Dig in: Eight great after-dinner reads, plus our back-to-school giveaway!


The giveaway below has ended, but these after-dinner reads are still a great way to get your little ones hungry to cook with you. Browse through these reads together and get inspired!

credit: Donald Chaffin, Alfred A. Knopf Pubishers (copyright 1970)

Swing into the spirit of back-to-school and curl up with these classic after-dinner reads—you could win big just for telling us about your favourites!!

Amazing meals feature heavily in classic tales like Fantastic Mr. Fox, All-Of-A-Kind Family, Farmer Boy...we’re sure you’ve got your own food memories associated with many more. To whet your appetite, we’ve compiled some of our favourite after-dinner reads below along with kid-friendly recipes.

And to celebrate the 2015 back-to-school season, we'll be giving away an Amazon gift card worth $100! To enter our draw, all you have to do is tell us your family’s favourite after-dinner read either on our Facebook wall, Twitter feed or right here in the comments. Just make sure you include the hashtag #btbookscontest.

Example contest entry: a tweet from @csrodman that says @BetterTogether, our current fave is "Before We Eat" by Pat Brisson. #btbookscontest

To get you inspired, here are some of our very favourite reads...plus the recipes, so you can munch along with your favourite characters!

Bread and Jam for Frances: This book’s loving descriptions of lunch will make your mouth water (and give your kids some serious lunchbox inspiration). Between Frances’ funny songs and her clever parents, there’s something for everyone in this classic. Recreate the book’s lunches here and the ultimate spaghetti and meatballs here.

Stone Soup: Many cultures have a story about a soup that gets a little bit tastier with each ingredient thrown into it (and each cook that helps out!). Make your own stone soup here while you tell the story.

Green Eggs and Ham: Dr Seuss’ classic story that proves you can write a great story using just 50 words (and that trying new things can be tasty!). Try your hand at Green Eggs and Ham here.

Momotaro the Peach Boy: This traditional Japanese story is fuelled by a delicious peach and the best kibi-dango (dumplings) in all Japan. Make your own kibi-dango and see if any magical animals offer to help you on your heroic quests!

Pancakes! Pancakes!: How much work goes into a pancake? Eric Carle’s beautiful illustrations complement a gorgeous son-and-mom cooking story...and it’ll leave you wanting pancakes.

Fantastic Mr. Fox: The horrible farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean plan to starve the local forest creatures—but they’re no match for the fantastic Mr. Fox. This story has everything: cute animals, awful bad guys, Roald Dahl’s unmistakable sense of humour...and a huge feast for our hungry heroes. Here’s how you can make a mug of cider to celebrate with Mr. Fox.

Farmer Boy: Part of the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, this book is stuffed with good eating. Almanzo enjoys popcorn and apples by the fire; or watermelon in summertime—but if you’re looking for the meal that blew our minds as kids, you have to enjoy a slice of apple pie with cheddar cheese.

All-Of-A-Kind Family: Another book for older kids where food plays a major supporting role, Sydney Taylor’s story of five little girls growing up in New York’s Lower East Side features loving descriptions of food - including roasted chickpeas!

Did we miss your favourite? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or Twitter...and you’ll be entered to win our giveaway draw! Just tell us the title of your family’s favourite after-dinner read —and include the hashtag #btbookscontest so we’ll be sure to see it. *UPDATE* This giveaway is now over. Congratulations to our winner!*

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  • reading to my 6yr old daughter after dinner is one of my favourite things to do... we cuddle together and I get to experience the joy of sharing some of my favourite books with her. we've worked our way through nearly all of Roald Dahl's works, but the one we've been reading all summer has to be my favourite so far-- The Neverending Story. such vivid pictures are painted in your head as you travel with Bastian Balthazar Bux through Fantastica. #btbookscontest

    silvana 8 September 2015, at 7:21 pm

  • Where the Wild Things Are :-)

    Lillian 8 September 2015, at 9:47 pm

  • #btbookscontest. C.S.Lewis - Chronicles of Narnia

    Tina Phillips 9 September 2015, at 1:01 pm

  • Wow, some great books listed, and some I haven't read before, so I will have to add them to my 'to read' list for my daughter. I would say ours is also Bread and Jam for Frances, and to this day (2 years after reading it the first time) DD likes to place her lunch out with everything in it's place on her desk, preferably on a homemade placemat.

    Sunshine H 9 September 2015, at 7:27 pm

  • Strega Nona "the good spaghetti witch" as my daughter likes to call it.

    Liz 9 September 2015, at 11:21 pm

  • Our family is now fully adult so after dinner I would recommend "The places in between by Rory Stewart. It is a narrative of his solo journey on foot across Afghanistan in 2002.

    Nora McDowell 10 September 2015, at 10:28 am

  • We are making our way through the "When you give a mouse...." Series! So far my son loves When you give a mouse a cookie and When you give a pig a pancake!

    Jeannie 11 September 2015, at 10:35 am

  • Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle’s looks inspirational, we love pancakes :D

    KittyPride 11 September 2015, at 12:42 pm

  • Currently reading Little town in the Ozarks, Roger Lea McBride writes in the same style as Laura Ingals and is a great series to follow up the little house on the prairie.

    Zack 11 September 2015, at 6:13 pm

  • Currently reading Matilda

    Cordelia 12 September 2015, at 8:14 am

  • Harry Potter! Making our way through the whole series :) #btbookscontest

    Leanne 12 September 2015, at 6:48 pm

  • Right now I am reading My big fat zombie goldfish with my kids. They like funny books

    jeannine d 13 September 2015, at 7:26 pm

  • Our kids are a bit older, but my youngest still loves the "Hairy MacLary" books by Lynley Dodd. These are books from New Zealand that are family favourites. http://www.hairymaclary.com/

    Anna 14 September 2015, at 11:47 am

  • I remember reading a variety of books to our now 10 year old.Classics that I grew up with Amelia Bedelia Bread and Jam with Frances and new favourites such as Click Cluck Moo..She now loves Chris Colfer's Book The Land of Stories..

    Michelle K 14 September 2015, at 1:59 pm

  • The whole family has become entranced by the "Look inside" books by Usborne. Each time we lift a flap we learn something new. The current favourite is the Underground book which looks at everything from volcanoes, to pipes and life underground! Time disappears when we open this book and before you know it - time for lights out!

    Melissa Lim 14 September 2015, at 2:19 pm

  • The Gruffalo and the Gruffalo's Child are fun rhyming books from the wonderful and whimsical collaboration of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. We are still on the lookout for a good Gruffalo Crumble recipe, but often will leave the house saying, "Roasted fox! I'm off!" These books are definitely post (and pre) dinner favourites. #btbookscontest

    Jill Calkin 14 September 2015, at 4:21 pm

  • Right now we started The Princess And the Pea by Lauren Child. #btbookcontest

    Ana Sculschi 25 September 2015, at 3:41 pm