Childhood books that introduced you to new foods



yep, I just ordered one. The first time I checked, the copies available were $100 or more. The used inventory reported on Amazon changes hour by hour, sometimes!


I have some of my originally large collection still…including several of the original Nancy Drews my mother got during WWII. The titles sometimes stayed the same with the new versions rolling out, with different plot twists and details. I’d love to read older and newer and see if the food changed.


Great - always glad to get books into people’s hands!


Yes!! The little house on the prarie pouring maple syrup on snow!
I remember asking my mom if we could make this, but there was a very serious lack of snow (even in winter have to drive several hours to find it) so we tried using crushed ice.
Epic fail.
I also remember my sister and i wanted to make butter because of those books, and mom let us do that shaking a jar which eventually did work


well, the “What’s for lunch, Charley?” copy I had in my shopping cart became unavailable in just a few minutes before I could check out. I found one similarly priced from another seller. Get them when you can!


I’m late to this thread, but it’s a great one. Kudos to @meatn3 for the fun idea.

As a kid, my parents let me read at the dinner table so books and mealtime are inextricably linked in my mind. Like others, reading about the Little House on the Prairie girls burning their hands and mouths on pig tails roasted over a fire tempted even a young girl who was averse to eating meat. (Side bar…I miss being a kid when nothing was charged with too much meaning, in case anyone has seen the recent story of Ingalls Wilder’s books coming under fire.) I’ve been fortunate enough to try maple sugar candy in Montreal in a sugaring house. It’s a fun experience.

At the moment, I’m reading Arnold Lobel’s stories (“Frog and Toad,” “Owl at Home”) to my 4-year old spring onion, who loves the stories as much as I did. There are only small tidbits of food in those sweet tales, but they evoke such strong feelings of (the over-used term) “hygge” (or coziness). Buttered toast and soft pea soup eaten by a roaring fire in a tiny owl house; fresh pots of hot tea by the fire while Frog tells ghost stories to Toad, wind and snow howling outside; Christmas Eve dinner cooked by Toad in his tiny house as he frets because Frog is late; and perhaps funniest of all, a giant bowl of cookies baked by Toad that Frog and Toad cannot stop eating so they have to finally let the birds eat them.

(Andrea) #47

Not an introduction, but I did have ‘More Spaghetti, I Say’ memorized

Play with me Minnie, play with me, please! We can jump on the bed, we can hang by our knees.
Oh no I cannot, I cannot jump and play with you Freddie. Can’t you see? I am eating spaghetti. …


The used hardcover copies are still $100 or more. It’s only the paperbacks that are $10.


“Brighty of the Grand Canyon” made me want to drink coffee as a child. “Blacker than a thief’s heart” was the description, if I recall correctly.


I was not familiar with this book. My library is going to wonder why I’m reserving so many children’s books lately!

The following gives some interesting background about Brighty:


I always read every book I could find about animals when I was a kid and at that time there were an enormous amount of children’s books about horses. I read every single book in the library by Marguerite Henry (author of Brighty) and Walter Farley. Do little girls still read horse books?


I hope so! Unfortunately I don’t have many young girls in my life these days to know.

So many kids seem scheduled to the brim with activities. It doesn’t seem to leave much time to read or day dream or tinker.


Replying to myself is not something I usually do but I had a quick update. There’s a lovely NYT piece about the gayness of “Frog and Toad” (and other kids’ literature) which truly warmed my cockles. (There was a New Yorker piece which preceded the NYT story by a few years about Lobel coming out.) Kindness, gentle ribbing, humor, fun, and love are concepts that I want spring onion to embrace regardless of orientation (disclaimer: boringly, I am straight).

Getting back to food (somewhat): We borrowed Lobel’s “Mouse Soup” from the library yesterday, another book I read over-and-over as a kid. I laughed out loud at the mouse’s attempt to avoid becoming a weasel’s mouse soup by distracting the weasel with stories. Not exactly appetite-inducing, but laugh-inducing and I’ll take that any day.


Please let us know when your Spring Onion requests the same food that you have just read about! It might get to the point that you have to check the pantry prior to reading certain books…could be the first time censorship was used due to pantry failure! :smile:


I’m an elementary school librarian. Every time I read Adam Rubin’s Secret Pizza Party and Dragons Love Tacos (1 and 2) to my students, we end up wanting pizza and tacos right away!


Sorry - I realize that the post is supposed to be about books from our childhoods that introduced us to new foods. Maybe some of my students will be citing these books in a future HO post - although none of them need to be introduced to pizza and tacos…Guess I got carried away!

I do remember wanting to eat slabs of fresh baked bread with thick slices of cheese like Heidi did. Somehow a slice of Roman Meal bread topped with Velveeta just wasn’t the same.




Thanks for sharing! I had no idea Brighty was based on a real burro.



The little girl with the pink ribbons in her hair looks like she really lost herself in reading the book and was no longer aware of the shoot!