Looking for the Best Picture Books About Food? With 30 books we’ve read and loved, there’s a picture book about food on this list that you are sure to enjoy!
Whether you’re trying to help a picky eater, introduce new foods and food cultures to your children, encourage kids to get more involved in the kitchen, or just looking for a good picture book about food to read aloud, we’ve got you covered!
Together, with my food loving kids, we compiled this list of the best Picture Books About Food. We’ve included both fiction and non-fiction books, as well as books that are informative and helpful, and plenty that are just plain fun to read too.
We have Ramen, and Pancakes, and Pizza here. But we also have Pancit, Bee-Bim Bop, and even a fun tale about the man who invented potato chips.
Food is nourishment, yes. But Food is also culture, and community, and celebration. We have it all here on this book list!
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The Best Picture Books About Food
The Seven Silly Eaters by MaryAnn Hoberman, illustrated by Marla Frazee : This one is at the very top of the list because it’s one of my all time favorite picture books and one of the very best picture books about food. With clever rhyming text and the most detailed, gorgeous illustrations, this book tells the story of the Peters family and their quirky solution for their seven picky eaters.
Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz : This brand new book tells the true story of how and why Ramen Noodles were created. It’s so much more interesting than you might imagine! The illustrations are beautiful and engaging. And be sure you have some Ramen on hand because after you read this, everyone’s going to want a bowl of noodles.
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague : I don’t really know why all the dinosaur books are so widely appealing to children, but we might as well just go with it. This one is fun to read aloud and reminds children that even dinosaurs have to learn how to behave at the table.
Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina Gilmore, illustrated by Kristi Valiant : Cora loves to be in the kitchen, but with four older siblings, she’s stuck with small tasks like licking the spoon. But when Cora finds herself home without all of her siblings one day, she asks her mother to teach her how to cook Pancit. Not only does her mother agree, she teaches her along the way about her Filipino family history too. A really lovely book!
Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth : There are many versions of this classic story, but I’m partial to this one. When three hungry strangers pass through a war torn village, its inhabitants are suspicious and withdrawn. But when the strangers announce that they have a special recipe for a soup made from stones, even the most bitter of the villagers is intrigued. I love this story about working together, plus it’s always fun to make a “stone soup” after reading this one.
Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora : This beautiful Caldecott Honor book is about soup, but it’s also about community, and friendship, and generosity. On the corner of First Street and Long Street, on the very top floor, Omu is making the most delicious soup. It’s so delicious, in fact, that its scrumptious smell starts drifting all across town and people start showing up for a bowl of Omu’s soup. But if Omu gives all her soup away, what will she eat for dinner?
Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie de Paola : This is a wordless book that tells the story of a little old lady determined to make pancakes for breakfast, despite all the humorous complications she meets along the way. No one tells a story (even without words!) better than Tomie de Paola!
Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco : When Grandma hears a loud clap of thunder, she and her granddaughter hurry around the farm to gather ingredients for a Thunder Cake. The tricky part, however, is that a “real” thunder cake must reach the oven before the storm arrives!
Chicken Soup With Rice by Maurice Sendak : This classic is one of my favorite books to read aloud! But, it always makes me hungry for a good bowl of chicken soup with rice (because, all seasons of the year are nice for eating chicken soup with rice!). Don’t worry, I have a really good recipe for Chicken Soup With Rice right here to make along with this book.
What’s Your Favorite Food by Eric Carle and Friends : Eric Carle and 13 other children’s book artists all share their favorite foods in this beautifully illustrated picture book about food. Did you know Dan Santat loves Ramen and Greg Pizzoli loves salad? You have to read the book to find out everyone else’s favorites though.
World Pizza by Cece Meng, illustrated by Ellen Shi : A family is gathered under the night sky when Mama spots a shooting star. She means to wish for world peace, but an unfortunate sneeze interrupts and “world peace” sounds a little too much like “world pizza.” Suddenly, warm rounds of pizza start drifting down from the sky all over the world. This is a sweet and funny book about how food brings us all together, and how a big portion of world peace really does depend on everyone having enough to eat.
Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament by Anne Renaud, illustrated by Felicita Sala : This is based on the true story of George Crum, the man who invented potato chips. When Filibert P. Horsefeathers walks into Mr. Crum’s restaurant and announces his hankering for heaping helping of potatoes, Mr. Crum is happy to oblige. But Mr. Horsefeathers keeps sending them back, demanding thinner and thinner potatoes that don’t reach perfection until they’re, well, a lot like a potato chip.
Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World by Alice B. McGinty, illustrated by Tomoko Suzuki : With rhyming text and colorful illustrations, this non-fiction picture book takes children around the world to see what everyone eats for breakfast. This is such a fun one!
