The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round

Orchard. Jun. 2021. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338621198.
PreS-Gr 3–Whether or not the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus” hits readers’ ears when they first see the title, what unfolds in Shang’s pages will soon have them humming along. A joyful Chinese family, as shown in Tu’s funny and irascible illustrations, celebrates meal time at large round tables with lazy Susans making every single dish available to all. Nai Nai sips her tea with a “hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,” and there is eating with a “yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.” It works beautifully and young listeners won’t need much of a cue to jump in and celebrate, too. A guide to Chinese dining etiquette explains the correctness of an appreciative slurp and the possible problems of cleaning your plate (a host or cook may fret that you have not had enough to eat!), followed by notes from both author and illustrator, cementing this book’s ode to memory and eating as shared family bonds.
VERDICT With a food glossary included, this is a take-along book for restaurant dining, or a book to start children discussing their own food memories and festivities. And please, bring snacks.

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