BOY DUMPLINGS by Ying Chang Compestine


Age Range: 5 - 9
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When a hungry ghost plucks a plump little boy off the streets of Beijing, he sees supper, but—“You’re not going to eat me raw, are you?” demands the boy. The clever boy tells him about boy dumplings, a dish that requires both a bath (“Dry boy, massage boy’s feet, and let boy nap”) and a plethora of exotic ingredients that forces the ghost out until dawn, at which point the boy captures him in his lantern. Compestine spins out this variant on a classic trickster tale, developing both characters and premise with humor. Yamasaki sets the tale in a Beijing of yore, with cobbled streets and tile-roofed homes. An author’s note gives cultural context for this original tale and a recipe for Boy-Free Dumplings. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8234-1955-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2009


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