Here are my latest book recommendations for Northwest Asian Weekly:
Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic
Story by Ginnie Lo, Illustrations by Beth Lo
Lee & Low Books, 2012
While growing up in a small town in Indiana, Jinyi and Pei’s family would often make the three-hour drive to visit their mother’s sister, Auntie Yang, and her family just outside Chicago.
One weekend, during a Sunday drive, the families come across a field of soybeans, a food Jinyi’s mother and Auntie Yang often ate in China. They sorely missed soybeans now that they were living in the United States.
What starts out as a special treat for dinner, eventually grows into an annual event held at a city park with about 200 Chinese people.
“Auntie Yang’s” is based on sisters Ginnie and Beth Lo’s real-life aunt of the same name and the soybean picnics she held while they were growing up. In the story, Jinyi and Pei’s mother and aunt are the only members of their family living in America, while the rest of their siblings are back in China. In addition, there are not many Chinese families in the Midwest. Because of this, the two sisters make an extra effort to visit with each other.
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