Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic

Featured
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
2347 0
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

Pass the edamame and read this book!
(Updated: May 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
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
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 1 0

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

In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to...
Paint by Sticker Kids: Outer Space
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Blast off into outer space with this mess-free sticker craft!...
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are...
The Mother of Monsters
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Mischievous Ntombi is not at all afraid of the fearsome...
Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail: A Story from Chile
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Brave young Pedro faces monsters and greedy guards when he...
What Beauty There Is
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson's stunning YA...
Baseball Baby
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This original board book series, which begins with America's favorite...
I Am Not a Penguin
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This hilarious story of a pangolin with an identity crisis...
Poison Priestess (Lady Slayers, #2)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
In 17th-century Paris, 19-year-old Catherine Monvoisin is a well-heeled...
Sam Can't Sleep
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When Sam can’t sleep, he decides to ask all the...
The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years...
Fate Calling
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A cursed fae prince. A lonely human lass. A...
Welcome to California
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to California! We're glad you're here! Introducing a new...
Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A buttoned-up overachiever works overtime to keep her inner...
The Other Side of Perfect
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
For fans of Sarah Dessen and Mary H.K. Choi, this...
The Sky Above Us
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of We Speak in Storms comes...

Latest Member Reviews

In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
"IN DEEPER WATERS is an intriguing and fast-paced YA fantasy. Tal is the fourth of five royal children in a..."
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
"THESE FEATHERED FLAMES is an enchanting YA fantasy about sisterhood, power, and destiny. When twins are born in the royal..."
The Other Side of Perfect
 
4.3
"THE OTHER SIDE OF PERFECT is an engrossing YA contemporary about loss, grief, moving on, friendship, and sisterhood. Alina has..."
Indivisible
 
5.0
"INDIVISIBLE is a heartfelt and riveting YA contemporary about family, feeling different, and immigration in the US. Mateo is a..."
My Last Summer with Cass
 
5.0
"“A good friendship is like a work of art.” Megan and Cass have been friends forever. Their..."
The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1)
 
5.0
"THE PRISON HEALER is a stunning and captivating YA fantasy read. This book takes place in a prison, Zalindov, which..."
The Forest of Stolen Girls
 
5.0
"There were so many things I really liked about this book. The case of the missing girls was obviously the..."
Poison Priestess (Lady Slayers, #2)
 
3.3
"POISON PRIESTESS is an intriguing YA historical fiction that follows Catherine Monvoisin, a fortune teller and infamous master of poisons...."
Ember of Night
 
4.3
"EMBER OF NIGHT is an intense and steamy YA fantasy read. The book follows Harley, an almost 18-year-old who has..."
The Sky Above Us
 
3.3
"THE SKY ABOVE US is a YA drama about grief, loss, and the search for something better. The book follows..."
Poisoned
 
4.3
"POISONED by Jennifer Donnelly is a YA fairytale retelling of the original Snow White by the Brothers Grimm. In it,..."
Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love
 
N/A
"[b]AMOXIL[/b] is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as ear infections, bladder infections, pneumonia,..."
What Beauty There Is
 
5.0
"WHAT BEAUTY THERE IS is a consuming and compelling YA thriller. The book is told from several points-of-view, but primarily..."
Havoc (Haven, #2)
 
3.7
"HAVOC is an intriguing continuation of a YA paranormal romance. In this world, witches and werewolves live side by side..."
Coming Up for Air
 
4.7
"COMING UP FOR AIR is an intense and heart-wrenching YA contemporary with some heavy themes. The book is told between..."
A Curse of Ash & Embers (The Blackbone Witches, #1)
 
3.7
"A CURSE OF ASH AND EMBERS is an intriguing, character-driven YA fantasy read. Elodie has received a letter of employment..."
Zoe Rosenthal is Not Lawful Good
 
4.0
"ZOE ROSENTHAL IS NOT LAWFUL GOOD is a fun YA contemporary about embracing what you love and finding your people...."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"While being forced to clean an old room in her Catholic school, Maeve finds an old tarot deck that instantly..."
Just Our Luck
 
4.3
"JUST OUR LUCK is a charming YA contemporary about loss, anxiety, and friendship. Leo is a bit of a loner,..."
Flamefall (The Aurelian Cycle, #2)
 
5.0
"FLAMEFALL is the absolutely stunning and enthralling sequel to FIREBORNE, and the second in the Aurelian Cycle trilogy. The book..."