The best picture books about sharing food

The Books I Picked & Why

Thank You, Omu!

By Oge Mora

Book cover of Thank You, Omu!

Why this book?

On the first pages of Thank you, Omu! a grandmotherly character, Omu, is cooking a thick red stew in a big fat pot for a nice evening meal. The smell wafts out the window and door and around the neighborhood…and soon people are knocking on her door wondering what the amazing smell is. Omu sees how they want some, so she shares. All day long, everyone who arrives at Omu’s door gets a bowl of her thick red stew.

When the day draws to a close, Omu goes to her big fat pot on the stove to scoop out some stew for herself…only to find it empty! But there’s a knock-knock-knocking at the door again, and when she opens it, everyone Omu has fed throughout the day stands there, the makings of a celebratory meal in their hands.

I love this book for its abundance and community, its graciousness and generosity. The art is beautiful, and the repetition makes for a very fun read. It’s always a hit during storytime!

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How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

By Marjorie Priceman

Book cover of How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

Why this book?

How To Make an Apple Pie and See The World is a whimsical book that starts by asserting that making apple pie is the easiest thing in the world. All you do is get the ingredients at the market then mix, bake, and serve… But what if the market is closed? In that case, adventure ensues! One travels the world to procure the ingredients—Italy, France, Sri Lanka, England, Jamaica, Vermont—and then you mix, bake, and serve.

The last spread of this wonderful picturebook features a round table and a gathering of friends eating apple pie—is there anything better?

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Too Many Pumpkins

By Linda White, Megan Lloyd

Book cover of Too Many Pumpkins

Why this book?

Rebecca Estelle hates pumpkins—and this is something kids can hardly imagine. (Certainly, the gorgeous art makes you wonder how anyone could hate pumpkins!) But Rebecca Estelle had a chapter in life where pumpkins were pretty much all she had to eat and so she is sick of them.

However, when she accidentally grows an enormous pumpkin patch, Rebecca Estelle has to deal with the loathed pumpkins. And deal with them she does—pies and muffins and tarts and cookies and roasted seeds come out of her kitchen. She carves fabulous jack-o-lanterns (a magical two-page spread!) and her neighbors show up. “We thought you hated pumpkins!” they say. And Rebecca Estelle presses pumpkin treats and seeds into their hands.

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The Greatest Table

By Michael J. Rosen, Becca Stadtlander

Book cover of The Greatest Table

Why this book?

This book is a poem about people gathering around food, whether at tables or on picnic blankets, breakfasts in bed, or at a sidewalk café. The illustrations are beautiful—homes around the world, and spreads of all kinds of foods. The theme is gratitude—for food, for family and friends, for the diversity of the world’s tables that together make the greatest table. This is a quiet book—one that could be read as a prayer before a meal. It is invitational: “…so if you’re hungry, join us here, pull up another chair. We’ll all scoot over, make more room, there’s always some to spare.”

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Bee-Bim Bop!

By Linda Sue Park, Ho Baek Lee

Book cover of Bee-Bim Bop!

Why this book?

This rollicking, rhyming picturebook is so much fun to read. A little girl and her mother are making the traditional Korean dish of bee-bim bop. The book starts in the grocery store and ends at a table with three generations gathered to eat. It’s basically a recipe—bee-bim bop can actually be made by reading it, and it is delicious. This is always a crowd-pleaser during storytime. Kids can join in on the refrain of bee-bim bop! The energy level escalates as you go!

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