Tricky Chopsticks

Ticky Chopsticks
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
March 19, 2024
Buy This Book
A young Chinese American girl uses creative STEAM-powered problem-solving to master chopsticks so she can pick up her dumplings and eat them, too, in this charming and laugh-out-loud picture book perfect for fans of the Amy Wu series.

Jenny Chow struggles with chopsticks—aiya, those slippery, oh-so-tricky chopsticks! But cousin Victor’s birthday party is just around the corner, along with her family’s annual chopsticks challenge. Jenny doesn’t want to be the only Chow who never learns how to use the utensils. She’ll do whatever it takes to prove she can hold her own in her family’s long-held tradition—no matter how many experiments she wobbles and fumbles through.

Editor review

1 review
Using science to solve a problem
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Jenny Chow has always struggled with using chopsticks, even though her family has a tradition of having a contest to see who can use them best in challenges picking up different foods and items. With her cousin Victor's birthday approaching, and another contest on the horizon, she throws herself into another attempt to master these tricky utensils. Noticing that tongs are easiest to use because they are connected, she uses her STEM and origami skills to connect her chopsticks and use an origami star to separate the sticks. With a little experimentation, she gets the star placed just right, so that she is able to pick things up. She practices diligently and improves her skills, but is afraid that her family will disqualify her for having changed the chopsticks. When the time comes to pick things up, she finds that closing her eyes seems to help, to the amazement of her family.
Good Points
I love that Jenny take a critical look at her problem and works methodically to solve it. Wooden chopsticks are less slippery, but even they are not easy to use. Once she finds a way to make it easier to manipulate the sticks, it's good to see her persistence at practicing with them. Her family competition is friendly, and while she is anxious about what others think, she is dealing with gentle criticism, and everyone around her seems supportive. (A waiter even brings her a fork for her dim sum, which is, of course, mortifying to her!)

There are lots of different Chinese foods mentioned, and some of the labels on the items, as well as Jenny's comments, are in Chinese characters, but it's not clear what dialect is used. The drawings are clear, and the text is a good size for read alouds, although this is an excellent choice for a young reader wanting to read a book alone as well.

Between the STEM investigation and the different kinds of foods, this book begs to be used for a variety of projects. It would be good to read a long with Lin's very complete Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite Foods, Li and Choi's much shorter A Very Asian Guide to Korean Food, Lin's Dim Sum for Everyone, or (of course!) Compestine's The Story of Chopsticks.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0

User reviews

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