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Tasty Tales - Anna Lena Fuenekes

Blogtour Post

My turn on the blogtour for this beautiful book full of fabulous tales of feasts and food from around the world with a guest blog piece from author, Anna Lena Fuenekes.


Travel the world on a plate! Drawing inspiration from both history and lore, this highly illustrated children’s book for 6+ readers explores the mouthwatering stories behind some of the world’s favourite foods. From a plant-loving pirate to an Ethiopian goat, from the crescent of the croissant to a Tofu trailblazer, Tasty Tales offers a fascinating, sometimes surprising and always appetizing journey across historical periods and diverse cultures. The incredible origin stories celebrate how ingredients and dishes have travelled the globe to be shared and loved in new and exciting ways – and how food truly connects us all. With a unique blend of fact and fairy tale that will appeal to fiction fans and non-fiction readers alike, and with intricately detailed four-colour illustrations plus recipes to inspire culinary adventures, this will be a beautiful and delicious book to treasure.

Who knew history can make you hungry!

Meet Anna Lena Feunekes, the author-illustrator behind "Tasty Tales," as she dishes out the scoop on what inspired her debut book!

So, picture this: I've been working primarily as an illustrator, but dipping my toes into the world of writing children's non-fiction books. And you know what? I wanted my first book to be something really special, but it’s quite a lot of pressure. I came upon the topic of food history because well, I've always been a bit of a history buff and a foodie. Blame it on my childhood days spent rummaging through my parents' bookshelves, gobbling up everything from Dutch history to tales of adventure. Plus, my mum's cooking sessions were like magic to me, she always let us play and bake and stir random things. So, it's no surprise that I ended up drawing a lot of food and eventually writing "Tasty Tales"!
The idea for "Tasty Tales" struck me one day at the library. I stumbled upon a book that had a chapter all about potatoes—yes, potatoes! Turns out, they had a rough start in Europe, causing a bit of a stir because people didn't know how to eat them without getting sick! And get this—Marie Antoinette even wore potato flowers in her hair, to convince her people they were OK! Then there was the whole pizza debate—people were getting pretty heated. Was it really Italian or American? It got me thinking about how food is tied to our identities and how many stories there are behind it all.
Sketching out the first few drawings was a blast. I spent ages picking out the perfect colours and style, while digging up more stories I loved. Some were straight-up history lessons, while others felt like fairy tales. But they all had one thing in common—they showed how ingredients travel the world, changing along the way, but still bringing joy wherever they go.
When it came to putting "Tasty Tales" together, I wanted it to be a big melting pot of cultures and dishes. There's something for everyone—whether you're into classics or discovering something new. Each story has a big, colourful picture showing different places and people, along with a little snapshot of the dish itself. And let me tell you, ticking off each story on my "Tasty Tracker" made me feel pretty proud. (That was my numbered list of everything I had to paint and write before the deadline!)
In many ways, "Tasty Tales" is basically the book I wished I had when I was a kid. I hope it makes lots of little foodies and history buffs out there happy, inspiring them to explore the world one bite at a time!

Anna Lena Feunekes is a self-taught illustrator and author based in Gouda, the Netherlands. She has always been fond of creating art and finding interesting stories. Having trained as an Industrial Designer, she quickly shifted to pursuing illustration, writing and teaching. In her artwork she uses a mix of collage, paint and digital tools, to add depth and a tactile sense to the work. Nostalgia is a big source of inspiration to Anna Lena. She loves old buildings, books, nature, history, cooking and eating.

Published by Uclan, Tasty Tales is out now.

Check out the other posts on the blogtour at the stops below:

Thanks to Anna Lena for the guest piece, and Uclan and Antonia for the blogtour spot and copy of the book.


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