A child describes her dinner at a dim sum restaurant with her family, explaining what dim sum is – little dishes of different foods – and what each member of her family chooses from the little carts that bring food to the tables. Perspective changes to feature each family member as they choose a different food. Multicultural audiences will appreciate learning about new and different foods, and many families will identify with the experience. The illustrations are brightly colored, with the restaurant’s red carpet serving as the background for each spread; the bright silver carts and vibrantly colored foods and clothing add to the visual interest. The front endpapers feature food, condiments and tableware against a bright green background and the back endpapers illustrate almost two dozen dim sum dishes. The bright yellow font creates a nice contrast from the red background, and occasionally, the text curves around the picture, adding to the visual appeal.
This would be a strong addition to a multicultural read-aloud or a Chinese New Year read-aloud. Preschoolers will be intrigued by the bright colors and names of the characters (Ma-Ma, Ba-Ba, Jie-Jie, Mei-Mei); the interesting new foods could start a fun discussion on other types of ethnic foods. If space permits and the food is available, perhaps there could be a small selection of foods available for audiences to sample. A Chinese New Year read-aloud could also offer printables of the Chinese astrological signs, with explanations for each sign. Oriental Trading’s website offers many affordable Chinese New Year crafts for little hands, and there are free lantern crafts available online that parents/guardians could help children create.
The author’s webpage offers printables, crafts, Chinese lessons, and recipes.