By: Maeve Dodds, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Did you know October is National Cookbook Author Month? October in North Carolina is a wonderful time to find recipes for when the weather starts to cool down, and we spend more time indoors. According to the American Library Association’s Enhanced Storytime guideline, cooking with your child and explaining the steps that go into making a meal builds experiences in children that help them to understand the world around them. Cookbooks are a fantastic way to visually show instructions, and the end product, so children can have a delicious end goal. So, let us get to cooking! Below are some of our favorite cookbooks for caregivers and children to share together.
What better way to start this list with a cookbook for kids, by kids? Chef Junior: 100 Super Delicious Recipes for Kids by Kids was compiled by Will Bartlett with the help of five cooks aged 11 to 14. Everything looks delicious and manageable for a child and caregiver to try. I recommend the Coconut Chicken Nuggets.
Esme Washburn has compiled a wonderful list of easy recipes for young chefs in her book, 20 Recipes Kids Should Know; photographed by Calista Washburn. All of these recipes are easy and fun for a budding cook. Some recipes include breaded chicken, banana bread, and the perfect grilled cheese. Even adults who do not enjoy cooking can appreciate this easy to follow book.
Want a cookbook that is more in-depth? Check out Joe Archer’s Plant, Cook, Eat! A Children’s Cookbook. This book is great for elementary aged students, as it shares how plants grow, how to prepare a vegetable patch, planting inside and outside, and more. The best part is it supplies recipes for what you can grow. Like pesto pasta? Follow the book on how to grow kale, then learn how to make the kale into pesto. Some favorites include bean burgers, potato pancakes, and chocolate beet cake.
As always, Good Housekeeping has a reliable cookbook for children that is filled with 100 easy and delicious recipes with Kids Cook! Classic recipes like cheeseburgers, pizzas, salads, and cookies are all compiled into an eye appealing book for families to enjoy together. Pizza is a classic recipe that is great for children of all ages, even toddlers to help make because everyone loves adding piles of fun toppings.
Lastly, a staff favorite is What’s Cooking at 10 Garden Street by Felicita Sala. The author takes you on a journey through an old apartment complex while everyone is cooking recipes from all over the world. The illustrations are beautiful, and it reads like a fiction book, but has recipes that children and caregivers can try. Two favorite recipes made from this book are Miss Ishida’s oyakodon (chicken and egg rice) and Mrs. Greenpea’s mini-quiches.
Want to enjoy books about foods? Check out our book compilation via our library webpage. We also have a Food and Fun storytime available to view throughout digital library branch – no library card required.