Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Search For Delicious” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
The Search For Delicious
Natalie Babbitt
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Search For Delicious

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,577 Ratings  ·  269 Reviews
Published (first published 1969)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Search For Delicious, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Search For Delicious

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 23, 2010 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my ABSOLUTE favorite book during my elementary school years...because of this book I went on to read all of Babbitt's works (which I love as well, but this is my fav still)...I now own a very nice hardcover edition of Search for Delicious and it sits in a place of honor next to all the other Babbitt books I own. I re-read it once a year and I'll pass it along to my children when they get old enough. Enjoy!
Oct 11, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of a "literary discussion group" for my 5th grader's class. Each week the kids got together and discussed the reading. They had weekly assignments as well as a "discussion worksheet" that they filled out to help promote discussion. It was pretty cool to see these fifth graders start down the path of analyzing and really thinking about the books they were reading. Tons of fun.

As to the book, it's an entertaining read with some interesting themes and principles. The high l
Angie Fehl
Jan 02, 2016 Angie Fehl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twelve year old Gaylen is an assistant to the Prime Minister in a fantastical medieval era England. The king, on the recommendation of his PM, chooses Gaylen to go on a journey to survey all the kingdom's residents, asking them what's the most wonderful food they can think of. The most common answer will be chosen as the synonym / definition of delicious in the kingdom dictionary. Problem is, no two people seem to give Gaylen the same answer, so how is he to choose? While on his journey, Gaylen ...more
Apr 29, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My 14 year old daughter found this on a shelf and had vague memories of hearing me read it years ago. It was a fun departure from our more serious, academically motivated read alouds. A sweet story about the importance of both language and water, topics close to our family's hearts. The vocabulary was not challenging for a 14 year old, though we renewed familiarity with 'lithe' and 'zephyr' and touched on spelling a bit as we went. I would recommend it as a fabulous family read-aloud for any abl ...more
Jennifer Lavoie
A wonderful tale about how everyone can come together and agree on something, even if originally they disagreed. In this story, Gaylen, a young boy, is sent to poll the kingdom on what the meaning of delicious is. Since everyone has a different opinion, fights often break out. But in the end, it's someone who previously had no voice that makes a difference, just by sharing the joy of water.

And after reading this and thinking about a long drive I had yesterday, it's very true. Nothing is more de
Milanie Howard
I loved this book when I was a kid, and, really, what's not to love? A boy on a quest, mythical creatures, a magic spring, and the happiest of endings -- all make for worthwhile adventure. But beyond that, the book illustrates all the worst and best of human behavior, suspicion and kindness, anger and innocence, and the consequences of letting fear dictate our thoughts and actions. A war begun for silly reasons is as destructive and dangerous as a war begun for a righteous cause. Or maybe the le ...more
Feb 17, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In The Search for Delicious, the Prime Minister of the kingdom is writing a dictionary. The King approves for it except for "Delicious is fried fish". The kings thinks apple are delicious and the queen thinks Christmas pudding is delicious. Soon, the whole town is arguing about what is the most delicious food. The King decides to send the Prime Minister's son Vaungaylen to go to all the people in the kingdom and take a poll. Vaungaylen does-and he goes through many adventures along the way.
I rea
Jan 03, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-classics
This book is one of the best things I read as an older child. I picked it up once out of a box of books a neighbor had given us when they moved. I figured it would just be a quick read to occupy my time during a long summer. However, I was quite surprised by what it held inside.

The Search for Delicious is the tale of a nation torn apart by a simple definition. They are creating a dictionary for their nation to use and while things had gone fine for a while, the definition of "delicious" had cre
Feb 22, 2015 D.C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I probably could have stuck with 3 stars and still made this an honest review. But guess what? I love this style of writing so much it's nice to find an example of it that genuinely works. I was willing to give Babbitt another chance after Tuck disappointed me greatly, and she delivered what just may be my ideal example of pleasure reading: an unusual fantasy that doesn't have any roots in reality (perhaps some sly parody of war) and doesn't at all take itself seriously. The wit and descriptive ...more
Apr 26, 2010 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
If it wasn't for Sister Willburn, I'm sure I would just think this was a fun book with an interesting plot. But since this was one of the books I had to read for English this year, I got to hear all of her wonderful insights on it. Natalie Babbitt's messages about religion and education were really profound(although they reminded me a lot of Ben, ha, ha).

