Children's Book Recommendations

Children’s Book Week 2020

Children’s Book Week starts today and it’s one of my favorite weeks of the year to celebrate with my kiddos. I started celebrating this week with my children several years ago because I think it’s important for my kids to see that I, too, get excited about reading, and especially about reading to them. Not only is it beneficial for all the obvious reasons (building vocabulary, imagination, and critical-thinking skills), but it usually means, if I’m reading, they’re all quiet(ish) and that’s awesome.

Children’s Book Week is put on by a charity called Every Child a Reader whose goal is kind of self-explanatory. Get the right books in kids’ hands and they’ll become lifelong readers. It is the longest running national literacy initiative and they’re celebrating their 101st anniversary this year. Each year, they develop a new theme and poster for the week-long celebration and this year, this is it…

There are three cute printable activity pages on the back of the poster that you can download here.

To celebrate the week at home, I usually choose a picture book a day to read/focus on (usually from our own home library). Sometimes I go with a specific theme, like food, or a specific moral or lesson I’d like them to learn. This year, I’m returning to food, because it’s one of my favorites. šŸ˜‹ I also included two children’s lit novels as recommendations for you this year…

I’ve chosen seven books that focus around a food item that I’ll prepare as a snack or meal to coincide with our read-aloud. I’ve listed my recommendations below, but would love to hear what other fun food-themed books your family loves (and I’ll bookmark them for future years)!

However you choose to celebrate this week, I hope you cuddle up with your loved ones and enjoy some quality time reading together.

Maddi’s Fridge

This is a great book to illustrate to kids how they can help other families/kids in need (specifically a family that has an empty fridge). Sofia and Maddi are two friends who live in the same neighborhood and attend the same school, but have very different fridges. In a heart-warming and kid-friendly way, it raises awareness about poverty and hunger. There is even a link to the recipe for Sofia’s favorite treat, “cheesy pizza bombs” on the author’s website.

Stef Soto, Taco Queen
It seems appropriate that I serve a Mexican dish on Cinco de Mayo, so I also want to recommend this book for middle-schoolers. I’m reading this with my 12 year old now and we appreciate how the author weaves together the importance of family and finding one’s identity. Estefania doesn’t want to work for the family’s taco truck anymore, but when the family business is in danger, she starts to discover what is important for herself. It’s a fun glimpse inside food truck culture too.

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear
This book holds a very special place in my heart because my Grammie used to read it to me when I visited her growing up. The husband and wife author/illustrator team have written several gorgeous books and I recommend all of them. This picture book is especially sweet because the reader is conversing with the mouse throughout the story, and in the end, we are the ones who get to share that juicy strawberry with him. šŸ˜‰

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
We will conduct our own chocolate bar taste test in honor of Mr. Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and his sweet treat. I bought four different brands of chocolate with four distinct tastes and no doubt, the kids will probably all disagree over which one is the “best” and argue over who has the more sophisticated palette. I recommend any book by Roald Dahl as a read-aloud. And it’s always fun to read a book and then watch the movie(s) for a fun comparison project.

Minette’s Feast
I’ll serve a delectable supper of Braised Tri-Tip from Tiffani Thiessan’s cookbook (whose secret ingredient is French Onion soup mix) šŸ˜‰ in honor of Julia Child and Minette, her petit chat with the picky palette. If you’re a fan of French cuisine (or cats), you’ll enjoy this sweet story. I also recommend Tiffani’s cookbook, Pull Up a Chair – lots of yummy recipes in there!

Blueberries for Sal
I’ll make these blueberry muffins to snack on while I read this classic about sweet Sal who has a hankerin’ for blueberries. At over 70 years old, this book still captivates young readers with its blue and white illustrations and adventurous story of a girl and her mama, and a mama bear and her cub – both hunting for blueberries. (Make Way for Ducklings is actually my favorite McCloskey book – it’s based on a true story, and absolutely darling!)

A Fine Dessert
We’ll finish off the week with what else? Dessert. This is a very unique children’s book as it walks us through four centuries and four families’ stories of making the same dessert, “blackberry fool”. The times and kitchen gadgets have sure changed, but the simple ingredients remained the same. My kids like helping me prepare this simple dish in the kitchen as we discuss the differences in the lives mentioned in the story.

Happy Children’s Book Week!! Please let me know if I’ve peaked your interest with any of these, and feel free to leave your own recommendations for me below. Thanks!

(This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase any recommended books from these links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, so thank you. šŸ˜Š)

“Jesus answered, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”” Matthew 4:4 (NIV)

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