this book is the most amazing book i've seen for making play food. it includes lots and lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as some other japanese lunch/bento items. some of the fruits and veggies are distinctively japanese, although most are recognizable around the world. what sets this book apart is not only the wide variety of projects, but also the precise and well thought out level of detail to really make these foods look delightful!
this book is really lovely in the way it depicts the foods, whole or in cut pieces, often including the pieces of food that could be put together or taken apart. for example, a bunch of bananas, apple slices, or lemon wedges. some of these use velcro in a few spots or magnets to let them attach to each other.
it has a whole huge array of fruit (apples, pears, grapes, bananas, kiwis, lemons, persimmons, strawberries, watermelon) and veggies (tomato, peas, cucumbers, carrots, onions, potatos, garlic, corn, lettuce/cabbage, japanese sweet potato, mushrooms, turnip, carrot, daikon radish, pumpkins, gobo, green onion/leeks). in addition, there are also all the parts to make a ham sandwich, or egg on toast, and japanese lunch classics like fried shrimp, dumplings, and rice balls. also, there are pancakes and desert food like strawberry cake, and ice cream.
the names of each food are written in english and japanese, but all the instructions are written in japanese only. that shouldn't be a problem for you to make them though, since there are detailed step by step photos and diagrams of the process, and patterns for the pieces are also included!
flickr set here.