Food-themed books

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (1964)

The doors of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory are open for the first time in years, and Charlie Bucket is one of the lucky few clutching a golden ticket to visit – and you get to go with him! Sail down a river made of chocolate; experience a three-course dinner in a stick of gum; lick fruit-flavoured wallpaper and eat as many of Wonka’s Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delights as you please on this magical and subversive adventure by one of the greatest authors in children’s literature.

Recommended reading age: 7-9 years old

The Perfect Hamburger by Alexander McCall Smith (1984)

Joe’s favourite hamburger restaurant, run by Mr. Borthwick, is suffering from the arrival of a new fast-food chain in town, and to help out his friend he whips up the recipe for the most delicious hamburger ever. But there’s one problem – when it’s time to dish them up to the customers, Joe can’t remember the recipe! This is an entertaining story that will leave you hungry for more.

Recommended reading age: 6-8 years old

Poetry Pie by Roger McGough (2015)

Help yourself to a slice of Roger McGough’s Poetry Pie, bursting with flavoursome wordplay, crisp buttery puns and delicious humour. Filled with 50 poems alongside hilarious line drawings, poetry lovers can gorge themselves, while more recent converts to the format can try a little and go back for more.

Recommended reading age: 7-9 years old

Daisy: Eat Your Peas by Kes Gray (2009)

Daisy’s mum tells her to eat her peas every dinnertime – but Daisy will not and she can’t be persuaded. She won’t touch those peas! Even when Mum promises her extra servings of pudding. And a chocolate factory. And a space rocket with double retro laser blammers. Illustrated by Nick Sharratt, picky eaters will gobble up this wickedly funny story – and may even give peas a chance themselves.

Recommended reading age: 3-5 years old

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (1961)

After his parents are killed by a rhino, James is forced to live with his horrible aunts, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. A mysterious man in the garden gives him a bag of magical crystals but he spills them all over his aunts’ peach tree – and suddenly, a peach starts to grow. And grow. How big will this peach get? Roll into a sweet and juicy adventure on the high seas, with giant singing insects, whimsical cloud men and (spoiler alert) an ending right at the top of the Empire State Building.

Recommended reading age: 7-9 years old

Chocolate Cake by Michael Rosen (2017)

Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? This is Michael Rosen’s love letter to everyone’s favourite teatime treat. Whenever his mum made chocolate cake, he’d always take a piece to school the next day. And this chocolate cake is delicious enough to get you out of bed in the middle of the night. With added sound effects on the page, chocoholics everywhere will relate to the story of getting an awful lot of what you fancy.

Recommended reading age: 3-6 years old

Spot Bakes A Cake by Eric Hill (2014)

It’s Spot’s dad’s birthday and that means birthday cake! Spot is going to help bake one with his mum, so they go shopping to get all the ingredients. But when it comes to the actual baking, things go slightly wrong. Cake lovers will enjoy lifting the flaps to see what a mess Spot gets into!

Recommended reading age: 2-4 years old

Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig (2018)

It’s raining and Pete can’t go out to play. So, his dad decides to cheer him up by making him into a pizza – rolling the dough, kneading the dough, adding the oil and the tomatoes… and soon Pete is ready to go in the oven! No child will be able to finish this book without wanting to be made into a pizza. It’ll steal a pizza your heart (sorry).

Recommended reading age: 5-7 years old

The Dinosaur’s Packed Lunch by Jacqueline Wilson (1995)

Dinah is on a school trip to see the dinosaurs at the museum, but her dad has forgotten to make her a packed lunch. Luckily, a huge iguanodon has noticed – and wants to share its own lunch! But what will happen if she drinks the dinosaur juice? This heartfelt tale is perfect for fossil-obsessed and prehistoric-uninitiated readers alike.

Recommended reading age: 5-7 years old

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