Ramen for Everyone

by Patricia Tanumihardja (Author) Shiho Pate (Illustrator)

Ramen for Everyone
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

In this adorable picture book for fans of Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao and Bilal Cooks Daal, Hiro aspires to make a bowl of ramen as delicious as his dad's--and runs into some surprises on his first attempt!

Hiro loves ramen. Every Sunday, Hiro's dad makes delicious, perfect ramen for dinner, using a recipe passed down from his dad. There's nori seaweed, briny like the ocean; nitamago egg, the yolk golden like the sun; and chashu pork so tender, it melts in your mouth. Yum!

Hiro's dream is to make his own perfect bowl, and he's sure he can do it after watching his dad and taking notes. But when he gets started, things don't go according to plan. The seaweed crumbles! The eggs slip through his fingers! The pork falls apart! Hiro is worried he'll never be a real ramen chef...but thanks to his father's wise advice and his own creativity, Hiro discovers that every person's perfect bowl of ramen is unique.

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Kirkus Reviews

A celebration of the complexity and care that go into making this Japanese staple.


A hearty serving of Japanese cuisine, resilience, and family fun.

Publishers Weekly

Hiro loves ramen so much, "he wants to make the perfect bowl." The noodle dish is part of his ancestry--his grandfather ran a ramen shop in Hawaii, where his father also learned the family recipe. Now, each week, Hiro sits nearby as his father makes ramen, taking notes, "studying Dad's technique," and learning how to create the noodles and broth from scratch. On Hiro's seventh birthday, he decides, "I'm a big boy now. I'm going to make the perfect bowl of ramen." Tanumihardja's picture book debut encouragingly, practically shows how much hard work goes into the food's preparation ("The noodles should be soft and springy... just like your earlobe!"), leaving room for Hiro to try, try again, and at last put a personal spin on the traditional dish. Pate's sumi ink, pencil, and digital illustrations reproduce packaged ramen's colorful, cartoony designs, establishing a cheerfully chaotic tone across action-oriented panels. Back matter includes a ramen recipe. All characters cue as Japanese. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

*A Junior Library Guild Selection*
Patricia Tanumihardja
Born in Jakarta to Indonesian Chinese parents and raised in Singapore, Patricia Tanumihardja has been a food writer and cookbook author for close to two decades. She has also developed recipes for Highlights High Five magazine. Tanumihardja is the author of Jimmy's Shoes and Ramen for Everyone. She lives in Washington, DC.
Derek Desierto is a Vancouver-based illustrator whose books with Eva Chen include the New York Times bestseller Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes. Currently, he is living the dream as a freelance artist for animated TV shows and picture books. His ultimate goal in life is to meet Oprah and become one of her Favorite Things.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date
March 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV013000 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | General
JUV011020 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States - Asian American
JUV050000 - Juvenile Fiction | Cooking & Food
Library of Congress categories
Fathers and sons
Picture books
Food habits
Individual differences
*A Junior Library Guild Selection*

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