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Celebrate Grandparents with these Yummy Diverse Children's Books


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Grandparents introduce us to foods that become lifetime favorites and many of these foods also teach us about our heritage and about family traditions. We've rounded up a few of our favorite diverse children's books that include yummy stories about grandparents and the foods they share with their families. Perfect for Grandparent's Day or anytime. Happy reading!


Accompanied by Ken Daley's vibrant, sun-soaked artwork, Sadé Smith's debut picture book Granny's Kitchen is the perfect readaloud for budding chefs everywhere. Shelly-Ann lives with her Granny on the beautiful island of Jamaica. When Shelly-Ann becomes hungry, she asks her Granny for something to eat. Granny tells her "Gyal, you betta can cook!" and teaches Shelly-Ann how to get in touch with her Jamaican roots through the process of cooking.


As Shelly-Ann tries each recipe, everything goes wrong. But when Granny is too tired to cook one morning, Shelly-Ann will have to find the courage to try one more time and prepare the perfect Jamaican breakfast.

Purchase: Bookshop



Yoomi loves Grandma's cooking--except for stinky, spicy kimchi, the pickled cabbage condiment served at Korean meals.


You can't eat it because you're a baby, her brothers tease. And they don't play with babies. Determined to prove she's not a baby, Yoomi tries to find a way to make kimchi taste better--but not even ice cream can help. Luckily, Grandma has a good idea, and soon everyone has a new food to enjoy.


Celebrating family, food, and growing up, this story about a Korean-American family will appeal to picky eaters and budding foodies alike. Aram Kim's lively art is filled with expressive characters and meticulous details--and of course, mouth-watering illustrations of traditional Korean dishes and ingredients.


Backmatter includes information about kimchi and how it's made, and best of all, a recipe for Grandma's kimchi pancakes to try yourself! (For more about Yoomi and her family, don't miss Let's Go to Taekwondo! by Aram Kim.)


Purchase: Bookshop




A stunning picture book debut, showcasing the love between grandparents and grandchildren, the challenges of memory loss, and the joy that sweet reminders of a faraway home can bring, from award-winning, bestselling author Thanhhà Lại.


This sweet and emotional picture book will resonate with readers who love A Big Mooncake for Little Star, Ladder to the Moon, and Thank You, Omu!


An's grandmother Bà sometimes gets trapped in her cloudy memories. An and her grandfather, Ông, come up with a plan to bring her back to a happy moment: they grow gấc fruits so they can make xôi gấc, Bà's favorite dish from her wedding in Việt Nam many years ago.


An and Ông work together in the garden, nurturing the gấc seeds. They must be patient and wait for the seeds to grow, flower, and turn into fruit. When the xôi gấc is finally ready, An is hopeful that her grandmother will remember her wedding wish with Ông: hundred years of happiness.


Striking and vivid illustrations bring this tender story of a loving, intergenerational Vietnamese family to life.

Purchase: Bookshop





Neela loves cooking with her amma (mama)and writing down the recipes in her notebook. It makes her feel closer to her paati (grandma) who lives far away in India. On Saturdays, Neela and Amma go to the green market and today they are buying tomatoes to make Paati's famous sauce. But first, Neela needs to learn about all the different kinds of tomatoes they can pick from. And as Neela and Amma cook together, they find a way for Paati to share in both the love and the flavors of the day.


Bestselling author and host of Bravo's Top Chef and Hulu's Taste the Nation Padma Lakshmi takes young readers on an intergenerational journey full of delicious flavors and fun food facts that celebrates a family's treasured recipes. And Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal brings this circle of women to life with vivid detail and warmth. Tomatoes for Neela lovingly affirms how we can connect to other cultures, as well as to our own, through food.

Purchase: Bookshop





In this remarkable author-illustrator debut that's perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street and Extra Yarn, a generous woman is rewarded by her community.


Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?


Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu's stew, with an extra serving of love. An author's note explains that Omu (pronounced AH-moo) means queen in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean Grandma. This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora's life.

Purchase: Bookshop



Your turn! Which books would you add to this list? Let us know.




MORE BOOKS ABOUT FOOD, FAMILY, AND CULTURE IN OUR BOOKSHOP






VIDEO READ ALONG


Read along with author and illustrator Aram Kim on this episode of Read Out Loud on Governors Island! In this picture book, follow Yoomi as she tries to find a way to eat kimchi! But will she find a way to eat the food that she dislikes so much? Read along to find out, and discover a secret kimchi pancake recipe!





 

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