Picture Books about Cooking

Cooking with your children teaches them important life skills, boosts self-esteem and even increases math and reading comprehension ability. Picture books are an excellent way to gets kids interested in cooking (and eating!) new flavors.

The books on this list will have children clamoring to get in the kitchen and cook up something special.

No More Beige Food

Fed up with the bland, beige food at their dinner table, two children set out to learn how to cook some new and exciting dishes. They visit their neighbors one by one, learning how to make Lebanese kibbe, pad Thai, quesadillas, and chocolate mousse. This book is an extraordinary multicultural experience that will have kids clamoring to cook – and eat – new flavors.

Bee-bim Bop!

Told in energetic rhyming verse, this story follows a young Korean American girl and her mother as they prepare bee-bim bop, a traditional Korean dish. When the cooking is done, the whole family gathers to enjoy dinner together. Endnotes include the author’s own recipe for bee-bim bop with step-by-step directions.

Pancakes for Breakfast

In this classic wordless picture book, a little old lady wants to make pancakes for breakfast and must go to great lengths to procure the necessary ingredients.

Cora Cooks Pancit

Cora loves being in the kitchen, but always gets stuck doing the “kid jobs” while her older sisters and brother help their mother with the cooking. When her siblings are out for the day, Cora finally gets a chance to be Mama’s assistant chef! The pair decides to make pancit, a Filipino noodle dish. This heartwarming story encapsulates the warmth between a mother and daughter as they bond over a love of cooking and their shared heritage. The book includes a glossary and a recipe for pancit.

Julia, Child

This fictional tale, loosely inspired by cooking icon Julia Child, tells the story of two girls who share a passion for cooking. Featuring marvelous gouache and ink illustrations, this whimsical book is a joyous celebration of cooking and friendship.

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

The market is closed, so an adventurous young baker travels around the world to collect the necessary ingredients for an apple pie. She harvests wheat in Italy, sails to Sri Lanka for cinnamon, collects some sugar cane in South America, and goes apple picking in Vermont, before finally returning home to start baking. Cooking and geography intertwine in this fun read-aloud, which includes a recipe.

The Popcorn Book

Twins Tony and Tiny get a hankering for some popcorn and head to the kitchen. While Tony gets cooking, his brother does some reading on the subject. This book is full of fascinating facts about popcorn, including its origins and historical significance, how to store and cook popcorn, and more.

The Boy Who Wanted to Cook

Pierre longs to be a chef like his father, who owns a restaurant in a small town in the South of France. Pierre’s father thinks that he is too young to cook, but Pierre sees an opportunity to prove himself when an important food critic visits the restaurant. The book includes a glossary and an afterword about dining in France.

Pizza at Sally’s

Sally picks tomatoes in her garden, orders flour from a farm, and buys cheese from a local shop. Then she uses the ingredients to make delicious pizza for her neighborhood pizzeria! This cheery, inviting book is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Includes a basic pizza recipe.

Before you go, be sure to check out my follow-up book list, Picture Books about Baking.



  1. As a picture book and children’s cookbook author, I was especially pleased to read this.

  2. Pingback: Kindergarten Homeschool Reading List - Youth Literature Reviews

  3. Pingback: Picture Books about Baking - Youth Literature Reviews

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