Two of my favorite hobbies as a child (and adult) were reading and eating delicious foods.
To this day, there are some foods that I continue to associate with favorite books.
For example, when I read Little House on the Prairie, I longed to taste Ma’s flapjacks.
In The Long Winter, which I read in the summer, I could feel the chill of the blizzards she described seeping from the page and into my fingers. I compensated for their intense hunger by making sure I didn’t miss a meal!
That one book may have inadvertently led to my habit of hoarding food in the pantry when winter begins peeking over autumn’s shoulder!
Little Woman made me long for crisp, delicious apples just like the kind Jo March ate while reading sad romances in the attic on a threadbare old couch. And when Meg made blancmange for Laurie when he was sick, I puzzled over what on earth the strange food could be (it’s kind of like a pudding or flan).
For younger children, there are other excellent books that really evoke a food, culture, or cuisine.
Who hasn’t had a craving for EVERYTHING after reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the one-millionth time? I imagine generations of parents finally getting their children off to bed and then heading for the fridge for one cupcake, one pickle, one Ritz cracker, one lollipop, and one stomachache!
PBS’s website, Kitchen Explorers, has a fantastic listing of other children’s books that just scream food.
Some – like Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – will be familiar while others will be new.
I know I added several books to my child’s reading list after checking out this article and I hope you will, too.
Happy eating and reading!