Wednesday, December 15, 2021

7 Days of Books, Day 1 Culture through food and traditions, plus giveaway alert!

I've been meaning to post this series for a while. Since the holidays are upon us and we tend to gather with family and friends around food, I'm super excited to share some special children's books on the topic for Day 1.

In the spirit of the season, I'm adding something new!! A giveaway for the chance for 3 winners to win 1 0f 3 prizes - 

a $25 visa gift card,

a $10 Starbucks gift card, 

and a critique of a PB manuscript from me! 

All you need to do is drop a comment on at least three of the posts over the next 7 days - including the last post for Day 7, share the posts on social media, and then let me know that you did. How do you let me know? Tag me with a link to this blog! I'm @SKWenger on Twitter, @skwenger_books on Instagram, and @SKWengerChildrensAuthor on Facebook.

Each comment/share gets you an entry. Winners will be announced by Dec 28th.

And now for Day 1's dive into books!

Let Me Fix You a Plate, A Tale of Two Kitchens by Elizabeth Lily (Neal Porter Books 2021).

I loved this book for the lyrical quality of the language combined with perfect word choice that wonderfully conveyed the cultural differences between families that gathered in two different kitchens in two different states. Readers are treated to the combined multicultural influences of a father's white roots from rural West Virginia and a mother's Latinx roots from Florida. I wasn't surprised to see this book included in the Publisher's Weekly best books of the year for 2021. It's a winner. Find it, read it, enjoy it, share it!

May Your Life Be Deliciosa 
by Michael Genhart, illustrated by Loris Lora (Harry N. Abrams 2021). 

Take a wonderful journey into the heart of a warm kitchen filled with love as Rosie and her family gather at Christmas to make tamales with abuela. This lyrical picture book earned starred reviews from both Kirkus and Booklist. 

Bella's Recipe for Succes
s by Ana Siqueira, illustrated by Geraldine Rodgriguez (Beaming Books 2021) This story of sticking with something you want to be good at and not giving up until you've met your goal is spot on. Kids will delight in the humor and flow with the Spanish words threaded through the English text. A beat won't be missed, especially with the surprise twist on the last spread. I highly recommend this book for any young reader who is trying something new -- which means . . . all of them!

Watch out for the Chicken Feet in Your Soup
by Tomie De Paola (Simon & Schuster 1985). An oldie but goodie, this picture book is full of voice with Tomie's Italian grandmother shining from the page to page as she makes two boys feel special and makes special bread before dinner. My boys couldn't get enough of this book when they were younger. We read it numerous times at their request, and it wasn't for lack of other books to choose from. I suppose grandmas and wayward chicken feet are big hooks for young readers!

Soul Food Sunday
by Winsome Bingham, illustrated by C. G. Esperanza (Harry N. Abrams 2021). This story not only rolls with voice and rhythm, it will inspire young readers to step into the kitchen to try the macaroni and cheese recipe found in the back of the book! What can be better than time spent reading together followed by time spent cooking together. This was another book on "best" lists for 2021. 

Dumpling Day
by Meera Sriram, illustrated by Ins De Antuano (Barefoot Books 2021) This book combines rhymes, diverse cultures, and counting all in one book as it explores different dumplings from 10 different regions of the world as they are prepared before all gather for a picnic. Inspirational yumminess! 

Spread the love. Please share titles in the comments that fall with today's theme!  


  1. One of my favorite food-focused books is Brave Potatoes (by Toby Speed & Barry Root, now sadly out of print), which features potatoes who do NOT want to be eaten. A book that's more in keeping with the others you list is Little Lena and the Big Table by Pj McIlvaine and Leila Nabih. [I'm sharing your blog on Twitter -- what a fun series!)

    1. Yes, I love Toby Speed's books. Brave Potatoes is a fun one. I'll have to check out Little Lena and the Big Table. Thank you for sharing, Janet!

  2. I just read Tomatoes for Neela and loved it! I also love Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao and Too Many Tamales!

  3. Amy Wu is a wonderful book! Thank you for the recommendations of Tomatoes for Neela and Too Many Tamales! Adding them to my list for the library! Thanks, Sarah!

  4. I'd like to add my book -- LET'S EAT! MEALTIME AROUND THE WORLD ( which explores a nice variety of cultures (as many as they let me in a picture book LOL). I have a list of many other books, as well as KIMCHI FOR ME, BILAL COOKS DAAL, CORA COOKS PANCIT, PASS THE PANDOWDY, CHOWDER RULES, MAGIC RAMEN, including BELLA'S RECIPE FOR SUCCESS, FRY BREAD, AMY WU and MORE! Hope these help!

    1. Absolutely! Thank you, Lynne! I love that your book can introduce a variety of cultural foods to a family. When my children were younger, I loved taking time to cook with them and introduce them to a variety of flavors and styles of preparations. I have more books to check out!

  5. I definitely need to check this one out!

  6. Gregory the Terrible Eater has always been a favorite.


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