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Best Books for Toddlers: FOOD

'Tis the season!

As we travel through a season that centers on food, here are some books to bring lots of celebration and rich, fun vocabulary to the table.

I also share some tips to help engage children as you read together.

(For picky eaters and non-picky eaters alike.)

It's time to celebrate! Count the festive foods, family, and friends at Grandma's feast. Watch as the walls of her tiny house bulge. There's no more space! How will everyone eat in Grandma's too-tiny place?

Grandma's Tiny House

by JaNay Brown-Wood. Illustrated by Priscilla Burris

3 neighbors knock on the brown wooden door

with 4 pots of hot greens and ham hocks galore.

11 nephews join, slapping high-fives

and fumbling 12 sweet-potato pies.

I love that we get to count to numbers over 10 - so many books stop at 10. This festive, family read offers a lot of opportunities to draw you in.

Ages: 2 to 4 years


1: Think of other ways to say "tiny" - infinitesimal, miniature, microscopic, very, very small. Act them out for your child!

2: Point to and talk about some of the pictures in the book. Count the photos on Grandma's wall. Talk about the people. Guess who they are.

3: Find the cat that appears on some pages. What is the cat doing? Use rich vocabulary: Peeking, scampering, sitting.

4: Make sure to leave silence in between, to allow your child to process your words and offer their own comments.

5: Talk about the food! What would your child want to eat at the feast?

6: Sing a song about numbers, before, after or both! Here's one! You can hear it on the podcast.


Playful verse with a bouncy beat, spirited illustrations and spiced with humor. A little girl wants to flip, flip, flop and chop, chop, chop to make bee-bim-bop, the popular Korean dish. *Detailed recipe with tasks for the grownup and the child at the end - lovely!

Bee-bim Bop!

by Linda Sue Park. Illustrated by Ho Baek Lee


1: Note the vocabulary in this book: Spatula, stir, steaming, bubbling, slicing, skinny, chopsticks. Try to incorporate some of the words in daily life.

2: Have fun repeating the rhymes: Bee-bim Bop! Flip, flip, Flop! Pop, pop, pop! Chop, chop, chop!

3: Go out and eat Bee-bim Bop!


The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don't expect to see at the door is a big, furry, stripy tiger!

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

by Judith Kerr


1: What would you do if a tiger knocked on your door and asked for a little tea, or juice, or supper? Talk to your child about their ideas. Share yours.

2: Suppose it wasn't a tiger, but a hungry cat, or a person at the door?

3: Look at the girl and the tiger in the story. What do the pictures tell you?

4: Discuss the tiger's manners - was he polite or rude?

5: Did you think the dad would be upset?

6: Pretend play! Put a stuffed animal at the table for a tea party and see what happens and who says what!

🍂🍃 🍿🍂🍃🌽🍂🍃🥕🍂🍃🍉🍂🍃

* Some books I recommend are available but out of print. That means if you want them, you will need to get them through your library or through second-hand sourcing. It'll be worth it.

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