Food, Read Your World

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao By Kat Zhang

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Back of Book: 

Amy loves to make bao with her family. But it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious. And her bao keeps coming out all wrong. Then she has an idea that may give her a second chance…Will Amy ever make the perfect bao?

My Review:

I received a copy of this picture book from Simon and Schuster books in exchange for an honest review. 

Debut author Kat Zhang has crafted a fantastic book that showcases Amy’s relicense in creating the perfect bao. The story follows a young girl named Amy as she tries to make the perfect sized bao. Sometimes they have too much filling and sometimes not enough. Amy knows that with enough practice she may reach her goal. Sadly, nothing she tries is working the way it should. Just when she is ready to give up, Amy comes up with the perfect solution to her problem. 

I love that this story focuses on the tradition of family coming together and cooking their favorite dish. I also loved that Amy brings bao to her school and shares it with her classroom. The illustrations by Charlene Chua are bright and give readers a good look at how bao is made. I love the adorable kitty that makes an appearance on each page. I was very excited to see a recipe in the back of the book on how to make Amy’s bao. 

I plan on using this story to begin my writer’s workshop with my students on how to write step by step instructions. This is a wonderful and creative picture book. 

Ages 5 and up

40 Pages 

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Food

Bilal Cooks Daal By Aisha Saeed

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Back of Book:
Six-year-old Bilal is excited to help his dad make his favorite food of all-time: daal! The slow-cooked lentil dish from South Asia requires lots of ingredients and a whole lot of waiting. Bilal wants to introduce his friends to daal. They’ve never tried it! As the day goes on, the daal continues to simmer, and more kids join Bilal and his family, waiting to try the tasty dish. And as time passes, Bilal begins to wonder: Will his friends like it as much as he does?
My Review:
I was so excited when I learned that Aisha had written a diverse picture book that is centered about food. I had never heard about Daal and was excited to read about such a unique dish. The story follows a young boy named Bilal and his friends and they wait for the daal to finish cooking. The text describes Daal as nutty, creamy, and warm like soup. I like that the story also describes the color and texture of the daal itself.
The ending of this story is a beautiful blend of culture and community. The illustrations are bright and showcase a diverse group of children who all come together to enjoy a tasty meal. The back of the book has authors note about Daal as well as a recipe so readers can create their own Daal at home. This is a must-have for all school and classroom libraries.
Ages 5 and up

Food, Grandparents, Read Your World

Grandpa Cacao: A Tale of Chocolate, from Farm to Family By Elizabeth Zunon

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Back of Book:
Chocolate is the perfect treat, everywhere!
As a little girl and her father bake her birthday cake together, Daddy tells the story of her Grandpa Cacao, a farmer from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. In a land where elephants roam and the air is hot and damp, Grandpa Cacao worked in his village to harvest cacao, the most important ingredient in chocolate. “Chocolate is a gift to you from Grandpa Cacao,” Daddy says. “We can only enjoy chocolate treats thanks to farmers like him.” Once the cake is baked, it’s ready to eat, but this isn’t her only birthday present. There’s a special surprise waiting at the front door
My Review:
I received a copy of this picture book from Bloomsbury Press in exchange for an honest review.
Although, I am a huge fan of all things chocolate I have never studied the process of how chocolate is made.
Grandpa Cacao is an informational story that opens readers eyes to the work and dedication of chocolate farmers in the Ivory Coast. The story follows a little girl and her father as they make a chocolate cake for her birthday. As they bake the father tells his daughter all about Grandpa Cacao and his work in the fields. The text beautifully blends the past and the present in a way that flows seamlessly. It ties in the importance of family, culture, and tradition. The illustrations are stunning and full of color and life. I was awed by the details in each picture. , The back of the book has more information about fair trade the science behind chocolate as well as a chocolate cake recipe.
This book is a true experience in a world that is fairly unknown. I learned so much about the chocolate making process and am now more committed to locating items that are certified as fair trade.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Food

Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando By Andrea Wang

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Back of Book:

Inspiration struck when Momofuku Ando spotted the long lines for a simple bowl of ramen following World War II. Magic Ramen tells the true story behind the creation of one of the world’s most popular foods.

Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab–a little shed in his backyard. For years, he’d dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty for the hungry people he’d seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Peace follows from a full stomach, he believed. Day after day, Ando experimented. Night after night, he failed. But Ando kept experimenting. With persistence, creativity, and a little inspiration, Ando succeeded. This is the true story behind one of the world’s most popular foods.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from author Andrea Wang in exchange for an honest review
Ramen noodles are such a famous food. I have many memories of eating it in college. I never thought about how complex it was to create. Ando lived during World War 2. During that time he saw people going hungry. He dedicated his life to making ramen noodles. The illustrations by Kana are similar to a graphic novel and bring depth into the story. The back of the book has a authors note, a pronunciation guide, and a great afterword that shares with readers more about the influence that ramen had on the world. Andrea and Kana have created a terrific nonfiction story about one mans passion and determination to create a food that everyone could afford and enjoy.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

Food, Read Your World

Food Fight Fiesta: A Tale About La Tomatina by Tracey Kyle

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Back of Book:
Every year, the town of Bu?ol in Spain holds La Tomatina, a grand fiesta featuring the world?s BIGGEST food fight! Join in the fun!
My Review:
I received this book from author Tracey Kyle in exchange for an honest review.
This picture book is an adorable look at a cultural event that has become an annual tradition. I had no idea that Spain held a giant food fight every year. The rhyming text makes this a perfect read aloud. The text also has Spanish words woven throughout which give a creative and diverse twist on the story. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and show readers the fun of the food fight. The back of the book has information about La Tomatina as well as a glossary of all the Spanish words. This is a truly adorable picture book and one that I know my students will want to hear over and over.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Food, Friendship

Rubio and Julienne: A Sweet and Cheesy Tale by Dan Paley

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Back of Book:
Rubio Fromage sat in his father’s cheese shop and longed to taste the beautiful fruits in the window of the fruit shop across the street. Julienne Chéri sat in her mother’s fruit shop and longed to taste the delectable wheels and savory wedges in the window of the cheese shop across the street. But Rubio’s father hated fruit and Julienne’s mother hated cheese, and the children were forbidden to speak to each other. But one day while making deliveries, they collided on a street corner. Rubio’s cheeses and Julienne’s fruits flew skyward and fell on their heads, creating spontaneous juicy pairings that they couldn’t help but taste. The forbidden combinations were out of this world. Nothing could ever be the same.
My Review:
I received a copy of this book from the author Dan Paley in exchange for an honest review.
I am simply in love with this adorable spin on the Romeo and Juliet story with a wonderful food twist. The story follows Rubio a cheese makers son and Julienne a fruit sellers daughter. Their parents are at war with one another still, the two children become friends and find that cheese and fruit taste better together. I love the message of the story that trying new food can be a delicious and exciting experience. The back of the story has a list of fruit and cheese combinations for readers to try out. The illustrations in this story are simply charming! Filled with beautiful and vibrant colors that will engage readers to keep turning the page. Lauren Gallegos is truly talented. I am looking forward to sharing with story with my classroom. The book also is a perfect into to a writing prompt about different food combinations. I highly recommend this story!
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Food

Fairy Floss: The Sweet Story of Cotton Candy by Ann Ingalls

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Back of Book:
Step right up and read about the debut of cotton candy at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904!

The 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, was an exhibition like none other. It had huge buildings for displaying all sorts of inventions and machines, exhibits from all around the world, and vendors selling new foods, including something called Fairy Floss, which we now call cotton candy.

In this book, a young girl named Lily and her Aunt Mae are told all about Fairy Floss by John Wharton, one of the inventors. Lily can’t wait to go to the Fair and see how it’s made. While there, she even makes a batch for herself!

My Review:
My students all love cotton candy. When I found a picture book about the creators of Fairy Floss, I knew I had to share it with my class. The story follows Lillie and her Aunt Mae as they travel to the World Fair and see the many inventions that were a part of the showcase there. I love that the text of this book teaches readers about several aspects of the World Fair. It also educates readers about the candy making process. There is a nice historical note in the back of the book that shares more about the creators of the electric machine to spin the sugar. William Morrison and John Wharton worked hard and sold their machine in many candy stores. The illustrations in this book are soft and whimsical. A perfect book to read when sharing STEM concepts or inventions.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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Food, Uncategorized

Lorenzo, the Pizza-Loving Lobster by Claire Lordon

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Back of Book:
When Lorenzo the lobster discovers pizza for the first time while wandering the beach, it becomes his favorite food ever! He races back home to tell his friend Kalena about it, and together they try to make a pizza. There’s only one problem… Lorenzo can’t remember what it was made of!
Will they be able to make a delicious pizza together?
My Review:
My students recently went on a fieldtrip to a pizza parlor. This was a perfect picture book to read about a pizza loving lobster. My students were absolutely in love with this book! They laughed along with Lorenzo and Kalena as they try different food on their pizza. The text is simple as makes for a great read aloud. I loved that the book discusses shapes and colors. I also love that the book discusses eating new kinds of foods. The illustrations are bright and cheerful. A perfect book to read to preschoolers.
Ages 4 and up
32 Pages

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Dinosaurs, Food, Silly and fun books, Uncategorized

Cookiesaurus Rex By Amy Fellner Dominy

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Back of Book:
As soon as Cookiesaurus Rex comes out of the oven, he declares that he is King of All Cookies. He should be frosted before all of the standard-shaped cookies, in a nice bright green. But the other cookies are getting sprinkles, or shiny stars, or even gumdrops . . . WAIT ONE STINKIN’ STOMPIN’ MINUTE! Cookiesaurus wants a do-over. Problem is, he might not end up with the kind of “do” he wants. Readers will love the funny back-and-forth between this cheeky cookie and the hand that frosts him. See who gets his licks in at the end!
My Review:
I have noticed a trend this year that many picture books have characters who speak to a third party or the reader. I believe that it is a very clever idea. Cookiesaurus Rex wants everything that all the other cookies have. He becomes very demanding until the person frosting the cookies has had enough. A battle ensues that will bring a great deal of laughter to readers. There is also an excellent moral in this book about not demanding things from others. AG Ford brings each change of the cookie to life. The final few pages are my personal favorite. This is a perfect book that combines laughter with the understanding that you can’t always get what you want the second you want it.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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Dog stories, Food

The King’s Taster By Kenneth Oppel

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Back of Book:
Max is the cook’s dog. And because he is also the king’s taster, Max gets to feast on
French Fries!
Rose Pudding!
Cheese Pie!
Pizza!
No wonder Max loves his job. Who wouldn’t want to dine on these delicious dishes?
The new king, that’s who.
And if the new king has his way, it won’t just be their job that the cook and Max lose!

My Review: This is a unique story about a picky eater and his official taster. The prince is picky, so the royal chief tries many new dishes like fries, and pizza. This book is very humorous with catchy language that readers will really enjoy. The illustrations are created by two different painters and blended together beautifully. I love the small details like the chief’s suit covered in recipes, or the details of the different countries. The story has a creative ending, with a lesson about eating healthy. This is a perfect story to add to any healthy eating unit.
Ages 5 and up
32 pages

Click Here to Find on Amazon