Blog Tour: Guest Post for Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business (Lyla Lee), Plus Giveaway! (US Only)
Today we're excited to spotlight Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee. Read on for more about Lyla and her book, plus a guest post & giveaway!
Meet Lyla Lee!
Meet Mindy Kim: the plucky protagonist of a new chapter book series that is like Fresh off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones. Mindy Kim tackles the everyday experience of millions of Asian-American kids—sorely underrepresented in chapter books—with tenacity and heart.
Mindy’s first day of school goes awry in MINDY KIM AND THE YUMMY SEAWEED BUSINESS (Aladdin | On Sale 1/14/20). Mindy’s grateful when her new friend Sally is able to make her initially unpopular dried seaweed snacks seem totally delicious to her new classmates. But when someone tries to sabotage Sally and Mindy’s Yummy Seaweed Business, Mindy wonders if she’ll ever fit in. Starting a new school is hard for any kid, but for Mindy, who finds herself at a school without any kids who look like her for the first time, starting anew means finding the courage to stay true to oneself even when it seems like no one can understand. Kirkus Reviews gave this “lovingly authentic debut” a star, raving that “Lee takes on a number of issues with a new school, microagressions, friendships, and grief, and she manages to artfully balance it all.”
FUN FOOD TRADITIONS IN KOREAN CULTURE
by Lyla Lee
Food plays a highly important role in Korean culture. Every holiday has specific foods incorporated in its celebrations. And even on regular days, food can be everything from a fun way to bond with friends and family as well as a way to ward off bad luck. So naturally, when I first set out to write the Mindy Kim books, my series for younger readers, I made sure to include a lot of food. ☺
Here are some of my favorite, fun food-related traditions from Korean culture:
11/11 – Pepero Day!
This is one of my favorite holidays since I love chocolate and I especially love Pepero, which are chocolate covered biscuit stick cookies that can be found at your local Asian grocery store. Pepero Day is kind of like Valentine’s Day in that couples give Pepero sticks to each other as a sign of their love and appreciation. But it’s also a cute way for friends and family to show appreciation for each other as well.
Good luck taffy
When I was a student, I wanted all the good luck I could get for my exams in school. A fun Korean superstition is the belief that if you eat yeot, a sweet rice taffy, or other types of sticky food, good luck will “stick” to you and you’ll do well on exams. On important exam days, parents and teachers often gift yeot to students who are about to take exams.
Birthday Seaweed Soup
When Korean women give birth, they’re often given seaweed soup at the hospital because of its nutritional value. So, as a symbol of remembrance and gratitude for their mothers, we often eat seaweed soup on our birthdays. My character, Mindy, does this in the third book, MINDY KIM AND THE BIRTHDAY PUPPY.
Rice cakes for different occasions
I LOVE rice cakes, so one thing I love about Korean food culture is how we have lots of different kinds of rice cakes for various occasions. For example, for Lunar New Year, we eat rice cake soup, which has thin, round pieces of plain white (but still yummy!) rice cake that symbolize good luck and prosperity for the new year. For Chuseok, (the autumn harvest festival), we eat songpyeon, which are half-moon shaped rice cakes that have sweet fillings like red beans, chestnuts, or honey. These rice cakes are half-moon shaped (rather than full moon) because half-moons are considered luckier since they get bigger (and better) while full moons can only wane.
Dried persimmon in the fall
Originally eaten as a common snack during cold weather since drying persimmon and other fruit is a good way to preserve the food, dried persimmons are a common treat to eat in winter months. What’s fun about dried persimmons is that in a Korean folk tale, an eavesdropping tiger mistakenly thinks that a dried persimmon is a scary foe because it makes a baby stop crying. It’s a story commonly told as a lesson about how cleverness and wit overcome brute strength.
Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business
Written by: Lyla Lee
Illustrated by: Dung Ho
Publisher: Aladdin Publishing
Release Date: January 14th, 2020
One winner who will receive one paperback of MINDY KIM AND THE YUMMY SEAWEED BUSINESS and one paperback of MINDY KIM AND THE LUNAR NEW YEAR PARADE. ~ (US Only)
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