Summary: Gaylen, the adopted son of the prime minister, sets off on a journey to poll the kingdom to find out the true meaning of the word "del
Jen Jen
Jan 04, 2009 Jen Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We listened to this book on tape while on a family vacation. It was relatively short (less than 3 hours) and there was a mystery to be solved so it kept people looking for clues. I also liked the redeeming message. The main character goes through a sort of hero journey through the country trying to find the definition of the word delicious. He comes to know and love the people of the land so he is willing to work to protect the people from a man who is trying to lead the country into civil war. ...more
Feb 17, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nathaniel Hardman
May 10, 2012 Nathaniel Hardman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been almost 20 years since I read this! I remember that one weekend I was supposed to read the first few chapters so we could discuss it in my third or fourth-grade class, and instead, I read the entire thing in one sitting. Not much of the book has stuck with me, but I remember a character going kind of crazy and throwing nuts around (was his name Hemlock?). Mostly, I remember the conclusion - what they finally all agree on as being truly delicious. It's a very satisfying answer that I won ...more
“A Mermaid’s Promise”

Twelve-year-old Gaylan was directed by the kindly Prime Minister
to undertake a tour of the kingdom (consisting of 4 towns in a fictitious medieval land) to conduct a poll: everyone was required to state his/her opinion of what was the most delicious. Despite the seemingly innocuous goal of creating a unique dictionary which would enlighten Everyone, this decree launched immediate dissention: from domestic squabbles, escalating to guild grudges, and ultimately dividing the
Lydia Berglar
May 26, 2014 Lydia Berglar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mom used to read books out loud to my family, before life became so hectic. Once I got older, I went back and re-read some of my favorites. I remembered a book about a quest, a definition for "delicious", a drought, and a mermaid. I couldn't find the book anywhere because I couldn't quite remember the name. Finally I figured out what it was and immediately requested it from the library. I still love this book as much as I did when I was 7. Believe it or not, it is a book about war. Through 12 ...more
Dec 01, 2015 Tortla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chidderbooks, dragons
A sweet little story, with moments of truly beautiful narration. (For example: "Nobody believed they [mermaids and dwarfs and woldwellers] were real any more except for an occasional child or an even more occasional worker of evil, these being the only ones with imagination enough to admit the possibility of something even more amazing in the world than those commonplace marvels which it spreads so carelessly before us every day" (p 10). And: "'I am the guardian of the spring that feeds the lake ...more
3.5 rating

