Ten Blocks to the Big Wok
By Publishers Weekly
In her solo debut, Hu (Jingle Dancer) presents an immersive bilingual counting tale as young Mia is escorted by her bespectacled uncle Eddie, both presumably of Chinese descent, to dim sum at the Big Wok. As the duo travels 10 blocks through Chinatown streets with strong similarities to Manhattan’s, observational English text follows (“On the sixth block, six bundles of sweet Emperor lychee hang from Uncle Chuck’s fruit stand”), interspersed with friendly dialogue; Mandarin translations appear beneath, and relevant numbers in both languages adorn each spread’s bottom right corner. The softly textured, warm-hued watercolor and pastel artwork, manipulated digitally, provides sunny accompaniment to the duo’s outing, with recognizable contemporary touches such as signs for boba as well as steamed custard buns in the shape of pigs and pandas. Young readers will also enjoy spotting a cat throughout the pages as delighted Mia’s clear enthusiasm for her community and food shines through. Back matter includes an author’s note with more information on each counted item, as well as a guide to numbers one to 10 in English and Chinese, including phonetic pronunciations for each.