Granny’s Kitchen by author Sade Smith and illustrator Ken Daley

Reading Age: 3 – 6 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 1

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Publication Date: July 12, 2022

On the Caribbean island of Jamaica, when a young girl named Shelly-Ann gets hungry, she asks her grandmother to make a Jamaican dish. Each time, Shelly-Ann’s grandmother shows her how to make a meal, Shelly-Ann’s cooking is faulty i.e. too soft, mushy, burnt, salty. One day the grandmother is too tired to cook so the girl demonstrates her independence in the kitchen and cooks her grandmother a breakfast that isn’t as good as her grandmother’s but considering that this is only Shelly-Ann’s second time cooking the foods, they both find the meal tasty. Children and adults will appreciate the child’s determination to be as good of a cook as granny but it will take practice as it took granny many years to perfect her culinary skills. There are 4 recipes included for fried or boiled dumplings, ackee, saltfish and fried plantains. Additionally fun facts about Jamaica are added at the back of this picture book. Illustrations are eye-catching and suit the story. Due to the added recipes, an older child could definitely benefit from this book.

The Leaping Laddoo by author Harshita Jerath and illustrator Kamala M. Nair

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Publication Date: March 1, 2022

In India, Mrs. Kapoor plans to make a big laddoo for her husband. As soon as she rolls the mixture into a ball, the laddoo comes to life and dashes out the door and down the street. Laddoo encounters many people who want to capture it but laddoo is too fast similar to the Gingerbread Man. Through illustrations and words readers and onlookers are introduced to some of India’s culture such as but not limited to the marketplace, common animals, clothing, the sport called cricket, a wedding, and chaiwala. Illustrations are vibrant and transport viewers to India. There are a glossary and ladoo recipe in the back of the book. My Book Eyes was surprised and satisfied with the ending.

The Complete DIY Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids

Grade Level: 3 – 7

Publication Date: October 13, 2020

Publisher: America’s Test Kitchen Kids

Diverse youngsters create homemade foods that are often store bought such as ketchup and strawberry sauce in this cookbook. Included are over 100 recipes for everyday staples, snacks, sweets, drinks and do it yourself mixes such as oatmeal, pancake, waffles, brownies. Imagine creating ice cream, fudge sauce and sprinkles from scratch, Yum! All recipes have been made by other 8 – 12 year olds to determine feasibility of cooking tasks. Science facts about ingredients are added. Photographs of foods and procedures are clearly viewed.

Dumpling Day by author Meera Sriram, illustrator Ines de Antunano and contributor Laurel P. Jackson


Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Publication Date: October 29, 2021

Enjoy a feast of dumplings from around the world in this rhyming picture book. Ten families prepare dumplings that originate from their homelands of USA, Nigeria, India, China, Syria, Mexico, Japan, Italy, Russia and Israel. They share their foods at a potluck. Counting dumplings from 1 -10 occurs. The end of the book includes 10 recipes for each type of dumpling as well as a map pinpointing recipe birthplaces. Illustration style reminds My Book Eyes of folk art and is a great match for this picture book.

Edible Crafts Kids’ Cookbook by Charity Matthews

Ages: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: 1 – 2

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Publication Date: September 28, 2021

Children learn to make 25 eye pleasing recipes that are made from healthy foods. There is a note to the adults, a note to the children and a getting ready section which includes tools needed to cook and create. Each recipe includes a Did You Know? section which adds facts and additional science information to these artsy recipes. Great for year-long cooking. Perhaps some of these recipes will inspire a Mother’s Day concoction. Enjoy!

Waffles + Mochi: Get Cooking! by Yewande Komolafe and Michelle Obama

Reading Age: 4 years to 9 years

Grade Level: kindergarten – 4 years

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Publication Date: December 7, 2021

Rice, eggs, potatoes, corn are common food staples. How many people know that rice comes in different colors and sizes or how to grow potatoes at home or about the versatility of eggs or that corn porridge is in recipes of many cultures? This children’s cookbook offers this information. Also it showcases recipes from a variety of ethnicities for example pani puri from India, champurrado from Mexico, omurice from Japan to name a few. Children will learn to use herbs and spices to create spicy popcorn and a chickpeas snack. Most recipes use few ingredients and are easily made. My Book Eyes enjoyed seeing a recipe called hoppin’ john from South Carolina and also learning about quickles. Because mealtime is a good time to enjoy the company of others, there are conversation starters suggested in this book.

Jazz for Lunch! by author Jarrett Drapier and illustrator Eugenia Mello

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grace Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Publication Date: September 7, 2021

This rhyming picture book is told from the point of view of a nephew whose aunt loves jazz. Auntie Nina frequently attends a jazz club for lunch. She decides to share her experience with her young nephew. Unfortunately, from a child’s perspective the club is too crowded for his size to see anything, it’s hot, people are talking too loud and stepping on his feet and he does not get a meal. His aunt decides to have him visit her the next day for lunch. This duo listens to jazz while cooking and having fun. Jazz artists names and words associated with foods pepper this book making a creative read. The fonts are varied in style, color and size adding to the visual stimulation. Illustrations are vibrant with lots of movement and good times between aunt and nephew as they prepare and play. Could the two eat this humongous lunch alone? Of course not! The club crew visits and keeps the joint jumpin’. When the affair is over, nephew and aunt stand side by side cleaning up. My Book Eyes adores the illustration of Auntie Nina playing the celery! In the front and back matter of this book the following jazz greats are briefly described with food vocabulary weaved into their bios: Harold “Shorty” Baker, Junior Cook, Mary Lou Williams, “Philly Joe” Jones, Art Tatum, Reuben “River” Reeves, “Papa” Jo Jones, Buddy Rich, “Big Sid” Catlett, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Nat King Cole, Jelly Roll Morton, John Coltrane, Art Pepper, Billie Holiday, Dexter Gordon, Ella Fitzgerald, Bessie Smith and Nina Simone.

Soul Food Sunday by author Winsome Bingham and illustrator C. G. Esperanza

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: November 16, 2021

When family gathers at granny’s for Sunday dinner, one grandson decides that it is time to learn granny’s cooking rituals. The grandson dons his grandfather’s chef jacket as he stands near a photo of grandpa who had a career in the Army. He gets to work. He realizes that cooking takes much strength yet he perseveres. Granny assigns him to grate cheese, clean greens and prepare sausage, chicken and ribs for the grill. After he completes each task, granny compliments him. The result is a delicious meal shared by many. Illustrations depict brightly colored scenes of a loving family spending time together. A recipe is included.

Carla and the Christmas Cornbread by author Carla Hall and illustrator Cherise Harris

Reading Age: 4 – 8 years

Grade Level: Preschool – 3

Publisher: Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: November 2, 2021

In this holiday picture book, readers see Carla Hall as a youngster and traditions that her family partakes in to celebrate Christmas. Grandma’s cornbread is delicious. Something special is made for Santa. It is his Christmas cookie. This year Carla can’t resist biting the cookie intended for Santa. Will Santa bypass Carla’s home? My Book Eyes enjoys taking a step back in time when viewing illustrations of hair styles, clothing, home decor and cars from the 70s. A recipe is included.

Apple Cake: A Gratitude by author Dawn Casey and illustrator Genevieve Godbout

Reading Age: 3-5 years

Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Pleased with everyone and everything that contributes to a delicious apple cake, a child thanks the environment, animals, farmers, family and friends. Words are rhyming. Illustrations are done in muted colors which gives the book a peaceful feeling. Characters have varied skin tones. An appropriate picture book to share with this age group anytime but great for the Thanksgiving season. A recipe is included for added activity.