Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic

By Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

The story, based on the Lo family’s own history. . . rings with the authenticity of a beloved family tale, and the dialogue is homey and familiar; the story’s trajectory from soybean encounter to pleasant picnic pastime to huge event is narratively satisfying, and the underlying message of food as a way of connecting families is subtle yet matter-of-fact. Beth Lo, a ceramic artist, provides the unique art, in which ceramic plates are painted with images from the story and then photographed. . . . The layouts are identical throughout, and the eye is drawn to the object as much as to the scenes depicted on it; the colors are cheerful and the details abundant in the scenes, though, and listeners will likely want a closer look when storytime is through. A detailed author’s note provides further information about Auntie Yang as well as some facts about soybeans. A brief glossary is also included.