Summary: Dumplings for Lili
Nai Nai is making her favorite dumplings for Lili. Lili walks readers through each step, until the final one when Nai Nai realizes that she’s run out of cabbage! She sends Lili up to the 6th floor to see if the Polish grandma (Babcia) has any cabbage. This is where the story gets even more interesting.
It turns out that Babcia does have cabbage, but she’s also missing an ingredient for the pierogies she’s making. Lili’s one errand becomes several as she shuttles between a Jamaican grandma (Granma), a Pakistani grandma (Teta), an Italian grandma (Nonna), and a Latina grandma (Abuela) — all in Nai Nai’s building picking up and dropping off ingredients. Will Nai Nai finally make her dumplings?
This was the best kind of picture book: surprises at every turn! It tickled me to no end as Lili ran from floor to floor grabbing cabbage here and dropping off garlic there. I loved the heartwarming relationship between Lili and her Nai Nai and I hope to try the dumpling recipe soon. Picture books with a sprinkling of cultural elements (especially when it’s food) are my favorites.
The illustrations in this book only add an extra layer of cuteness. Another delightful aspect of this book for me was the grandmas and all the food they were making! I loved wondering who she would see next and what they would be cooking. And in the end, there’s an even sweeter surprise that I won’t spoil too much for you (only a little).
Overall: Dumplings for Lili
Dumplings for Lili is a cute picture book about the joys of cooking together with a grandparent, finding community across cultures, and welcoming a new sibling. With a step-by-step dumpling recipe and a sweet protagonist, this book is a charming read and provides delightful twists and surprises on just about every page. An unmissable picture book!
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I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.