100 books like Short & Sweet

By Josh Funk, Brendan Kearney,

Here are 100 books that Short & Sweet fans have personally recommended if you like Short & Sweet. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Little Pea

Beth Kander Author Of Do Not Eat This Book! Fun with Jewish Foods & Festivals

From my list on picture books for families who love food.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an author, playwright, nonprofit strategist, and mother to two small children–the list goes on and on, and it's enough to work up an appetite. Since three of my favorite things in the world are 1) my kids, 2) stories, and 3) food, this reading roundup is near and dear to my heart. I wrote my picture book, Do Not Eat This Book!, because I believe food is a delicious entryway for exploring identity, sharing, caring, culture, and more, and the books in this list exemplify the sweet power of a good food-themed picture book.

Beth's book list on picture books for families who love food

Beth Kander Why did Beth love this book?

We’re starting and ending with something silly but special. This book is about a food… who is picky about food!

In the Pea household, candy is yucky, and VEGETABLES are the delicious treat, which always makes my littles giggle. If you have picky eaters in your household, this book is a fun way to talk about how different people (or pea-ple!) have different tastes, but it’s important to eat a variety of foods. And it’s great to laugh while doing so!

By Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Jen Corace (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Little Pea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ten years ago, Amy Krouse Rosenthal burst into children's books with Little Pea, a book destined to become a classic. Her witty text about a little pea who won't eat his sweets combined with the whimsical yet warm hearted art by Jen Corace create a go-to baby gift, a hilarious read-aloud and the perfect intervention for picky eaters.


Book cover of I Yam a Donkey!

Natasha Wing Author Of Bagel in Love

From my list on talking food books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good pun and have written a joke book all about food called Lettuce Laugh. I think food is relatable to kids and they can put themselves in the food’s shoes and learn about friendship and being true to themselves through talking food characters. Humor plays a big part in the books I recommended, but it’s a great way to deliver a lasting message. Another book I wrote is also about food - Jalapeño Bagels, but unlike Bagel In Love, these bagels don’t talk! I love Bagel In Love so much I had a dress made with some of the characters embroidered on it.

Natasha's book list on talking food books

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

When I hear bad grammar, I cringe. So this book was cringeworthy, but because it was done in a silly way to show bad grammar and how to correct it, it was very clever. A yam tries to get a donkey with poor grammar to speak correctly. When his vegetable friends butt in to see what the fight is about, the donkey has the last word.

By Cece Bell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Yam a Donkey! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"I YAM a donkey!" said Donkey.
"I AM a donkey!" replied Yam.
"You is a donkey too?"

A Yam who hates sloppy pronunciation and poor grammar triest his hardest to correct an ungrammatical donkey. An escalating series of misunderstandings leaves the yam furious and the clueless donkey bewildered by the yam's growing (and amusing) frustration. The yam finally gets his point across, but regrettably, he's made the situation a little bit too clear... and the story ends with a dark and outrageously funny twist.


Book cover of Bowling Alley Bandit: The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut

Natasha Wing Author Of Bagel in Love

From my list on talking food books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good pun and have written a joke book all about food called Lettuce Laugh. I think food is relatable to kids and they can put themselves in the food’s shoes and learn about friendship and being true to themselves through talking food characters. Humor plays a big part in the books I recommended, but it’s a great way to deliver a lasting message. Another book I wrote is also about food - Jalapeño Bagels, but unlike Bagel In Love, these bagels don’t talk! I love Bagel In Love so much I had a dress made with some of the characters embroidered on it.

Natasha's book list on talking food books

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

This book is hilarious! Arnie the Doughnut is at the bowling alley cheering on his friend, Mr. Bing, in a bowling tournament when Mr. Bing starts throwing gutter balls and his team is about to lose. Arnie figures out that Mr. Bing’s bowling ball is being disguised as his new bowling ball and saves the team’s score. There are tons of funny side comments and the story is told with lots of energy. Kids will love this early chapter book.

By Laurie Keller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bowling Alley Bandit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 7, 8, 9, and 10.

What is this book about?

