Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic

Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
1607   0
Write Review
Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Genre(s)
Age Range
1+
Release Date
April 30, 2012
ISBN
978-1600604423
Buy This Book
      
Jinyi and her sister love visiting Auntie and Uncle Yang’s home, where they enjoy dumpling-eating contests and backyard adventures with their cousins. One weekend, on a Sunday drive among the cornfields near Chicago, Auntie Yang spots something she has never before seen in Illinois. Could it be one of their favorite Chinese foods—soybeans?!

Excited by their discovery, the families have their very first soybean picnic. Every year after that, Auntie Yang invites more people to share the food and fun. Pretty soon more than two hundred friends and neighbors are gathering at the picnic to play games and eat soybeans together.

Unique illustrations painted on ceramic plates lend a quirky charm to this lighthearted intergenerational story. Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic is a delicious celebration of family traditions, culture, and community that will have readers asking for seconds, thirds, and more.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0  (1)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0  (1)
(Updated: May 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

Pass the edamame and read this book!

Soybeans, or edamame, are not a particularly exotic foodstuff in the United States these days, but as recently as the 1950s, they were grown only as feed for livestock. Yet for thousands of Chinese immigrants, they were a rare and welcome taste of home. AUNTIE YANG’S GREAT SOYBEAN PICNIC by Ginnie Lo tells the story of a small soybean picnic (just a couple of families and a couple of quarts of soybeans taken from a local field) and how it grew to become a huge annual event, with hundreds of families gathering to eat thousands and thousands of soybeans.

The book is richly detailed, but not overwhelmingly so. The narrator, a young girl, plays with her cousins, helps her mother and auntie cook, and eats more dumplings than anyone else! There’s also a scattering of Chinese vocabulary, with a small guide at the back.

Beth Lo's illustrations are especially fascinating. They’re actually painted on plates, and then photographed. So the illustrations are round, ever so slightly concave, and of course, they reflect the central idea of the book: a shared meal. Also, they’re beautiful and fun to look at and explore.

The story is slow at times. It is much more about sinking into a different moment, a different culture, than it is about racing to find out what happens. The plot, such as it is, is gentle. However, the illustrations and cheerful narrative voice create a child-sized world for a curious reader to explore.

When a book is based on a true story – and what’s more, a story from the author’s own childhood – I am instantly suspicious. Such stories often have great personal meaning, but they don’t necessarily translate to a winder audience, because real life is so rarely narrative ready. In this case, however, the story is pitch perfect, and one well worth sharing with a class, or a child, perhaps with a bowl of edamame to snack on while you read.

Good Points
Amazing illustrations
Heartwarming true story
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Teeth of the Gods
Chained to an enemy general. Determined to be free....
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Vampire Trick (Dark World: The Vampire Wish 3)
In a kingdom full of secrets, no one can...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Am Alfonso Jones
Alfonso Jones can't wait to play the role of...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Unearthed
From the New York Times best-selling author duo Amie...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
The Boyfriend Agreement
Fake boyfriends are hard work. When 16-year-old Bella’s dream...
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Believarexic
Asking for help is only the first step. ...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Graveyard Shakes
Katia and Victoria are sisters and scholarship students at a...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This Tiny Perfect World
The big-hearted story of a small-town girl who discovers how...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Last to Let Go
A twisted tragedy leaves Brooke and her siblings on their...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Pretty Dead Girls
Beautiful. Perfect. Dead. In the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
By a Charm and a Curse
A kiss is never just a kiss. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Naondel (The Red Abbey Chronicles #2)
Booklist called Maresi “utterly satisfying and completely different from standard...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Blood Water Paint
Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Chausiku Nightmare of the Clans Book One
There are six secret clans across the world–Africa (Sakombi clan),...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Roar of the Thunder Dragon: A Branches Book (Dragon Masters #8)
Pick a book. Grow a Reader! ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

I Am Alfonso Jones
 
5.0
"Alfonso Jones is a bright teen who is excited to try out for Hamlet at his school. When he and..."
Believarexic
 
3.3
"BELIEVAREXIC is the fictionalized memoir of author JJ Johnson's stay in an eating disorder unit (EDU) in the 80s. The..."
This Tiny Perfect World
 
3.0
"Things that worked: The small town setting. Although it felt restrictive to the main character, a small town story often..."
The Traitor Prince
 
4.3
"An adventurous, accessible YA fantasy—with likely appeal for fans of An Ember In The Ashes. Based loosely on an..."
You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
 
5.0
"You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone was one of the last books I read in 2017 and I couldn't have..."
The Stars at Oktober Bend
 
5.0
"Alice Nightingale is broken. It's been three years since the horrific act that left her under the "spell of twelveness"--a..."
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All
 
4.7
"This is a collection of short stories told from the point of view of the wives of King Henry VIII...."
The Bone Sparrow
 
5.0
"Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention center after his mother and sister fled the violence of..."
Turtles All the Way Down
 
3.0
"This book, no matter how extremely well written, is not for me. I read fiction to escape from reality. Green..."
A Short History of the Girl Next Door
 
5.0
"I've never read something that was written as if it's for a movie screenplay! WHAT I LIKED ..."
The Traitor Prince
 
5.0
"THE TRAITOR PRINCE is the latest installment in C.J. Redwine’s series of companion novels set in the Ravenspire world, each..."
My Name is Victoria
 
3.3
"Intriguing 'what if' look into what might have happened if Sir John Conway's daughter wasn't an enemy, but dear friend..."
Caraval
 
4.7
"I had heard a lot of hype surrounding this book and was not disappointed. Can't wait for the next book,..."
Unearthed
 
3.3
"Indiana Jones meets Myst on an alien planet. There's lots of tension when scavenger Amelia meets disgraced professor's son Jules..."
The Dazzling Heights
 
4.0
"I really enjoyed The Thousandth Floor last year, it was one of the books that surprised me with how much..."
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
 
4.3
"When Leigh Bardugo and Wonder Woman collide, I expect great things. This was the first book release of the four..."
They Both Die at the End
 
4.7
"Adam Silvera is 3/3 at making me fall apart while reading his books. This one was very unique, each of..."
Fireblood (Frostblood #2)
 
4.0
"This sequel picked up not to long after Frostblood left off, with Arcus on the throne and Ruby attempting to..."
Warcross
 
4.7
"I have never played the kinds of games mentioned in this book, or even anything similar, so I was a..."
Kiss Me in New York
 
3.3
"This was a very fast, very cute read. It’s perfect for curling up with on a cold night, hot chocolate..."