Compiled by Kay E. Vandergrift

Children's Literature Page

Since all children like to eat and I hope they all like to read, cookbooks inspired by favorite children's stories should be appetizing. The first introduction to story is often through simple rhyming games or finger plays such as Pat-a-Cake, Pease Porridge Hot or This Little Pig Went to Market. Next young children meet Jack Sprat, Little Miss Muffet, Little Jack Horner, Little Tommy Tucker and other Mother Goose characters. Then, if they are lucky, some adult will nurture them with adventures from the deep woods of the folk or fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel or Goldilocks and the Three Bears. And what do all of these children's classics have in common? Why, among other things, food, of course! One of the many versions of Little Red Riding Hood even begins with a description of the character as a little girl as "sweet as sugar and as good as bread." Obviously, the heart and the mind of the young child are very close to the stomach, and one's literary tastes are sifted, stirred and simmered along with more mundane tastes for good things to eat.

Food in children's stories is often used to emphasize the time or place in which that story is set or the particular racial, religious or ethnic group of its characters, Henner's Lydia, by De Angeli for instance, takes readers or listeners to a Pennsylvania Dutch community in which cider is made in the backyard, the farmer's market is the grocery store and smearcase, snitz and nep, apple butter, chowchow, fastnachts, and half moon pies are regularly on the table.

References to food abound in children's books. For instance, in Maurice Sendak's books, children can learn the months of the year in Chicken Soup with Rice or go In the Night Kitchen with Micky and those Laurel and Hardy bakers preparing cakes for the morning. Where the Wild Things Are, opens with Max in his wolf suit being sent to his room without any supper because he has been such a wild thing all day. Once there, he sails off in his imagination to the land of the wild things who threaten "We'll eat you up-we love you so!" but Max, our conquering hero, tames the wild beasts and returns to his own room "where he found his supper waiting for him-and it was still hot."


Hopefully, this listing of cookbooks will help children to see connections to the books they have read and enjoyed and encourage them to experiment in the kitchen.

Addy's Cook Book: A Peek at Dining in the Past with Meals You Can Cook Today. The American Girls Collection. Middleton, WI: Pleasant Company, 1994.

The American Girls Cookbook: A Peek at Dining in the Past with Meals You Can Cook Today. Middleton, WI: Pleasant Company, 1990.

Anderson, Gretchen, Comp. The Louisa May Alcott Cookbook. Illus. by Karen Milone. Boston, MA: Little Brown, 1985.

Bayley, Monica. The Wonderful World of Oz Cookbook. New York: Macmillan, 1981.

Bjork, Christina. Elliot's Extraordinary Cookbook. Illus. by Lena Anderson. New York: R7S Books/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990.

Blain, Diane. The Boxcar Children Cookbook. Illus. by L. Kate Deal and Eileen Mueller Neill. Morton Grove, IL: Whitman, 1991.

Bond, Michael. The Great Big Paddington Book. Cleveland, OH: Collins/World, 1977.

Boxer, Arabella, Lady. The Wind in the Willows Country Cookbook. Illus. by Ernest Shepard. London: Methuen, 1983.

Cauley, Lorinda Bryan. Pease Porridge Hot: A Mother Goose Cookbook. New York: Putnam, 1977.

Cotler, Amy. The Secret Garden Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. New York: HarperCollins, 1999.

Dobrini, Arnold. Peter Rabbit's Natural Foods Cookbook. New York: Warne, 1977.

Ellison, Virginia H. The Pooh Cook Book. Illus. by Ernest H. Shepard. New York: Dutton, 1969.

Emerson, Anne, Comp. Peter Rabbit's Cookery Book. London: Warne, 1987.

Fison, Josie and Felicity Dahl, Comp.Roald Dahl's Revolting Recipes. Illus. by Quentin Blake. New York: Viking, 1994.

Glovach, Linda. The Little Witch's Black Magic Cookbook. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972.

Greene, Ellin, comp. Midsummer Magic: A Garland of Stories, Charms and Recipes. Illus. by Barbara Cooney. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1977.

Greene, Ellin, comp. Clever Cooks: A Concoction of Stories, Recipes and Riddles. Illus. by Trina Schart Hyman. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1973.

Greene, Karen. Once Upon a Time. New Hope, PA: New Hope Press, 1987.

Hazelton, Niki. Raggedy Ann & Andy's Cookbook.Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1975.

Keene, Carolyn. The Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1973.

Lane, Margaret. The Beatrix Potter Country Cookery Book. New York: Warne, 1981.

Macdonald, Kate. The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook. Illus. by Barbara DiLella. Toronto, Canada: Oxford University Press, 1985.

MacGregor, Carol. The Storybook Cookbook. New York: Doubleday, 1967.

MacGregor, Carol. The Fairy Tale Cookbook. New York: Macmillan, 1982.

Mayer, Marianna. The Mother Goose Cookbook: Rhymes and Recipes for the Very Young. New York: Morrow, 1998.

Moore, Sandre. The Fairy Tale Cookbook. Nashville, TN: Cumberland, 2000.

Penner, Lucille Recht. The Little Women Book: Games, Recipes, Crafts, and Other Homemade Pleasures. Illus. by Diane de Groat. New York: RandomHouse, 1995.

Sobel, Donald J. and Glenn Andrews. Encyclopedia Brown Takes the Cake!: A Cook and Case Book. New York: Four Winds Press, 1983.

Stallworth, Lyn. Wond'rous Fare. Illus by Jim Bennett, Dennis Dittrick, John Hayes, and Jim Robinson. Chicago, IL: Calico Book, 1988.

Stanton, Cynthia. The Frog and Miss Mouse's Wedding. Illus. by Jill Mackley Hall. London: RHS Publications, 1973.

Travers, P.L. and Maurice Moore-Betty. Mary Poppins in the Kitchen: A Cookery Book with a Story. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1975.

Walker, Barbara M. The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories. Illus. by Garth Williams. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.

Walt Disney Productions. Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Cookbook. New York: Golden Press, 1975.

Winnie-the-Pooh’s Picnic Cookbook. Illus. by Ernest H. Shepard. New York: Dutton, 1997.

Winnie-the-Pooh's Teatime Cookbook. Illus. by Ernest H. Shepard. New York: Dutton, 1993.

Wilder, Laura Ingalls, Comp. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook. Commentary by William Anderson. Photos by Leslie A. Kelly. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Zaben, Jane Breskin. Beni's Family Cookbook for the Jewish Holidays. New York: Holt, 1996.


Children's Literature Page

Created February 6, 1996 and is continuously revised
SCILS, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey