March 20, 2018

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No Kimchi for Me! by Aram Kim | SLJ Review

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redstarKIM, Aram. No Kimchi for Me! illus. by Aram Kim. 40p. Holiday House. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823437627.

PreS-Gr 2 –Their grandmother announces lunch featuring delicious Korean dishes while Yoomi and her brothers play. Yoomi enjoys grandma’s dried seaweed, soft egg omelets, and even the seasoned bean sprouts, but she does not like “stinky spicy kimchi!” Her older brothers, Jun and Yoon, won’t let her play with them because she’s too little; “big kids eat kimchi.” Despite trying various ways to mask kimchi—like on pizza or over ice cream—it is the kimchi pancakes that the child and her grandmother make together that delight Yoomi. They are delicious, enjoyed by all, and elevate Yoomi to big-kid status. The Korean family is depicted as personified cats reminiscent of the feline in Kim’s first picture book, Cat on the Bus. Illustrations created in pastel and colored pencil are detailed but uncluttered, expressive, and childlike. In addition to a recipe for kimchi pancakes, beginning endpapers depict the vegetables from which kimchi is made while closing endpapers show different-plated kimchi. VERDICT This fun and engaging story about food, family, and tradition is broadly appealing as a read-aloud or read-alone selection.–Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal September 2017 issue.

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