DIM SUM, HERE WE COME!

It’s dim sum time!

Every Sunday, a child’s family meets at a dim sum restaurant, and right from the first page (or even the delectable endpapers), the excitement is palpable. This is going to be a full-on experience. Bright watercolor illustrations outlined lightly with colored pencil offer a charming view of this apparently Chinese extended family of a dozen members. The narrator exudes enthusiasm with expressive dot eyes and a wide mouth as they greet everyone and enter the restaurant. There’s a wait, but Uncle Irvin takes the cousins around the restaurant to see the good-fortune kumquat plant, the good-luck cat statue, and the fish tank. Then it’s time to eat. There’s jasmine tea and carts stacked high with bamboo baskets full of food—too many dim sum options to choose from. Lam’s love of both dim sum and family is infectious, and she deftly weaves cultural details into the story, such as family members tapping their fingers to thank Uncle Jeremy for refilling hot tea for everyone. “Tap tap tap! Tap tap tap! Tapping your finger on the table means thank you.” Grandma also teaches the child to wait their turn for the Lazy Susan. The spread listing every person it passes on its way around is delightfully suspenseful, worth the char siu bun at the end. Every small pleasure of this outing seems thrilling, but there’s also a comfortable ease to this family, shown in all their loving ways. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Delicious. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-06-239698-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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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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A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.

MAMA BUILT A LITTLE NEST

Echoing the meter of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” Ward uses catchy original rhymes to describe the variety of nests birds create.

Each sweet stanza is complemented by a factual, engaging description of the nesting habits of each bird. Some of the notes are intriguing, such as the fact that the hummingbird uses flexible spider web to construct its cup-shaped nest so the nest will stretch as the chicks grow. An especially endearing nesting behavior is that of the emperor penguin, who, with unbelievable patience, incubates the egg between his tummy and his feet for up to 60 days. The author clearly feels a mission to impart her extensive knowledge of birds and bird behavior to the very young, and she’s found an appealing and attractive way to accomplish this. The simple rhymes on the left page of each spread, written from the young bird’s perspective, will appeal to younger children, and the notes on the right-hand page of each spread provide more complex factual information that will help parents answer further questions and satisfy the curiosity of older children. Jenkins’ accomplished collage illustrations of common bird species—woodpecker, hummingbird, cowbird, emperor penguin, eagle, owl, wren—as well as exotics, such as flamingoes and hornbills, are characteristically naturalistic and accurate in detail.

A good bet for the youngest bird-watchers.   (author’s note, further resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-2116-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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