As Mr. Bing's new pet "doughnut dog," Arnie couldn't be happier. When Mr. Bing joins a bowling league, Arnie gets to go along to practices and competitions. But then Mr. Bing starts rolling gutter balls. Someone or something is behind the madness. Arnie, together with his team of goofball friends, must sort through the shenanigans and solve the mystery. Get ready for some sleuthing and even some magic.

Full of Laurie Keller's winning charm and silly humor, this chapter book―the first in the series―is sure to please her many fans. This title has Common Core connections.

Bowling Alley Bandit is…


Book cover of Nom Nom: Opposites

Natasha Wing Author Of Bagel in Love

From my list on talking food books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love a good pun and have written a joke book all about food called Lettuce Laugh. I think food is relatable to kids and they can put themselves in the food’s shoes and learn about friendship and being true to themselves through talking food characters. Humor plays a big part in the books I recommended, but it’s a great way to deliver a lasting message. Another book I wrote is also about food - Jalapeño Bagels, but unlike Bagel In Love, these bagels don’t talk! I love Bagel In Love so much I had a dress made with some of the characters embroidered on it.

Natasha's book list on talking food books

Natasha Wing Why did Natasha love this book?

For youngsters ages 2 to 5 learning concepts, this board book is bright and fun and focuses on animated food to illustrate opposites. What I love is the clever side comments by the food. And their eyes that look like googly eyes. I love googly eyes. These friendly foods will give kids food for thought!

By Forrest Everett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nom Nom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 1, 2, 3, and 4.

What is this book about?

Nom Nom Opposites gives young minds food for thought—literally! Kids who love Shopkins and Num Noms will enjoy learning their opposites with the help and encouragement of adorable picnic food characters found throughout. Even the book feels like food packaging with an acetate window on the front cover hinting at the delicious contents inside. It's food. It's education. It's cute. It's Nom Nom Knowledge!


Book cover of Fresh: A Perishable History

Julie Guthman Author Of The Problem with Solutions: Why Silicon Valley Can't Hack the Future of Food

From my list on technology in modern food production.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the daughter of a health food fanatic whose admonitions about what to eat manifested in my early attraction to all food junky. Later in life, I became a bit of a food snob, shopping regularly at the farmers’ market for the freshest and most delicious fruits and vegetables I’ve ever tasted. My love of both good food and sharp analysis came to shape my career as an academic. Food became the object of my analyses, but always with an eye toward contradiction. I’ve written several books and articles exploring how capitalism constrains needed food system transformations, bringing me to my latest fascination with the tech sector.

Julie's book list on technology in modern food production

Julie Guthman Why did Julie love this book?

I am a huge fan of Freidberg’s writing. Sure, she’s an academic (so is everyone on my list), but her turns of phrase are unusually witty and—well, fresh.

I love this book because it examines our current obsession with fresh food and shows how much technology has been employed to make it so, starting with the refrigerator! But that’s not all. Freidberg provides enjoyable histories of how beef, eggs, fruit, vegetables, milk, and fish have all been engineered and marketed to give the appearance of freshness.

By Susanne Freidberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

That rosy tomato perched on your plate in December is at the end of a great journey-not just over land and sea, but across a vast and varied cultural history. This is the territory charted in Fresh. Opening the door of an ordinary refrigerator, it tells the curious story of the quality stored inside: freshness.

We want fresh foods to keep us healthy, and to connect us to nature and community. We also want them convenient, pretty, and cheap. Fresh traces our paradoxical hunger to its roots in the rise of mass consumption, when freshness seemed both proof of and…


Book cover of Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin

Amy Watson Author Of Closer to Okay

From my list on using food as a catalyst to a better life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I used to write a food blog because I love stories about food, be they fiction or non-fiction. Food has the power to bring joy, healing, love, anger, sadness, etc.—you name the emotion and food can evoke it or remedy it. I’ve suffered from depression most of my life and the kitchen makes me feel better. Hearing that my chocolate cookies are amazing heals my heart a little at a time. Food and emotion go together like peanut butter and jelly, and I’m the first to pick up a book that skillfully employs both.

