I thoroughly enjoyed this picture book biography of chef Joyce Chen who is known for bringing the Chinese dumpling to the United States. Rhyming text tells the story of a little girl born in China who moves to America, grows up, marries, and has children. She learned the art of cooking as a child from a man she simply calls “Cook”. He taught her to make noodles, sweet rice balls, and dumplings. She decides to open a restaurant, but has trouble getting customers to try her unfamiliar food. She changes the name of her dumplings to Ravioli – Peking style and the customers go crazy for them. Joyce becomes such a success that a cookbook and a TV show soon follow.
The endpapers include a timeline, a glossary, a bibliography, and dumpling recipes. A fascinating historical figure is presented in an accessible style that children can appreciate. Kids will more than likely want to try out the dumpling recipe after they hear the story.
Renee (Parr Library)