Ten Blocks to the Big Wok

By Kirkus Reviews

Mia and her Uncle Eddie go for a walk through Chinatown, counting along the way.

The pair, who are presumably Chinese American, depart home for The Big Wok, a dim sum restaurant 10 blocks away. En route, they take in the scenery, noticing details that appear in quantities corresponding to the block number. There is one giant panda ride on the first block, two stone lions on the second, three toy turtles outside a shop on the third, and so on. Each block is depicted on its own double-page spread, with only a sentence or two naming the items and the block number (the backmatter provides more details about each item). Vibrant but not overly saturated colors give the journey a cheerfulness that is mirrored in Mia’s bright smile—her delight is infectious. At the restaurant, the duo place an order, requesting food items in numbers counting backward: 10 soup dumplings, nine fried wontons, eight shumai, and so forth. Everything they’ve ordered is pictured in a mouthwatering spread, and a page turn reveals a small surprise for the last item. The English text is translated in full into Simplified Chinese, though both fonts are unusually small. The numerals are shown in the bottom corner of each page, but they are inconspicuous and could easily be missed. A chart in the backmatter includes all the written forms and bilingual pronunciations for the numbers one through 10. 

Standard Chinatown fare with an appealing concept-book structure.