We recently worked with Exeter University to create a book for kids and adults to learn more about the way our food system works, through doing what we love – cooking! Our new book will explain why cooking veggie meals together is good for us and the planet. Keep an eye out – it will soon be available to anyone who has come to our sessions.
This got us thinking: are there other great books for kids which inspire us in the kitchen? Here’s some ideas – tell us the books YOU love!
Books with recipes
Our sessions are plant-based – not all of these stories are, to allow for a wider range of stories. Let us know if you have substitution ideas to make veggies the main characters!
Cora Cooks Pancit – Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore
In this book, Cora takes the reins in the kitchen for the first time and cooks a Filipino dish, Pancit, for her family. The recipe is in the back of the book for anyone who wants to try it too.
Bee-bim Bop – Linda Sue Park
In this book, readers join a hungry little girl on every step of the journey from shop, to kitchen, to table as her family put together the Korean Bee-Bim Bop.
Juliana’s Bananas – Ruth Walton
This one is a favourite with Rebecca and Ivy! Taking a look at the lives of banana farmers in the Windward Islands, Juliana’s Bananas explores how Fairtrade works and includes some simple recipes that are Kids Kitchen tested and approved!
Peeny Butter Fudge – Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
Sometimes, the rules go out the window when Grandma is in charge!
Food and community
Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice – Sylvia Rosa-Casanova
This story features an elderly woman named Mama Provi, who cooks up arroz con pollo (chicken and rice) for her poorly granddaughter, Lucy. The two live in the same apartment building, but Lucy is eight floors above. So Mama Provi climbs the stairs with the big pot of food, taking a rest at every level. While she’s resting, she chats and exchanges food with her neighbours. By the time she reaches her granddaughter, she has a full feast. This story is at the heart of what we love to do at Kids Kitchen – share food! We love that this story shows the value in community and cooking for one another.
Growing and Farming
Anywhere Farm– Phyllis Root
In this book, kids turn empty city space into their own mini farm! This is another one that looks at how people can come together through food, this time growing their own, for and with their community.
Grandpa Cacao: A Tale of Chocolate From Farm to Family – Elizabeth Zunon
In Grandpa Cacao, a little girl learns about her Grandad, a Cacao farmer in the Ivory Coast, as she cooks a chocolate cake with her dad. She hears all about his life and finds links to her life in America. The appendix talks about some of the issues in the farming system, particularly around cacao.
Compost Stew – Mary McKenna Siddals
Compost stew teaches us all about composting. What can be composted? What can’t? This book talks all about how to start a simple practice that helps the planet!
Phew, so that’s some of the books which we’ve found that are full of fun recipes, or talk about improving our food system. Our new book does all this too and we can’t wait to share it. In the meantime, let us know if you know of more we should add to the list!