Boy Dumplings: A Tasty Chinese Tale

tr. from English by Xiaoqing Chen & Carissa Duan. illus. by James Yamasaki. 36p. Immedium. Apr. 2016. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781597021197.
BLK-Gr 2—A new, bilingual edition of 2009's Boy Dumplings adds Chinese text in simplified characters, changes where page breaks occur, includes some minor wording edits, and adds a new spread of Yamasaki's illustrations. In the streets of Old Beijing, a desperate, hungry ghost finds a nice plump boy, perfect for eating. The child provides the ghost with his recipe for the perfect boy dumplings, which occupies the ghost for the rest of the night. He is still not finished with the complex dish when the sun rises, and the boy is able to trap the ghost and escape. The end of the book has an author's note about the Chinese ghost festival and a much tastier dumpling recipe than the one the ghost tries to make. (Compestine has authored several cookbooks.) Yamasaki's cartoon illustrations have a palette full of dark blues and bright yellows, contrasting not only day and night but also the creepy ghost and the ingenious boy.
VERDICT A fun, slightly spooky twist on the classic tale of a small child outwitting a villain, but the updates are not worth replacing the original edition, except where there is a demand for materials in Chinese.

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