It seems that the idea of being a “foodie” has trickled down to the younger set. I know lots of six, seven and eight-year-olds who talk knowledgeably about reality cooking shows and the local restaurant scene. It’s great, of course, that kids are more conscious about what’s in their lunch box, but it does make me laugh when I catch myself in a conversation with a second grader about Rachel Ray and The Barefoot Contessa. I don’t know much about celebrity chefs, but I do have a list of favorite picture books about food which would make any budding Michael Pollan happy.
Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly by Carolyn Parkhurst (A delightful new book about a five-year-old boy pretending to be a TV chef)
Yoko by Rosemary Wells (Yoko brings sushi for lunch about which the other kids have a few things to say: “Ick!…It’s seafood!” is one of them. The teacher comes up with an ingenious plan. A funny story with an important message.)
Arnie the Donut by Laurie Keller (Our dog, Arnie, is named for this book’s main character – a donut who becomes, you guessed it – a dog!)
The Donut Chef by Bob Staake (Competition heats up between donut makers in this rhyming story.)
Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig (We used to make our own son into a pizza after reading this book – it’s lots of fun!)
Pizza at Sally’s by Monica Wellington
Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle
Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola
If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff (Or you could opt to Give a Mouse a Cookie…)
And, last but not least, a story about one of the original foodies – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
I’m hungry now, and for some reason I’m craving pancakes and pizza!