My Favorite Children's Literature ... food-related, of course!

March 8, 2011
Now, why would I be writing a post about children's literature on a cooking blog?  Because I realized on my drive to school the other day (I'm a first grade teacher) that three of my favorite children's books have to do with food!  So as soon as I got to my classroom that morning, I grabbed these three favorite books off my bookshelf so I could take them home, snap some pictures of them, and share them with you.  If you have little ones in your life (or, if you're simply a lover of children's books), I highly recommend these stories.

First up is a very sweet little book brought to my attention by my friend Andrea (she has a blog, too - you can check it out by clicking here.  Or, click here to read a post she did about me - thanks, Andrea!). 

Cupcake ... How appropriate for me!!  See, I love to bake cupcakes, as you can read in Andrea's post.  They're fun.  And they make you feel less guilty about eating them than eating a big ol' slice of cake does ... even though, in reality, you probably end up eating more because you usually eat more than one.  Well, at least I end up eating more than one.

The plain vanilla cupcake in this story feels very, well, plain compared to her fancy brothers and sisters who have lots of decorations.  She feels even worse about her herself when she's left sitting all alone on the plate when all the others have been chosen already.  Poor plain vanilla!  I would choose you!  After trying to spruce herself up with lots of funny things, she ends up realizing she's special just the way she is.  Ahhhh, how sweet!

I read this story with my first grade class the week we were learning about compound words ... since cupcake is a compound word ... get it?  Cup + cake = cupcake!  Then we decorated cupcakes and ate them.  Plain vanilla cupcakes, of course.  Though my kids could choose chocolate OR vanilla frosting, or a little of each ... which they all thought was very cool.  First graders really are so easy to please.

Next up is one of my all-time favorite storybooks - Marsupial Sue Presents the Runaway Pancake by John Lithgow.  Yes, the John Lithgow - the absolutely hysterically funny and great actor.  The book itself read by anyone is funny enough.  But what makes it even funnier is that it comes with a CD of John Lithgow reading and singing the story - and he is hilarious!  I soooooo love this book.  It's just good ol' fun, and you can't help but laugh and sing along with John as the pancake desperately tries to get away without being eaten.

I play this book for my class probably about 3-4 times a year, they love it so much.

Finally, I have an old classic - On Top of Spaghetti.  It goes right along with that song we all know ... sing along, you know you want to! 

On top of spaaaaagheeeeettiii, all covered with cheese - I lost my poor meattttttball when somebody sneezed.  It rolled ooooofffff the table, and onto the floor.  And then my poor meatttttball rolled out of the door...

The week we learn the short o sound, I read this book and we learn the song.  The book quickly becomes one of the students' favorites during their independent reading time - so much so that my first copy is about falling apart after only three years in the classroom!  I asked for a second copy this past Christmas, and was very happy that Santa obliged.  Now I have an intact copy to read aloud.  But, knowing me, I'll probably put that one out in the classroom library, too, next year and both copies will end up "loved" (that sounds so much better than worn out!).  But, I guess it's a small price to pay to be able to witness the beautiful joy of little ones enjoying a book they love.

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