An extra-tasty book for bao lovers everywhere.

AMY WU AND THE PERFECT BAO

A little girl wants to make perfect bao, just like the ones her mom, dad, and grandma make.

Making bao is a multigenerational affair in the Wu family. Amy’s mom, dad, and grandma make perfect bao that come out “soft and fluffy, and so, so delicious.” Amy “could eat them all day.” However, the bao that Amy makes are always too small or too big, and sometimes they “fall apart before they reach her mouth.” One day, Amy is determined “to make the world’s most perfect bao.” (The typeface is determined too.) First, Amy’s dad mixes flour, water, and yeast to make dough for the bread (yay for dads in the kitchen!). Then “Amy’s mom seasons meat for the filling.” Finally, everyone gathers around the table to work. Everyone makes perfect bao…everyone except Amy. Amy is about to give up when she thinks of the perfect “Amy-size” plan and gets to work! Zhang’s buoyant, bubbly text is complemented by Chua’s charming, animated characters, who include an equally expressive kitty as sidekick. In one scene, Amy slumps on the floor with flour-covered face and clothes, cradling a misshapen bao. Her forlorn face exemplifies despair, while kitty mirrors her. Step-by-step illustrations, combined with the author’s family recipe, provide readers with a guide to making bao. The Wus all appear to be East Asian.

An extra-tasty book for bao lovers everywhere. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-1133-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day.

MY DAY WITH GONG GONG

Spending a day with Gong Gong doesn’t sound like very much fun to May.

Gong Gong doesn’t speak English, and May doesn’t know Chinese. How can they have a good day together? As they stroll through an urban Chinatown, May’s perpetually sanguine maternal grandfather chats with friends and visits shops. At each stop, Cantonese words fly back and forth, many clearly pointed at May, who understands none of it. It’s equally exasperating trying to communicate with Gong Gong in English, and by the time they join a card game in the park with Gong Gong’s friends, May is tired, hungry, and frustrated. But although it seems like Gong Gong hasn’t been attentive so far, when May’s day finally comes to a head, it is clear that he has. First-person text gives glimpses into May’s lively thoughts as they evolve through the day, and Gong Gong’s unchangingly jolly face reflects what could be mistaken for blithe obliviousness but is actually his way of showing love through sharing the people and places of his life. Through adorable illustrations that exude humor and warmth, this portrait of intergenerational affection is also a tribute to life in Chinatown neighborhoods: Street vendors, a busker playing a Chinese violin, a dim sum restaurant, and more all combine to add a distinctive texture. 

A multilayered, endearing treasure of a day. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77321-429-0

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez,...

MANGO, ABUELA, AND ME

Abuela is coming to stay with Mia and her parents. But how will they communicate if Mia speaks little Spanish and Abuela, little English? Could it be that a parrot named Mango is the solution?

The measured, evocative text describes how Mia’s español is not good enough to tell Abuela the things a grandmother should know. And Abuela’s English is too poquito to tell Mia all the stories a granddaughter wants to hear. Mia sets out to teach her Abuela English. A red feather Abuela has brought with her to remind her of a wild parrot that roosted in her mango trees back home gives Mia an idea. She and her mother buy a parrot they name Mango. And as Abuela and Mia teach Mango, and each other, to speak both Spanish and English, their “mouths [fill] with things to say.” The accompanying illustrations are charmingly executed in ink, gouache, and marker, “with a sprinkling of digital magic.” They depict a cheery urban neighborhood and a comfortable, small apartment. Readers from multigenerational immigrant families will recognize the all-too-familiar language barrier. They will also cheer for the warm and loving relationship between Abuela and Mia, which is evident in both text and illustrations even as the characters struggle to understand each other. A Spanish-language edition, Mango, Abuela, y yo, gracefully translated by Teresa Mlawer, publishes simultaneously.

This warm family story is a splendid showcase for the combined talents of Medina, a Pura Belpré award winner, and Dominguez, an honoree. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6900-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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