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Great Read Alouds: Good food

Picture books about food are something everyone relates to. These book engage children in the world around them and pique their curiosity. Readers learn about traditional foods other families eat and enjoy. Some books even share recipes to try at home. Let's dig into some of my top picks.

Soul Food Sunday written by Winsome Bingham & illustrated by C. G. Esperanza

While preparing a family meal a grandmother lovingly teaches her grandson to cook. The story gives you a glimpse of a table filled with delicious food served with love. The book features strikingly beautiful illustrations. You can also watch a downloadable video from Hoopla.

"With each step, the narrator gives it his all in a rhythmic, pleasingly repetitive text, and Granny warmly approves. Perfectly suited to be shared with both those of the culture and those looking on." ―Kirkus Reviews

Fry Bread written by Kevin Noble Maillard & illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

This story is about fry bread, which is a staple in many tribes. But it is more a story of family, community and culture. The illustrations invoke comfort as family and friends gather to prepare and enjoy fry bread. This story is also available as a Hoopla video.

“Through the story and the book's beautiful pictures, Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal capture the complexity of native identity.” ―Graham Lee Brewer, NPR

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

The smell of hot thick red stew fills the entire neighborhood with its delicious aroma. Omu welcomes neighbors to enjoy a bowl, and by doing so she has nothing left for herself. The reader notices her generosity, and the unexpected rewards of sharing. This story is also available as a Hoopla video and in Spanish ¡Gracias, Omu!

"A lovely story of giving and community founded in Nigerian culture. Delectable." ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Let Me Fix You a Plate by Elizabeth Lilly

A family goes on two distinct road trips – to Mamaw and Papaw's in West Virginia and to Abuela and Abuelo's in Florida. They enjoys a home cooked meal on each trip that is equally distinct and celebrated. The story recognizes the heart of the home (the kitchen) and captures the warmth and love of a good meal with family.

"The journey is told on multiple levels across pictures and text that entice readers, like the mouthwatering portrayals of home-cooked meals prepared and served by two extended families and two cultures. Lilly’s loose yet warm illustration style, awash in a rainbow of colors and textures, captures the love in these families. . . . A storytelling feast for the whole family, no matter where you live."—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Dinner on Domingos written by Alexandra Katona & illustrated by Claudia Navarro

You are invited to dinner as we turn Sunday into "the best day of the week." There is room for everyone in the extended family. This story is a celebration of family, food, and fun. The author incorporates English and Spanish throughout the book.

“Navarro’s joyful illustrations are filled with movement and bright, happy colors, capturing the boisterous reunions in an accessible and humorous way . . . An ebullient celebration of family and the rituals that bring a family together.” –Kirkus Reviews

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