Other childhood favourites for me were John Burningham’s Mr Gumpy books. The spread at the end of Mr Gumpy’s Outing, where everyone sits round the table and enjoys tea together, needs no words as the scene is just so satisfying. I can remember looking at this picture for ages thinking about who I’d like to sit next to! What can be better than a story that ends with a picnic or special tea?
More recently I’ve enjoyed other food-focused books with my own children. John Vernon Lord’s The Giant Jam Sandwich was a big favourite for us – we loved the ingenious ways the villagers bake a huge loaf of bread and find industrial quantities of butter and jam. And all just to get rid of some wasps! ‘Don’t they want to eat it?’ my daughter would always ask.
Then of course there’s Lauren Child’s I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato, a modern classic that is so much fun to read aloud as an adult. We still talk about moonsquirters in our house and it’s years since this book featured at bedtime.
We’ve been trying to think of more books with very child-friendly food in them – chocolate, ice cream, cake, chips… Carla Vulliamy’s Muffin and the Birthday Surprise springs to mind – it captures perfectly that compelling urge to keep trying just a little bit more of something delicious. There must be others out there – what are your favourite foodie picture books?
|Marshmallows for Martians, by Charlotte and Adam Guillian, illus by Lee Wildish,|
will be published by Egmont,
early June, 2014