Mountain Chef: How One Man Lost His Groceries, Changed His Plans, and Helped Cook Up the National Park Service

illus. by Rich Lo. 40p. bibliog. ebook available. notes. photos. Charlesbridge. Aug. 2016. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781580897112.
Gr 2–5—Yosemite's Sing Peak honors Nevada-born backcountry chef Tie Sing. Chosen to be the chef for the Mather Mountain Party in 1915, Sing had to feed 30 men, some of whom were being wooed to back a plan for a national park service. Pimentel sets the stage by introducing readers to the inequality Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans faced at the hands of white Americans. She fictionalizes, but modestly. This title stresses both Sing's foresight and his resourcefulness—resilience being necessary in this era of legal anti-Chinese discrimination. Final pages provide extra historical information with period black-and-white photos. The illustrations are well suited for a read-aloud: lively, expansive (usually spreads), and with a bright magenta vest identifying the hero. Considering the overtly positive nature of the work, adult readers might stress that while Sing overcame the immediate setback of accidents, he could not be expected to defeat the systemic prejudice that deprived him—and other Chinese Americans and Chinese immigrants—of countless opportunities, no matter how big his dreams. Only two or three mules are depicted (not possibly enough for the job). Overall, this pencil and watercolor illustrated and eloquently written account of a Chinese American will satisfy every taste.
VERDICT For any library wishing to enhance its diversity and inclusion collection.

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