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by Grace Lin & illustrated by Grace Lin

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: May 11th, 2004
ISBN: 0-375-81521-X
Publisher: Knopf

The middle daughter of three girls in a Chinese-American family is the narrator of this exploration of the paper fortunes found in those irresistible cookies, leading to a wider look at good luck and good fortune in general. After dining in a Chinese restaurant, each member of the family receives a different fortune, and the first-person narration explains how each fortune is true in some way. The paper fortune slips (with a tiny smiley face on each) are incorporated into each illustration, with each different attribute or talent creatively illustrated in bright colors, busy patterns, and a somewhat flattened perspective that lends a cheerful simplicity to the art. The narrator’s fortune indicates that she sees the world in a different way, illustrated by a whole page of fortune cookie papers attached like labels to an outdoor scene. An author’s note provides information about the fortune cookie’s history and its roots in both Chinese and Japanese culture. (Picture book. 4-7)