Book List: Children’s Cookbooks

Most kids get excited about the thought of cooking in the kitchen: making a mess, creating concoctions, mixing, blending and rolling. But, most of all I think they love cooking for their families.

I know I did. I have fond memories of my first cookbook, ‘The Little Monster Cookbook’ by Jan and Michael Salmon (Lamont Books). As a child, I loved the monster illustrations that accompanied the simple recipes. I still have the cookbook; I flip through it now and realise that I never really cooked many of the dishes, but I certainly pored over the pages for years. There were some recipes that I made on a regular basis: Cinnamon Toast (Mum can vouch for receiving this as her Mother’s Day breakfast year after year) and Monster Spider Drink. I can’t wait to pass this book onto my daughter.

children's cookbooksDo you remember your first cookbook?

I’ve put together a list of gorgeous children’s cookbooks. I hope you find something that you can share with your children. Maybe they’ll love one of these as much as I loved ‘The Little Monster Cookbook’.

Little Kitchen-Around the World

Sabrina Parrini


Format: Paperback

Publisher: Hardie Grant Books, September 2011

RRP: A$29.95

Suitable for ages 7+ (★★★★)

Review coming this week.

Georgie Porgie

George Calombaris


Format: Hardback

Publisher: Lantern(Penguin), August 2011

Publisher’s description:  With the help of much-loved chef and MasterChef Australia judge, George Calombaris, you’ll soon have your family and friends begging for more of your fabulous dishes.

With easy-to-follow instructions and photographs that make cooking as easy as A B C, George will take you on a kitchen adventure featuring everything from family favourites like his famous spaghetti bolognese, pita bread and berry ice cream through to dinner-table dazzlers like slow-roasted pork belly, braised chicken and chocolate marshmallow souffles.

George’s fast cooking facts, equipment lists and easy cooking style will have you matching it with the best in the kitchen before you can say creme brulee!

Suitable for ages 8+ (unrated)

My Grandma’s Kitchen

Louise Fulton Keats (recipes by Margaret Fulton)


Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Hardie Grant Books, 1 April 2011

My Grandma’s Kitchen is a children’s cookbook which exudes warmth, love and an appreciation for delicious food.  It is essentially two books in one; Aligned with a gorgeous little story are simple and enjoyable recipes. The story is narrated by Lulu who writes about her adventures in the kitchen alongside her Grandma and brother, George. Told in a child-like-rhyme, the story shares meals eaten, conversations spoken, fancy terminology, and cooking tips and tricks. Read our review

Suitable for ages 3+ (★★★★★)

Stew a Cockatoo: My Aussie Cookbook

Ruthie May


Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Little Hare, November 2010

RRP: A$24.95

There are many wonderful cookbooks that provide snippets of history and origin. Stew a Cockatoo is an Aussie cookbook for children. It may present itself a little ocker but it hits the right note with children. It is funny, entertaining and a little bit silly. It is full of interesting history and tidbits, and I believe Australian kids should know why or how our foods were invented like Anzac biscuits, lamingtons, Pavlova and bush tucker. There are also a few recipes that pay homage to the wonderful international dishes that have been introduced to our cuisine.

Suitable for ages 3+ (★★★★)

Little Kitchen

Sabrina Parrini


Format: Paperback

Publisher: Hardie Grant Books, March 2010

RRP: A$29.95

This stunning cookbook is colourfully presented and will definitely appeal to kids. The 40 recipes have been designed to make cooking easy for kids, but they’ll also love eating their creations.

Instructions are detailed so kids know when they need mum or dad’s help. My favourite feature is the accompanying illustrations, so even beginner-readers can feel like a big help in the kitchen.

Some recipes include: Bite-sized BLTs, Tacos and Fun Shaped Pancakes

Check out the Little Kitchen website where you can buy other child-friendly cookware.

Suitable for ages 4-8 (★★★★★)

The Silver Spoon Book for Children

Phaidon Press


Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Phaidon Press (Penguin Books)

Published in: United Kingdom, September 2009

RRP: A$29.95

Recipes from the much-loved Italian cookbook, Silver Spoon, have been adapted to make them child-friendly.

This is a very special cookbook for children, that will definitely help foster a love of good food and might even spark an obsession for cookbooks. It contains healthy recipes but also aims to build the culinary knowledge of any budding chef. Each recipe includes an introduction about the origins of the dish, fascinating facts about the ingredients and the Italian culinary culture. The book is full of information on ingredients, basic cooking techniques and gorgeous accompanying illustrations.

Recipes include Italian favourites: pizzas, pastas and even roasts.

If you’re interested in this book check out Lorraine Elliot’s blog, Not Quite Nigella,where she shares her experience of making one of the ‘Silver Spoon’ recipes with children.

Suitable for ages 10+ (★★★★★)

Grow it, Eat it

Royal Horticultural Society


Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley, April 2008

RRP: A$24.95

With the likes of kitchen crusaders such as Stephanie Alexander there’s currently a huge emphasis on getting kids into the garden and introducing them to slow cooking. Books such as Grow It, Eat It will help children learn about the growth of fruits and vegies and how to cook with produce they grow themselves. This is a clever gardening book and cookbook in one.

Suitable for ages 6+ (★★★★)

Look and Cook

Tina Davis


Format: Paperback

Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang Inc, May 2004

Recipes come and go, and others are here to stay. I love a good vintage cookbook find at the local op shop. It is a great way to step back in time; to imagine the memories of others, and wonder how life might have been different in another time. Would you believe there is a nostalgic cookbook for children?

