I was very eager to review this book because I thought it would be a nice tool to use to introduce the concept of adoption to my five-year-old son. He didn’t know yet what the word means. And so we began to read the book and unfortunately, although it was obvious that the main character, Mei-Mei, is adopted, there was no explanation about the concept at all. Adoption, in the book, was already a given.
I guess to older kids who already know what adoption is this won’t be a problem. However, for younger kids, I suggest you prep them first with a short intro on adoption before you read this book or else they won’t get what that part means.
Aside from that though, I think this book is a good read for kids. I like that it highlights the Chinese culture and shows how Mei-Mei’s adoptive parents are making an effort to teach her about her heritage. I think this is an important thing for adoptive parents to do.
I also like that it shows mother and daughter bonding together by way of cooking. Mei-Mei helping her adoptive mom to cook is a great example for kids in teaching them about helping around the house. At the same time they’ll be learning and having fun with their family.
The book is also big, about short bond paper size, which is great because that means bigger illustrations as well. The illustrations, by the way, are beautiful and colorful, making the reading experience more fun for kids.
Lastly, I really like the recipe at the back. It encourages readers to actually experience what Mei-Mei and her mom did in the book. The learning experience doesn’t stop at merely reading the book. Love that! I believe kids learn more when they actually experience things.
Overall, I think it’s a worthy read because it’s simple and teaches valuable lessons to its readers. I definitely recommend it.