Create your own cookbook

You could focus on edible treats from your favourite stories, such as Baby Bear’s porridge, Bruce Bogtrotter's chocolate cake from Roald Dahl’s Matilda, the witch’s house from ‘Hansel and Gretel’ or the orange jelly and treacle pudding in Enid Blyton’s Land of Birthdays.  

Goldilocks's porridge

You could write instructions for one of the feasts that appear magically on the tables at Hogwarts. Or imagine how Willy Wonka made his peppermint-flavoured grass or edible wallpaper. You could create a recipe for the dolls’ house food in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of the Two Bad Mice.

Hansel and Gretel stand in front of the gingerbread house surrounded by a forest
Hansel and Gretel and Other Stories, illustrated by Kay Nielsen (1925), reproduced by permission of Hodder Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Children’s Books, Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London imprint, EC4Y 0DZ.
Illustration from A Tale of Two Bad Mice
Imaged from The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter. Public Domain

You could invent an entirely new fantastical menu.

What ingredients would you choose? Those that grow in trees or fields, those made in factories or those created on other planets?

Who would you make this food for? A party of aliens, a group of friends, a gathering of jungle creatures or a witch’s birthday party?

What effect does your food have? Will it make those who eat it float into the sky, will it turn them into the coolest dancers, will it take them back in time or throw them into the future?

Alternatively you could fill your cookbook with recipes for real-world food.

You could find out how to make your favourite dish by asking your carers or parents. You might also find a recipe online.

Illustration of father and daughter cooking
Illustration from Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street, © Felicita Sala

You could ask teachers, grandparents, dinner ladies or neighbours to share their favourite recipes (although you must always ask your parents or carers if you want to knock on other people’s doors).

Illustration of twins cooking
Illustration from Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street, © Felicita Sala

Felicita Sala’s Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street is a book about the residents of a large apartment block all cooking dishes in preparation for a special feast. These include flavoursome delights from all around the world. Felicita says, ‘This is precisely what food and eating means to me, the act of feeding others, of being fed, of sharing what made us from the places that made us’.

Illustration of woman cooking
Illustration from Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street, © Felicita Sala

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Go deeper: Food in children’s books

What would it be like to swim in a river of chocolate? What would you do if you stumbled upon a sumptuous feast, only to find it was pretend? Explore the temptation and magic of food in books.