Summary: Ten Little Dumplings
Larissa Fan’s Ten Little Dumplings is based on a true account of the life of a family member. It follows a family with 10 sons in the village of Fengfu. In Taiwanese culture, male children are prized over females, and so as Fan writes, the family is viewed as special. They’re “special because they had ten sons. To have one son was considered lucky. To have ten was great luck indeed.” As we see the 10 boys grow through life, a beautiful surprise awaits readers in the middle of the story.
I definitely wondered where this story was going, and I’d hate to spoil it for anyone, but I’m guessing the synopsis on online marketplaces might already have done that for some readers. The illustrations in this book are cute, and the boys do look as cute as dumplings while they are young. This is one of those picture books that would be more suited for older kids, say age 6 and up who can grasp its important message.
Readers discover that throughout the boys’ lives and the pages of the story was one invisible member of their family who is also deserving of a story. I especially loved the meaningful Author’s Note at the end of the story, and it was heartwarming to read about the inspiration behind this book.
Overall: Ten Little Dumplings
Don’t be fooled by the cute cover! While it’s definitely about 10 brothers in Taiwan, Ten Little Dumplings is more than just a cute picture book. This vital story highlights the bond of brotherhood, but also shows that even when society places you in the background, whether for your race or gender or any other identity, your life can still be yours — and worth a whole lot too. If you enjoyed books like Seven Silly Eaters, you will enjoy the cute scenes of all 10 boys doing everything together. This is such a sweet and surprising picture book, I absolutely loved it and would recommend.
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I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read this picture book or any other children’s books featuring large families? I’d love your recommendations.