The best picture books about sharing food

Who am I?

I am a children’s author who loves to eat and bake and cook and gather with others around a table. My writing somehow always has details about people coming together around favorite foods and drinks, enjoying the company of family and friends. Is it any wonder these are the sorts of books I love to read, as well?


I wrote...

Around the Table That Grandad Built

By Melanie Heuiser Hill, Jaime Kim (illustrator),

Book cover of Around the Table That Grandad Built

What is my book about?

In a unique take on the cumulative classic This Is the House That Jack Built, a family gathers with friends and neighbors to share a meal around a table that brims with associations: napkins sewn by Mom, glasses from Mom and Dad’s wedding, silverware gifted to Dad by his grandma long ago. Not to mention the squash from the garden, the bread baked by Gran, and the pies made by the young narrator (with a little help). Serving up a diverse array of dishes and faces, this warm and welcoming story is poised to become a savored part of Thanksgiving traditions to come.

A beautifully illustrated celebration of bounty and gratitude, family and friendship, perfect for the holidays and every day.

The books I picked & why

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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!

Thank You, Omu!

By Oge Mora,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Thank You, Omu! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A generous woman is rewarded by her community in this remarkable author-illustrator debut that's perfect for the Thanksgiving season, perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street.

Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?

Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings a heartwarming story of sharing and community to life in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as…


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?

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

By Marjorie Priceman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bake a delicious apple pie--and take a trip with this culinary global adventure!

An apple pie is easy to make...if the market is open. But if the market is closed, the world becomes your grocery store. This picture book takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients for a delicious apple pie. First hop a steamboat to Italy for the finest semolina wheat. Then hitch a ride to England and hijack a cow for the freshest possible milk. And, oh yes! Don't forget to go apple picking in Vermont! A simple recipe for apple pie is included.


Too Many Pumpkins

By Linda White, Megan Lloyd (illustrator),

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.

Too Many Pumpkins

By Linda White, Megan Lloyd (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Too Many Pumpkins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What can you do with too many pumpkins?

Rebecca Estelle has hated pumpkins ever since she was a girl when pumpkins were often the only food her family had. When an enormous pumpkin falls off a truck and smashes in her yard, she shovels dirt over the pieces and forgets about them. But those slimy pumpkin smithereens sprout up in autumn, and Rebecca Estelle finds a sea of pumpkins in her garden. 

A heartwarming classic for more than twenty years, this story shows what happens when one thrifty gardener figures out how to make other people happy with the squash…


The Greatest Table

By Michael J. Rosen, Becca Stadtlander (illustrator),

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.”

The Greatest Table

By Michael J. Rosen, Becca Stadtlander (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Greatest Table as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a world of bountiful food yet increasing food insecurity, we are called to remember that all creatures have a place - and may be fed sustainably - at the greatest, communal table offered by our planet.


Bee-Bim Bop!

By Linda Sue Park, Ho Baek Lee (illustrator),

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!

Bee-Bim Bop!

By Linda Sue Park, Ho Baek Lee (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bee-Bim Bop! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Korean American girl celebrates food and family in this cheerful book about cooking a special meal by Newbery Medalist Linda Sue Park.

In bouncy rhyming text, an excited and hungry child tells about helping her mother make bee-bim bop: shopping, preparing ingredients, setting the table, and finally sitting down with her family to enjoy a favorite meal.

The energy and enthusiasm of the young narrator are conveyed in the whimsical illustrations, which bring details from the artist’s childhood in Korea to his depiction of a modern Korean American family.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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