There was a time in my life when I wasn’t writing. My first child had just been born, I had left the classroom, and I needed something to do. I ended up turning to the kitchen where my creativity found an outlet in baking and cooking.
It seemed a natural progression. While I hadn’t always loved cooking, I had always loved reading. My genre was suspense until the adult word got scarier and life got more complicated. In need of something breezier I found myself reading cozies by the dozen, most of them revolving around crime-solving bakers, caterers and innkeepers. I think that’s why being in the kitchen felt familiar, almost intuitive. Despite having very little experience in the kitchen prior to this, it turned out I was actually pretty good at it.
Ten years later I have a husband who eats anything and a house full of picky children. Having gone down a long and fruitless road of food coercion with G, I’ve turned to books about food to help generate interest in new menu items. It’s a slow process, but there are signs of improvement here and there. So I’ll keep at it, with the hope that one day, my kids will be just as much of a foodie as I am.
A girl can dream, right?
Here are five of our favorite books about food, in no particular order:
Strega Nona (Tomie DePaola) Strega Nona is the beloved miracle worker of a small Italian village. Her potions and spells are almost as well known as her pasta pot, which cooks up a magical pot of pasta at the touch of Nona’s hand (and a few special words). When Nona leaves Big Anthony alone for a few days, Big Anthony is sure he can make pasta just as well as Nona. Anthony’s pride leads to a very filling lesson.
I Really Like Slop! (Mo Willems) Gerald and Piggie have gone on a drive. Played with new toys. Learned to be patient. In I Really Like Slop, the ever-optomistic Piggie introduces her best friend Gerald to the height of pig cuisine – slop. Willems crafts a tender tale of risk-taking and acceptance in this hilarious series installment.
In the Night Kitchen (Maurice Sendak) Yes, I know. This book is frequently challenged and banned in schools and libraries. But here’s the thing. It’s a dream. Mickey is three. What three year old doesn’t dream of being naked all the time (or for that matter, what three year old doesn’t try to be naked all the time)? I loved seeing Sendak’s interpretation of Mickey’s bakery dream. It’s an endearing look inside a child’s mind, and a fun romp through a larger-than-life bakery.
Bulldog’s Big Day (Kate McMullan) Bulldog’s looking for a new job, and he’s willing to try anything. When several different options just don’t work out, Bulldog stumbles upon a job that’s perfect for him – and shares a tasty cookie recipe, too.
Bunnicula (James Howe) This was one of my absolute favorite books growing up. G read it for the first time in kindergarten and immediately fell in love with it. She’s read it at least twice a year since then, and has followed that up with the other books in the series. Written at about a third grade level, Bunnicula is a mystery: Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find the nefarious cause behind their family’s ransacked vegetable supply, before the perpetrator (who just happens to be a cute little bunny) moves on to other cuisine.
In my foray into the kitchen and culinary fiction, I learned that man cannot live by bread alone. He also needs good books, and these five tasty titles fit the bill for family reading.
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And now for the link up!
Our hosts will still share a themed selection of our favorite books each week.
If you’d like to join us as a co-host for What to Read Wednesday, please contact Anne.
This list has our book themes for 2016, but you don’t have to stick to that to link up–any family-friendly posts are welcome. So, come on! Join in the fun!
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