Amy's book list on using food as a catalyst to a better life

Amy Watson Why did Amy love this book?

Speaking of weird…Kenny Shopsin is a force. If you haven’t seen it, there’s a documentary about his New York restaurant called “I Like Killing Flies” and it is like no other restaurant to ever exist. Shopsin breaks every restaurant rule that ever was. He makes “crepes” using flour tortillas. His specialty is a dish called “Blisters on my Sisters.” He’s hilarious, quintessentially New York, and absolutely bonkers. It’s one of my life’s regrets that I never got to eat at Shopsins. This book is the closest I can ever get.

P.S. The best part of the book is the absolutely priceless copy of the Shopsins menu which could take a week to read and a lifetime to digest. You could cook a different item from it every meal for five years and still not make it all the way through. 

Oh, and did I mention that his kitchen was approximately…

By Kenny Shopsin, Carolynn Carreno,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eat Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Pancakes are a luxury, like smoking marijuana or having sex. That’s why I came up with the names Ho Cakes and Slutty Cakes. These are extra decadent, but in a way, every pancake is a Ho Cake.” Thus speaks Kenny Shopsin, legendary (and legendarily eccentric, ill-tempered, and lovable) chef and owner of the Greenwich Village restaurant (and institution), Shopsin’s, which has been in existence since 1971.

Kenny has finally put together his 900-plus-item menu and his unique philosophy—imagine Elizabeth David crossed with Richard Pryor—to create Eat Me, the most profound and profane cookbook you’ll ever read. His rants—on everything from…


Book cover of Eat This!: How Fast Food Marketing Gets You to Buy Junk (and How to Fight Back)

David Benton Author Of Tackling the Obesity Crisis: Beyond Failed Approaches to Lasting Solutions

From my list on understanding why you put on weight.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having studied diet and behavior for forty years, I realized that I had ignored obesity. However, after eventually considering the topic, I found that the actions of both politicians and the food industry had been spectacularly unhelpful. Why are so many people allowed to suffer? If politicians and the food industry are ineffective, there is a third group that could engineer change: the general public. It is scandalous that so many have been condemned to an early death following decades of ill-health. Something needs to change.

David's book list on understanding why you put on weight

David Benton Why did David love this book?

Very often, the study of obesity amounts to little more than stating the cause of obesity. Vague and uninformative statements are made, such as we eat too much, and exercise too little. Although true, this has little use unless you can persuade people to change their behavior. Therefore, the book recommended has one great attraction: it suggests something useful that can be done.

It is a short book aimed at children that attempts to reduce the impact of advertising. Children are introduced to the latest marketing strategies. They are taught ways they can push back, allowing them to take control of their diet and health. Food literacy is acquired. 

By Andrea Curtis, Peggy Collins (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eat This! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Eat This! examines how fast food marketing gets you to buy junk and how you can fight back. It shows how marketers embed sales pitches in media to lure consumers to foods that can negatively impact the health of children. The author explains what advertising is, discusses product placement and other tools used to sell products. Curtis provides careful insights into the fast food industry and ways in which young people can push back.

"Kids need to know the truth about junk food, and understand the millions of ways it's pushed on them -- every day. Andrea's fun and accessible…


Book cover of Mourjou: The Life and Food of an Auvergne Village

Darra Goldstein Author Of Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore

From my list on cookbooks for armchair travelers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been thinking and writing about food ever since I spent a year in the Soviet Union many decades ago and discovered that food is a wonderfully immediate way to enter into another culture. My first cookbook led to a stint as a spokesperson for Stolichnaya vodka when it was first introduced to the US—a fascinating exercise in cross-cultural communication during the Cold War. In 2001 I founded Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, which deepened my interest in culinary cultures around the world. Cookbooks aren't just about recipes. For me, the best ones include personal stories and history that transport you to other realms.

Darra's book list on cookbooks for armchair travelers

Darra Goldstein Why did Darra love this book?

