Ten Blocks to the Big Wok: A Chinatown Counting Book

Children’s Book Pr. Jan. 2022. 40p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781643790688.
PreS-Gr 2–Mia and her uncle are walking through Chinatown to a dim sum restaurant in this fun counting book. There are 10 blocks to walk, and each block offers something to explore, such as two stone lions on the second block or five neighbors practicing tai chi on the fifth block. When they get to the restaurant, Mia counts out 10 soup dumplings, nine fried wontons, and on down to one: the one bowl of steamed anchovies will go to the cat that eagle-eyed readers will have noticed accompanying the young girl through the neighborhood. Mia and her uncle are of East Asian, and likely Chinese, descent. Back matter offers brief explanations of the cultural significance of several items from the story and illustrations, such as dim sum or goldfish. The back matter also includes how to count to 10 in Mandarin, although there is no information on tones. The text is in English and simplified Chinese characters.
VERDICT This engaging read is almost as enjoyable as the everyday adventure it depicts. A good choice for story time as well as one-on-one sharing.

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