Boys Don’t Fry

Farrar. Nov. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780374389857.
PreS-Gr 2–This heartwarming picture book centers on a boy wanting to help his grandma cook the Lunar New Year feast and beats down stereotypes with a mighty whisk. A loving family is preparing for the new year with Mamah, the grandmother, leading the way and the aunties helping. Jin wants to help too, but boys don’t help in the kitchen, only girls. Thankfully Mamah steps in, and soon Jin is in the mix listening, learning, and helping prepare the meal. The kitchen is the heart of many families around the world, where recipes are created that are passed on through generations. Lee’s story conveys the importance of teaching such traditions and sharing the family’s rich, tasty history. Chua’s colorful spreads convey the love of the family, the richness of the culture, and the mouth-watering variety of the dishes. The book is full of Malaysian words and phrases; a pronunciation guide is not included.
VERDICT A warm holiday story filled with family and food. This is recommended, especially for refreshing Lunar New Year collections or where there are kids who want to cook.

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