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Books About Preparing and Eating Produce Together by Mélina Mangal

Get ready to embark on a delicious adventure through the pages of children’s books with Mélina Mangal’s collection of stories about preparing and eating produce together. In these heartwarming tales, young readers will not only learn about the importance of healthy foods and where they come from, but they will also be introduced to diverse cultures and inspired to make their own food choices. From Jayden’s exciting cooking exploits to Shelly-Ann’s attempts to perfect Jamaican dishes, each story in this collection is filled with love, laughter, and mouthwatering recipes. So grab your apron and get ready to dive into the wonderful world of producing and enjoying meals together!

Books About Preparing and Eating Produce Together

It isn’t just back-to-school time. It’s also harvest time, when farmers and gardeners gather and share their fresh produce. Reading books about young people cooking together with others is a great way to introduce healthy foods, showcase students’ cultures, and encourage student agency. Sharing such books helps teach young readers about where their food comes from, and how they can become involved in making important food choices.

Here are ten books about preparing and eating produce together:

Books About Preparing and Eating Produce Together by Mélina Mangal

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Jaydens’ Secret Ingredient

Jayden's Secret Ingredient

In this sequel to Jayden’s Impossible Garden, Jayden and Mr. Curtis continue their adventures together. This time, Jayden is faced with a dilemma. Will he have the courage to try something new? The book also includes a variety of recipes from Jayden’s neighbors. It’s a great way to inspire young readers to be adventurous in the kitchen and try new ingredients in their meals.

Auntie Yangs’s Great Soybean Picnic

This picture book memoir tells the story of Jinyi and her family discovering a field of soybeans while on a drive. This discovery reminds her parents, aunt, and uncle of the food and rituals of their life back in China. Inspired by their memories, they decide to have a great soybean picnic. This book not only introduces young readers to the concept of soybeans and their importance in Chinese cuisine, but it also highlights the power of family and cultural traditions.

Books About Preparing and Eating Produce Together by Mélina Mangal

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Before We Eat: From Farm to Table

Before We Eat takes readers on a journey from the farm to the table. It features a group of friends and family gathering for an outdoor meal, but before they dig in, they take a moment to thank all the people who helped bring the food to their table, from the farmers to the grocery cashiers. The book beautifully pays homage to agriculture and food workers and reminds young readers to appreciate the hard work and effort that goes into producing the food they eat.

Bilal Cooks Daal

Bilal Cooks Daal follows the story of Bilal, a young boy who wants to share his favorite lentil dish, daal, with his friends. However, daal takes time to cook, and Bilal and his friends must wait patiently. As his friends start to wonder if the daal will be any good, Bilal also begins to question whether they will like it as much as he does. This book not only showcases the deliciousness of daal but also teaches important lessons about patience and trying new things.

Books About Preparing and Eating Produce Together by Mélina Mangal

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Granny’s Kitchen: A Jamaican Story of Food and Family

In Granny’s Kitchen, Shelly-Ann is learning to cook Jamaican dishes from her grandmother, Granny. However, she struggles to get the recipes right. Despite the challenges, Shelly-Ann takes up the challenge of making food for Granny when she can’t cook one morning. This vibrantly illustrated story emphasizes the importance of trying again and not giving up, and it also provides several authentic Jamaican recipes for young readers to try.

Rainbow Stew

Rainbow Stew is a rhyming story that takes place on a rainy day. Three kids spend the day with their grandpa, but the rain prevents them from playing outside. Instead, they decide to harvest vegetables from the garden and make rainbow stew. The book includes a recipe for rainbow stew, encouraging young readers to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different vegetables.

Books About Preparing and Eating Produce Together by Mélina Mangal

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Ruby’s Reunion Day Dinner

In Ruby’s Reunion Day Dinner, Ruby’s family gathers to make a special dinner for their reunion. Ruby, eager to contribute, faces the challenge of convincing her family that she can make a meaningful contribution despite being young. Throughout the book, Ruby proves her capabilities in her own way, highlighting the importance of everyone’s unique skills and talents in the kitchen. This heartwarming story encourages young readers to be confident in their abilities and to embrace their role in food preparation.

Salsa: Un Poema Para Cocinar = a Cooking Poem

Salsa is a bilingual Spanish-English book that combines poetry, cooking, and music. Two siblings dance and sing while preparing salsa, using vegetables as imaginary instruments. This book not only introduces young readers to the concept of salsa and its ingredients but also demonstrates the joy and creativity that can be found in the kitchen. It’s a fun and interactive way for children to engage with food and language.

Books About Preparing and Eating Produce Together by Mélina Mangal

Sylvia’s Spinach

Sylvia’s Spinach tells the story of Sylvia, a girl who dislikes spinach in any form. However, when she is assigned to grow spinach seeds in the school garden, she begins to see spinach in a different light. This book teaches young readers the importance of growing their own food and trying new things. It encourages them to approach vegetables with an open mind and discover the deliciousness and nutritional value they can offer.

Talia and the Rude Vegetables

Talia and the Rude Vegetables explores cultural traditions and the importance of family in food preparation. Talia is tasked with collecting “rude” vegetables for their Rosh Hashanah stew. However, she also discovers perfectly lovely vegetables along the way, leaving her with a dilemma. This book not only introduces young readers to Rosh Hashanah traditions but also explores the idea of making choices and finding creative solutions. It includes a Rosh Hashanah recipe to further engage young readers in the cultural celebration.

Reading books about preparing and eating produce together provides an opportunity for young readers to learn about different cultures, explore new recipes, and develop a deeper appreciation for the food they eat. These books emphasize the importance of community, family, and trying new things. They inspire young readers to get involved in the kitchen, experiment with different ingredients, and make meaningful connections with the food they consume.

Mélina Mangal, the author of several of these books, is passionate about creating stories that focus on nature and culture. Her books not only entertain but also educate, encouraging young readers to explore the world around them and make connections with food, community, and family. In addition to being an author, Mélina works as a school library media teacher and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.