Family Book Club

Taraphoto Cmnh 2016 39 A

What is Family Book Club?

Download the PDF here>>

Family Book Club is a time to get together as a family to read, create, eat, and discuss. Once a month we will choose a story for you to read together. We will also organize a craft, discussion questions, and more to go along with that story.


We love literacy and we love learning - we love families and we love food. It’s a new way to think about reading. Children will love seeing their grown-ups read the same book as them and grown-ups will love having exciting points to discuss with little ones around the dinner table.

The books we choose will generally be for ages 3+

Family book club all takes place within the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to come to the museum on a certain date and at a certain time - you can choose what time works best for you to explore the story - we are just providing all the tools you need. You can do all the activities we put together - or you can choose a couple or just one! It’s up to you.

Ready to get started? 

Follow these simple instructions:

  • Find a way to acquire the book that we have picked (check your local library - there are also often YouTube videos of folks reading the books we pick that you can watch!)
  • Read the book together as a family
  • Make crafts together that relate to the story - use them to decorate your table, or wherever you eat together as a family
  • Look over the recipes we provide for a healthy dinner to make - make part or all of this dinner together
  • Discuss the book over dinner
  • Discuss a “Family Service Project” related to the story
  • Have fun!

Winter Book Pick:

Download the PDF here >>

Everybody Cooks Rice
by Norah Dooley, Illustrations by Peter J. Thornton

Let’s get started!
Start by reading the book together - many libraries have this book as it is a bit older (published 1991!) there is also an excellent youtube video of a reading of the book that you can find here: 


Craft time!

It’s fun to decorate a bit before you have your book discussion. Try making this craft:

In the story, Carrie visits lots of different houses in her neighborhood. Make a house, or two...or three and build your own neighborhood!

Materials Needed:
Paper bag
Scrap paper (crumpled)
Scrap paper for door/window/other shapes

To Make:

  • Decorate the front/sides and back of a paper bag to look like a house - add windows, doors, and more!
  • Open your paper bab and fill with crumpled scrap paper so it will stand up on its own.
  • Decorate a piece of paper to look like a roof, glue or staple to the top of your bag.
  • Decorate around your paper bag! Make a tree, road or bushes.

Family Discussion Questions:

  • In the book, the little girl, Carrie, visits lots of different houses and smells/samples their delicious dinners! Which dinner sounded the tastiest to you? Which dinner sounded the least tasty?
  • A lot of children in the book help their families cook dinner. What dishes do you help cook at home?
  • Carrie pretty much takes a tour around the world while searching for her little brother. How many of the countries mentioned were familiar to you? Did you learn about any new countries and cultures from this story.
  • Do you have special foods that you cook that have been passed through your family? What are they? Chat about the stories and memories surrounding these special foods.
  • pick one of the cultures in the book and research it further - what other special foods do they make? Are there any recipes that you could try at home?
  • Grown-ups & Kids: This book was written in 1991 (27 years ago!) Are there any ways this book would be different if it were written today? What would change?

Family Book Club Dinner Menu:

Main Course:
Vegetable and Protein (your choice!) Stir Fry - inspired by Mrs. Hua's Stir Fry
Rice - Brown, White, Cauliflower, you pick!

Orange, Melon, and Pineapple Fruit Salad

In the story, Carrie comes across a wide variety of different meals being cooked for dinner. Travel to china with this recipe and cook a stir-fry like the one Mrs. Hua is cooking in the book!

For your Stir Fry: Select vegetables and a protein that you would like to cook up together. Veggies like broccoli, pepper, carrots, and bok choy are great in a stir fry. For your protein, choose something like chicken, beef, or tofu - you can also add in some scrambled egg to your stir fry! Make your own sauce or buy a bottle from the grocery store. Example recipe from Hannaford.

For your Rice: Traditionally a stir fry like this would have white rice, but you can choose any kind you would like. White, brown, quinoa, cauliflower - the possibilities are endless!

For your Dessert: Choose some favorite fruits and make a fruit salad. Fruit salad is a common dessert in China - try it with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Family Service Project:

Family service projects can benefit a large group of people (ex. Picking up litter, donating food to a food bank, volunteering at an event)--or just be small acts of kindness within your own home. We are going to start with a small service project.


What does generosity mean to you? In the book all of the families that Carrie visits are generous with her, sharing bits of their dinner as well as sharing stories and friendship.

Write a list of things you can do together to be more generous as a family (more generous to each other? With your time? Something to benefit a larger community?) It's up to you!

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