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The Food-Themed Books I’ve Bought So Far for My Nephew


My 5-year-old nephew Max has expressed an interest in cooking for a few years now.  Whether he invites us adults to play “restaurant,” where he comes around to each of us and conjures up a menu of the day and takes our orders, or pretends to cook on a play kitchen, I’m always amazed at how much he gravitates towards cooking.  I’ve gotten him a few food-related books over the years, which he has really loved.  If you are looking for gifts for your little ones, I can highly recommend these:

Cook in A Book series, illustrated by Lotta Nieminen


I’m a huge fan of the illustrator Lotta Nieminen, so naturally I was drawn to this series.  These interactive books were the first food-related books that I bought Max, and he loved them! These are great for kids as young as two. Featuring very simple steps with ingredients, they have a fun interactive element with moving parts on each page that are great for simulating the experience of cooking in an approachable and colorful way.  I got my nephew the Pancakes and Taco books, but they all look amazing, and you can even buy a box set with the full collection.

Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola


If you’re from an Italian-American family (or if you just love spaghetti!), this is definitely a classic that you read as a kid, and is always fun to pass down to the next generation. A great lesson on why you should always listen to your elders!

Noodlephant by Jacob Kramer


Definitely a timely book, this one is about a pasta-loving elephant living in oppressive circumstances.  In this society, the kangaroos make up all kinds of restrictive and unfair laws, including a law that limits elephants to eating only sticks and branches, so only they can enjoy pasta. This story is uplifting in the end and teaches kids to stand up to injustice.  I spotted this on the shelf (luckily, a signed copy!), and fell in love with it instantly!

Silver Spoon for Children: Favorite Italian Recipes from
Phaidon Press


I bought this book along with a kids’ chef apron and rolling pin as a gift set for Max one Christmas.  It’s a kid-friendly take on the the famous Silver Spoon Italian cookbook. Although my nephew may be too young to cook on his own, I think it’s a great resource for parents to invite their kids to cook simple recipes with them. For a kid cooking more independently, it’s recommended for ages 10 and up (so maybe my nephew will get better use out of it later!).

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“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” James Beard

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