Dumplings for Lili by Melissa Iwai

Published by Norton Young Readers

Dumplings for Lili: Iwai, Melissa: 9781324003427: Amazon.com: Books
author/illustrator interviews | Jama's Alphabet Soup

Summary:  Lili is thrilled when Nai Nai (her grandmother) invites her to help with baos, dumplings made with dough, filled with a spicy pork filling, and steamed in a basket lined with cabbage leaves.  When they go to steam them, though, Nai Nai discovers she’s out of cabbage.  She sends Lili to Babcia’s fifth floor apartment to borrow some.  Babcia has a head of cabbage, but needs potatoes for her pierogies, and sends her to Granma’s on the second floor.  And so it goes, as grandmothers throughout the apartment building need different ingredients to make their versions of dumplings.  Finally, Lili is able to return to Nai Nai’s, where they finish their bao.  They join all the others in the courtyard for a dumpling feast, which turns into a welcome-home party for Lili’s new baby brother…another dumpling treasure.  Includes a recipe for baos and pictures of all the other dumplings on the endpapers.  48 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  This mouth-watering picture book may inspire young cooks to try bao and some of the other yummy foods mentioned in the story.  The party and new baby brother make a perfect ending.

Cons:  I would have liked more information for the other dumplings, especially their countries/cultures of origin.

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