Published by HarperAlley
Summary: Cici is anxious about her family’s move from Taiwan to Seattle, particularly when she learns that her grandmother, A-má, is staying in Taiwan. The move goes smoothly, with Cici making two new friends almost immediately and getting the A’s in school that her parents expect. But she misses A-má and wants to figure out a way for her grandmother to celebrate her 70th birthday with the family. When Cici learns of a kids’ cooking contest with a grand prize of $1,000, she thinks she’s found the solution. A-má has taught Cici a lot about Taiwanese cooking and Cici is sure she can win. On the first day, she’s paired up with Miranda, an expert chef whose family owns a restaurant, but whose aspirations lie elsewhere. While Cici’s dad thinks cooking is just a hobby and academic achievement is the most important thing, Miranda’s dad believes her cooking should take precedence over everything else. Both girls have plenty to learn about the culinary arts, each other, and themselves as they make their way through the rounds of the contest to find out who will be the top chef. 208 pages; grades 3-6.
Pros: Part immigrant story, part friendship story, part cooking reality show, this graphic novel is sure to please a wide variety of readers.
Cons: Cici’s transition to American life seemed a bit unrealistically easy.