In honor of the Lunar New Year, we’re featuring the works of the American Chinese children’s book author and illustrator, Grace Lin. Her vibrant and beautifully illustrated children’s picture books are a great resource to questions like “What is Chinese New Year?” and “What is dim sum?”
We use Lin’s books as a teaching tool to help our children learn about Chinese customs, culture and of course, food! In preparation for the Year of the Snake, we swept our house from top to bottom, bought new outfits and got our hair cut just like in “Bringing in The New Year”.
We also add our own tradition of an intimate tea ceremony before they receive Ang Pows (red envelopes filled with money) each year.
As with all of Lin’s books food almost features an extra character and is a great way to expand the kids’ palates. If we’re heading to Kirin Court, inevitably “Dim Sum for Everyone” follows us to the table. Her “Ugly Vegetables” book makes Chinese vegetables less ‘ugly’ when we see a new dish at a Chinese restaurant.
Even in her novels like “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon”, there was an unforgettable line where Lin described dragon tears as big as lychees which inspired us to head down to the Asian supermarket to find some. That teachable moment let Pikelet discover that he loved them which eventually led to the creation of this Lychee and Meringue Mousse recipe.
Lin’s new book “Starry River of the Sky” is written for the first time, from a boy’s point of view and our boys are excited. We haven’t started it as yet but we can’t wait to see what’s in store for our taste buds next.
For a list of Grace Lin’s picture books and novel, click here.
Gong xi fa cai!
Till our next Happy Meal!