by Michelle Sterling (Author) Dung Ho (Illustrator)
Celebrate the Lunar New Year through a young girl's family traditions in this charming picture book featuring illustrations by New York Times bestselling artist Dung Ho that also includes a recipe for pineapple cakes!
Little Ren looks forward to the preparation for and festivities of Lunar New Year, but she is always too little to help make the delicious pineapple cakes that are her favorite. She watches family members rolling out the dough and loves the mouth-watering smell. Watching and waiting, when will Ren be old enough?
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PreS-Gr 3--A young girl and her family prepare for Lunar New Year by cooking a sumptuous feast. Ren is eager for the upcoming celebration. She hopes this year she can finally help make her favorite New Year's treat, pineapple cake. Unfortunately, the grown-ups deem Ren "still too little" to assist in hanging lanterns, folding dumplings, and stirring noodles. Despite being relegated to an observer for these tasks, Ren's spirits remain high. She attempts to impress her older brother Charlie by making pineapple cakes on her own, but instead makes a big mess. Charlie patiently teaches Ren how to roll the dough, and an aunt advises Ren on how to press it into molds. Ren is proud to have contributed to the dinner offerings and grateful to be surrounded by her family on this joyous occasion. Cheerful cartoon illustrations bring a lively, upbeat tone in keeping with the sense of festivity. The palette of radiant reds, golden yellows, and budding greens reflects shades traditionally associated with the holiday and reinforces the warmth and love of this family-focused celebration. VERDICT A delightful charmer that touches on practices associated with Lunar New Year and highlights a variety of foods.--Sophie KenneyCopyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
On an early morning that "smells like Lunar New Year is almost here," narrator Ren wakes with pineapple cake-making on her mind: "Will I get to help, finally?" But her family gives the same answer; despite having grown two inches, "You're still too little, Ren." And not just for making pineapple cake: Ren can only watch as Baba hangs red lanterns and Auntie Weili stirs longevity noodles. Ho's softly bright, digitally rendered art colors the pages with the same enthusiasm and fullness as Sterling's crisply sensate prose, which follows the family's bustling preparations, including Ren's scrambling for groceries with Mama ("I poke the fish's glassy scales as it slips and squeaks into a bag"). And when older brother Charlie helps Ren prepare a batch of pineapple cakes, the family looks on proudly at the new year's sweet beginnings. Includes an author's note and pineapple cake recipe. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.