when they think Max and the soup have become one.

Priceman, Marjorie. How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A. Illus. Marjorie Priceman. Knoph, 2008. 32p. Ages 5-8.
A young baker takes a whirlwind tour through the U.S. to find ingredients to make a pie, ingredients like coal and cotton. The story is more about what comes from where than about cherry pie, but in the end the reader gets to see the pie--and join in a parade to boot.

Food Poems

Mora, Pat. Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué rico!: Americas’ Sproutings. illus by Rafael López. Lee & Low, 2007. 32p. Gr. 3-5.
Mora explores a variety foods native to the Americas, including corn, pecans, and prickly pears, through 14 haikus. The poems are presented in alphabetical order and each is coupled with facts about the food’s history and uses.

Weinstock, Robert. Food Hates You, Too and Other Poems. Hyperion, 2009. 32p. Gr. 3-5.
This collection of 19 humorous poems about food varies in both subject and form. Readers will delight in poems about a girl who only drinks soda, what a brain’s favorite food is, and a recipe for the ocean.

Elliott, David. On the Farm. Illus. by Holly Meade. Candlewick, 2008. 32p. Ages 5-8.
Watercolored woodblock illustrations accompany poems about a wide variety of animals living on a farm. Young readers will enjoy reading along with the short, pithy verses.

Rex, Adam. Frankenstein Takes the Cake. Harcourt, 2008. 40p. Gr. 3-7.
The sixteen monstrously funny poems in this book loosely revolve around Frankenstein’s wedding to the Bride of Frankenstein. Rex uses different kinds of poems and artwork making the book zany yet pleasantly versatile.