I really enjoyed the fantasy and fairy tale elements and how the plot progressed. The writing was also lovely and embodied the fairy tale atmosphere. I don't really have much to say about this book other than that it was a fun read, but I felt that the cause and catalyst for the progression of the plot was a little too silly for me. I would highly recommend this to any child or middle grade reader.
Juliana Haught
This is a charming, wonderful story. I read this out loud to my family while we were on a long car trip, and everyone enjoyed it. A young boy is charged with a task for his King, and on his journey he meets magical beings and deal with unreasonable people. We had lots of laughs, and there are many touching moments. This is one the kids kept pondering after we were all done with it.
Jun 10, 2014 Cathi95 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
(Fantasy 1969) I pulled this book off the shelf in the elementary school to repair the binding and decided to read it. The story began rather childishly (unsurprising in an elementary school library) but soon showed a depth of meaning. In a small country, the Prime Minister is writing a dictionary, giving an example of each word. For Delicious, he cites "fried fish." Everyone who hears this has their own take, and pretty soon there is discord and argument. A young boy, Gaylen, is sent to poll th ...more
Mar 28, 2016 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This unique children’s novel starts with a legend of dwarves, woldwellers, and a sad mermaid, which instantly captured my boys’ attention. After the legend, the story delved into the story of a Prime Minister putting together a dictionary that has an example for each word. For delicious he has down as an example, “fried fish.” The King disagrees and it’s soon discovered that no one in the castle agrees on just what delicious means. The Prime Minister’s young ward Gaylen sets off to poll the King ...more
Mar 14, 2010 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairy-tales
What a fabulous little book! This would make a great movie. Gaylen, the Prime Minister's assistant, is assigned the task of polling the kingdom to discover what food is most delicious. This task leads him to meet strange beings and to accomplish something even greater. Enjoy!
DeCree, the prime minister, has been working on compiling a dictionary. His definition of "delicious"--"delicious is fried fish"--has stirred up strong disagreement in the king's castle. DeCree's young assistant Gaylen is sent out to poll the kingdom to find out what food the people think is delicious. The queen's brother Hemlock intentionally rides ahead of Gaylen to stir the pot, so to speak, about the poll. By the time Gaylen reaches the other towns, everyone is up in arms which falls into He ...more
Rosalind Spell
Thank you, Ms. Keebler, for reading this to us in 2nd grade, with your sparkly red chair and your Tab. Every day, we waited to hear what delicious truly was. And it is.
Haven Wright
Jan 12, 2016 Haven Wright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ficton-children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2009 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book! It amazes me that Natalie Babbit can think up such an interesting story!
Beth Huddleston
In a faraway kingdom, a Prime Minister is creating a dictionary. He's had no trouble until he gets to the word "delicious". He thinks delicious is the taste of fried fish, but the King asserts it is the taste of apples. Meanwhile the Queen demands it is the taste of Christmas pudding, and Hemlock says it is nuts. As disagreements mount up, young Gaylen is tasked with a poll throughout the kingdom to find what delicious is. Little does anyone know that Hemlock is using this as opportunity to crea ...more
Fairy-tale like story of a boy who is sent out to find out what the people in the kingdom think is the definition of "delicious". The King's jealous nephew, Hemlock, sees an opportunity to create discorde in the kingdom and seize power for himself. The young boy manages to thwart him with the help of a mermaid.

The writing was well done, especially in the descriptions of nature at night. The story itself was an homage to the Brothers Grimm, with a mermaid, a tree-dweller, dwarfs working in mines
Mar 07, 2008 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
it was awsesome, if you haven't read it READ IT!
Rachel Escobar
This book was a little all over place for me. I do not think connections were made very well between the prolog and the actual story. Also I felt like it was a little boring and it waited until the very end to tie all the loose ends it left together. I do however think that it does have a good message when it comes to everyone having a different definition for delicious, I think it is implying that what is to you might not be to someone else and we all different experience and memories with thin ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming story told in the style of a folk tale. A young boy goes on a quest to poll the kingdom about what the people think is the most delicious food. Such a simple question ends up bringing the kingdom almost to civil war. Meanwhile the boy discovers the hidden wonders of his world including gnomes in deep caves, woldwellers in the highest trees and a special mermaid with a broken heart at the land's water source. Recommended for readers who enjoy tales about olden times mixed with a bit of ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Afternoon of the Elves
  • The Sign Painter
  • How The Camel Got His Hump (Just So Story Series)
  • Perloo The Bold
  • The Key (The Magnificent 12, #3)
  • The Toothpaste Millionaire
  • Swan Lake
  • Pinky Pye (The Pyes, #2)
  • The Trolls
  • Abel's Island
  • Henry Reed, Inc.
  • Jip: His Story
  • The Wyverns’ Treasure (Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist, #3)
  • The Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep
  • The 13 Clocks
  • Knight's Castle (Tales of Magic, #2)
  • The Fish in Room 11
  • Wizard at Work
Natalie Babbitt was born Natalie Zane Moore on July 28, 1932, in Dayton, Ohio. She attended Laurel School for Girls, and then Smith College. She has 3 children and is married to Samuel Fisher Babbitt. She is a grandmother of 3 and lives in Rhode Island.

She is also a board member of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance a national not-for-profit that actively advocates for literacy, li
More about Natalie Babbitt...

Share This Book

“That doesn't sound like civil war to me," said Gaylen, turning back to his book with a smile. "It only sounds silly."

"Of course it's silly," said the Prime Minister impatiently. "But a lot of serious things start silly.”
“They've really begun the war," he said to himself. "And all over a word in a dictionary, the ninnies!” 3 likes
More quotes…