In this ‘books on a theme’ post, I’m writing about a topic that is very close to my heart: food. I’ve had a long interest in the topic as a geographer and researcher, particularly when it comes to issues of food chains and where our food comes from. And I’m also very interested in the topic as someone who really likes to eat. The two adult books reviewed in this post capture both of those aspects of my interest in food and are by authors whose work I love and would recommend to anyone with the vaguest interest in food. And there are so many great kids books out there now either about food or with food as a focal point — here I’ve highlighted two newer ones aimed at the toddler crowd that I particularly enjoyed.
Unsavory Truth by Marion Nestle
Marion Nestle is an American academic who specialises in nutrition and public health. She has written numerous books on the food industry (other books I’ve read by her include Soda Politics, Food Politics, and What to Eat). This is her newest book and it’s about how incentives, gifts, and donations from the food industry affect researchers and policymakers when it comes to matters of food and nutrition. Her writing is very easy to read (I feel like this is important to mention when talking about books by academics) and what she writes about is a massively important topic that I think everyone who eats (so, everyone) should be concerned about. Read all of her books! They are all wonderful. I’ve written about these types of books before, and I think they’re all worthy reads.
Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
Ruth Reichl is my favourite food writer. She makes food sound beautiful, poetic, and delicious. I have read most of her books and loved every one. This is her latest book and is about her time at Gourmet magazine. She did not disappoint! Another gorgeous, pleasurable read. Food is given such beautiful treatment in her writing and it always makes me want to eat foods I would never have considered eating.
Touchwords: Food by Rilla Alexander
I love the touchthinklearn books and this is one from an adjacent series: touchwords. There are gorgeous illustrations and word clusters for various common foods like bread, rice, soup, and peas. Each double-page spread has raised cutouts of the food and some related utensils. A fantastic tactile board book.
Cook in a Book: Tacos! by Lotta Nieminen
A super fun interactive board book that is an entire recipe. Each page takes you through the ingredients and steps involved in making tacos, with bits to spin and pull and take out so you can pretend you are cooking. All the best bits of cooking without any of the mess!
These two board books are actually pretty similar, now that I think about it. They are both interactive board books and the simple, bold illustrations are a very similar style. For a bigger list of excellent books about food for children and toddlers, see here.