Few visitors to France venture to the Auvergne, the sparsely populated, south-central region where until recently most of the now-aging population still spoke the medieval language known as Occitan. Englishman Peter Graham moved there in 1978 and became captivated with the land and its inhabitants. Mourjou communicates his love for this little-known region and its hearty food. Graham collected extraordinary recipes that can't be found in other books about French food (an eggy pudding made with buckwheat flour, ham, Swiss chard, and prunes; a charlotte made with chestnut flour, chestnut cream, pumpkin, and quince). He intersperses recipes with beautifully crafted essays that dive deep into the region's history and culture, chronicling a way of life that is rapidly disappearing.

By Peter Graham,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When cookbooks describe well-known traditional recipes, they usually provide some sort of introduction or background to the dish. All too often one would like to know more, but it is only too rarely that such matters are discussed at length. For most cookbooks are obliged to give priority to the quantity of recipes they include, and cannot afford to be as comprehensive or discursive as they would like to be. In this book, each chapter covers a different dish at the length it deserves, mentioning its origins, etymology, geographical spread, folklore and even appearance in history and the arts, and…


Book cover of Much Depends on Dinner

Jenny Linford Author Of The Missing Ingredient: The Curious Role of Time in Food and Flavour

From my list on that help us explore the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a food writer who has long been interested in seeing food in its cultural, historical, and social context. Food is too often put in a neat little box, whereas actually it offers a fascinating prism through which to explore the world. Researching and writing The Missing Ingredient – in which I explore the role of time as the universal, invisible ‘ingredient’ in the food we grow, make, and cook brought this home to me.

Jenny's book list on that help us explore the world

Jenny Linford Why did Jenny love this book?

This wonderful, engaging book will change the way you think about food. Margaret Visser unpicks an “ordinary meal” in North America, digging beneath the surface of everyday ingredients such as butter, lettuce and chicken to reveal fascinating stories. Visser – who writes with a shrewd and perceptive intelligence - weaves together history, science and social observation to great effect. The ‘ordinary’ meal proves to be no such thing.

By Margaret Visser,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Much Depends on Dinner as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An excursion into the origins and background of an ordinary dinner: corn on the cob, chicken with rice, lettuce salad and ice-cream. Tracing the historical, cultural, agricultural and social strands that run through their history, the author presents the reader with an "anthropology of everyday life". This book was the winner of the 1990 Glenfiddich Award for the Food Book of the Year. The author also wrote "The Rituals of Dinner".


Book cover of Nugget and Dog: All Ketchup, No Mustard!

Jay Cooper Author Of Styx and Scones in the Sticky Wand: Ready-to-Read Graphics Level 2

From my list on silly early graphics readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I take “silly” graphic books quite seriously: I’m a firm believer that encouraging young people to read for pure enjoyment creates lifelong readers. Originally a reluctant reader myself, it was primarily graphic books that strengthened my reading skills, my vocabulary, and that ultimately turned me into a fierce advocate for literacy. Now a professional creative, I try to share my love of books and graphic books by paying it forward and creating my own books that I hope will resonate with readers and turn them into strong readers as well! 

Jay's book list on silly early graphics readers

Jay Cooper Why did Jay love this book?

The Ready-To-Read Graphic series from Simon & Schuster was specifically created for new readers learning how to navigate graphic book structure and language, roughly ages 5-8. My book is a Level Two… And if you have a reader at this level, they are sure to be hungry for more fun books.

Nugget and Dog is just one of many fun similarly leveled graphic chapter books that will tickle your young reader’s funny bone (and help them become a stronger reader). I also love that Nugget and Dog is a humorous book about a friendship. 

By Jason Tharp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nugget and Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Join a hot dog named Dog and a chicken nugget named Nugget in this Level 2 Ready-to-Read Graphics book about kindness, the first in a new series by Jason Tharp!

Nugget is a chicken nugget. Dog is a hot dog. They are friends, and they like ketchup. Their town of Gastropolis is a peaceful place...until a spicy mustard packet named Dijon Mustard tries to make everyone grumpy. Nugget and Dog want to help, so they start a K.E.T.C.H.U.P. club, standing for Kind, Empathetic, Thoughtful, Courageous, Helpful, Unique, and Powerful. Can Nugget and Dog save the day with ketchup and kindness?…


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