Look and Cook is an ingenious concept. Along with classic recipes, it includes basic cooking skills such as how to cook vegetables, pasta, and rice and how to boil an egg. I particularly love the illustrations that demonstrate how to tell if an egg is fresh and how to set the table. It is vintage in style. The illustrations have been taken from classic cookbooks dating from the 1900s to the 1960s. The author shares her own food memories and dedicates a section of the book to the reader in the form of blank lined pages to fill in with your own favourite recipes. She dedicates this book to three generations of women in her life: grandmother, mother and daughter.

Suitable for ages 5+ (★★★★★)

Buy online

I Want to be a Chef


Format: Paperback

Publisher: Murdoch Books, May 2010

RRP: A$29.95

There are 100 child-friendly recipes presented in this colourful cookbook full of gorgeous food styling. Step-by-step photographs are included for some recipes.

Recipes include: cheese pinwheels and spaghetti with chicken meatballs, summer fruity yoghurts, vegetable and noodle stir-fry

Suitable for ages 5+ (★★★★)

Mummy and Me Cookbook

Annabel Karmel


Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley, February 2008

A cookbook designed to help parents work with their children in the kitchen. Recipes are simple but healthy, and designed to be basic for children to follow. The cute step-by-step photos help kids understand the recipe and also teach them basic cooking skills such as how to weigh, sieve and mix.

Recipes include: Mini Lemon Cheesecakes, Cut-out Cookies, Little Pitta Pizzas, Mini Banana muffins

Suitable for ages 4+ (★★★★)


Wombat Stew Cookbook

Marcia Vaughan


Format: Paperback

Publisher: Scholastic Australia, January 1989

RRP: A$15.99

Who doesn’t love ‘Wombat Stew’? The original picture book lends itself perfectly to this adorable cookbook. There are 18 easy and yummy recipes for kids, with illustrations of Wombat Stew characters. It also includes helpful information about kitchen safety, measuring and cooking terms.

Recipes include: Bandicoot Ginger Biscuits, Wombat Watermelon Salad and Lizard Lemon Fizz

Suitable for ages 3+ (★★★★★)

Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes

Roald Dahl, Felicity Dahl and Julie Fison


Format: Paperback

Publisher: Puffin Books, November 1997

This is a perfect cookbook for any Roald Dahl fan. The recipes have jumped straight out of the pages of George’s Marvelous Medicine, Matilda, The Twits and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Felicity Dahl and Josie Fison have interpreted the dishes described in Roald Dahl’s books. Starters, snacks, main courses, cakes & desserts, drinks and confectionery all appear in this cookbook. What a lot of fun kids will have creating these recipes.

Recipes include: George’s Marvelous Medicine chicken Soup, Bruce Bogtrotter’s Cake, Mr. Twit’s Beard Food and Lickable Wallpaper.

Suitable for ages 4+ (★★★★★)

Buy online

Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook

Georgeanne Brennan and Dr. Seuss


Format: Spiral-bound

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers, October 2006

Georgeanne Brennan has created a list of recipes inspired by the words and illustrations of Dr. Seuss. Each recipe includes a quotation and illustration from a Dr. Seuss book.

Recipes include: Green Eggs and Ham (of course!), Cat’s Mac and Cheese, Circus McGurkus Pink Lemonade, Sneetch Treats

Suitable for ages 3+ (★★★★★)


Children’s Cookbook

Fiona Watt


Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd, October 2002

Well known children’s author Fiona Watt has created a gorgeous cookbook for young children which shares the recipes of the endearing characters of Apple Tree Farm: Poppy, Sam and Mrs. Boot.

The recipes are simple to prepare and include step-by-step instructions and matching illustrations. Some extra features include cooking terminology and final product photos.

Making this book a great starter-cookbook for little readers is the little duck that can be found on every page (This is my daughter’s latest obsession for books-searching for hidden creatures).

Recipes include all good farmyard fare: Mrs. Boot’s Best Carrot Cake, Apple Crumble, Strawberry Trifle, Farmyard Cookies, Sam’s Favourite Soup and Poppy’s Pizza.

Suitable for ages 3+ (★★★)

Eddie’s Kitchen

Sarah Garland


Format: Hardcover

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books (Walker Books), October 2008

RRP: A$27.95

This is a cookbook within a cute fictional story. The main character, Eddie, needs to help his Mum cook a birthday tea with ingredients straight from the garden. The recipes are nutritious and promote the use of fresh produce. A great cookbook for budding young chefs!

Recipes include: Spaghetti with Rich Tomato Sauce, Crusty White Bread, Baked and Buttery Apples, Orange Drizzle Cake

Other books in this series include ‘Eddie’s Garden’ and ‘Eddie’s Toolbox

Suitable for ages 3+ (★★★)

Mud Pies and Other Recipes

Marjorie Winslow


Format: Hardcover

Publisher: NYRB Children’s Collection, November 2010

Why does all cooking have to be real? Some of the best dishes I’ve devoured have been those imaginary ones cooked up by young children. Even better, are the bizarre concoctions made from soil and flower petals.This small, nostalgic book is simply magical. Mud Pies and Other Recipes is a make-believe cookbook that harnesses the imagination of children. Recipes are set out under one of 5 courses. Recipes such as Woodchip Dip, Mud Puddle Soup, Gravel En Casserole and Dandelion Soufflé will guarantee that little boys and girls will be putting on the best tea parties for their dolls, fairies and goblins. Give your children a licence to get creative in their outdoor kitchen.

Suitable for ages 4+ (★★★★★)

Buy online

Book List: Children’s Cookbooks


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