I will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child : This is a book about a picky eater, but mostly it’s a book about the power of imagination. When we were kids, my mother convinced my little brother (a very fussy eater) that broccoli florets were “little dinosaur trees” and he happily ate them forever after. Years later, as a parent myself, I took this little trick and convinced my kids to eat beets (you know, “pink princess food”). All that to say, I love this clever little Lola and Charlie book in which carrots become orange twiglets from Jupiter, and mashed potatoes become cloud fluff from Mount Fuji.
The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathan Bean : This is one of our very favorite picture books. With the most gorgeous illustrations, and simple, poetic text, the book walks you through the cumulative story of how the apples came to be before Papa put them in his pie. A really delightful book.
The Bagel King by Andrew Larsen, illustrated by Sandy Nichols : Every Sunday morning, rain or shine, Zaida delivers fresh bagels to his family and friends in the neighborhood. But when Zaida takes a tumble on his tuches and ends up housebound, it’s up to his grandson Eli to keep the bagel tradition alive. This is such a heartwarming story – I dare you not to smile your way through this one! I also really loved the yiddish words scattered throughout the book. Note: read this book while eating fresh bagels.
Right This Very Minute: A Table-to-Farm book about Food and Farming by Lisl Detlefsen, illustrated by Renee Kurilla : What’s that you say? You want breakfast right this minute. Well, what you need then is a farmer! This clever picture book about food takes you behind the scenes to see how the farmer sows the wheat that becomes the flour for your pancakes, how the maple trees are tapped for your syrup, and so much more.
What’s Cooking? by Joshua David Stein, illustrated by Julia Rothman : This book, by food critic Joshua David Stein, introduces kids to a variety of food concepts and cuisines. It’s both silly (Do frozen peas grow on frozen trees?) and informative (Do you want to know what dumplings are called in three different countries?). This is a great introduction to FOOD!
Can I Eat That? by Joshua David Stein, illustrated by Julia Rothman : Another excellent book from food critic Joshua David Stein. You can eat a Tornado, that’s made of wind. But did you know you can eat a tournedo (a type of steak in France), a tonnato (an Italian sauce made with tuna), and a tostada (a fried tortilla from Mexico with delicious toppings)? This is a playful, yet practical, book all about food.
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban : This is a wonderful classic – a favorite from my own childhood. Frances is a fussy eater. No eggs for breakfast, no chicken salad sandwich for lunch, and no cutlets for dinner. In fact, the only thing Frances will agree to eat is bread and jam. But don’t worry, Frances’ mother has a plan.
Food Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of Our Edible World by Julia Rothman : This book is packed full of facts and illustrations to teach you all about food – everything from where the croissant was invented (Austria) to the anatomy of a Food Truck. This one is fascinating, for both adults and children interested in food.
Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells : This is a sweet little book about two bunny siblings that want to make a special cake for grandma. Max wants to make a worm infested cake with red hot marshmallow squirters, but Ruby wants to make an angel food cake with raspberry fluff icing. It’s going to take some work and communication to get this cake baked.
The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philomen Sturges, illustrated by Amy Walrod : This is a pizza twist on a classic fable. Someone gifted this to us when my kids were just toddlers, and I still quote lines to them out of this when it comes time to help with meal preparation.
Soup Day by Melissa Iwai : It’s a cold day, perfect for soup. This book walks you through the whole process, with bright and simple illustrations. From the grocery store to buy all of the ingredients, to all the preparation at home. A great one, even for little listeners.
A Taste of the World: What People Eat and How They Celebrate Around the Globe by Beth Walrond, illustrated by Little Gestalten : A beautifully illustrated non-fiction picture book about food around the world.
Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee : Bee-Bim Bop, or mix mix rice, is a traditional Korean rice dish topped with meat and vegetables. In this wonderful picture book, a mother and daughter shop for ingredients and then prepare this traditional Korean meal together.
Four Interactive Recipe Books by Lotta Nieminen : We adore these fun interactive board books (plus they make great gifts). Each book walks you through the cooking process of Pancakes, Pizza, Tacos, and Cookies – kneading the dough, whisking the batter, flipping the pancakes, slicing the pizza. My kids LOVE these books.
What’s Cooking at 10 Garden Street by Felicita Sala : This absolutely gorgeous book is a collection of recipes from different culinary traditions. In one apartment at 10 Garden street, Pilar is blending up tomatoes to make Salmorejo. Meanwhile, Josef and Rafik are rolling meatballs. For food lovers big and small, this is a must read!
United Tastes of America by Gabrielle Langholtz and Danielle Acken : This is a fantastic book filled with facts and recipes from every state in the United States of America. An excellent book to cook your way through the country.
Tony’s Bread by Tomie de Paola : And last, but certainly not least, we have this wonderful tale of Tony who dreams of becoming the most famous baker in all of northern Italy. It’s a tale you can’t miss.