I want to be a foodie.
I don’t claim to have a discerning palate, but I do really LOVE trying international cuisines. With all four grandparents being born in Italy, food is a centerpiece of my family culture, and I just LOVE trying the foods that bring families together around the world.
What fun we can have by “food traveling” via picture books! Not only is it fun (and some books have recipes in the back—yummy!), but children of all backgrounds can be seen and learn about other cultures in a most delicious way.
Here’s a roundup of recent international culinary picture books. This is SURELY not exhaustive, so please add your suggestions below!
Chaiwala! by Priti Birla Maheshwari; illustrated by Ashley Barron
Okay, I guess I’m technically starting with a drink. When their train has a 10-minute layover in Jaipur, India, a girl and her mother race to find a cup of chai. The story was inspired by the author’s own childhood trips to India and is a great choice for a storytime book.
Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom
Anita helps her grandmother make flan for her grandfather’s birthday and accidentally breaks a treasured serving plate from Cuba. Has she ruined the festivities?
Tomatoes in my Lunchbox by Costantia Manoli; illustrated by Magdalena Mora
A newly immigrated girl feels out of place at school, especially when her lunch isn’t the norm. All it takes is one friend, however, to make a difference.
Soul Food Sunday by Winsome Bingham; illustrated by C. J. Esperanza
A grandmother passes down the tradition of a Sunday family meal to her grandson…and even shares a macaroni and cheese recipe with the reader!
A Tlingit girl learns to pick berries—and listen to the land—from her grandmother and then passes on the tradition. The reader will want to try the multitude of berries found on the endpapers!
What scrumptious books have you enjoyed?
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