The Have a Good Day Cafe

By Publishers Weekly

Ethnic pride and entrepreneurial ingenuity dovetail in this story of a Korean-American boy and his homesick immigrant Grandma. Young Mike’s family food-cart business stalls when other vendors - selling the same menu of pizza, bagels and similar snacks - set up shop on their corner. Inspired by his Grandma’s yearning for home (“The faraway look on her face means she wishes she were back in Korea instead of here with us,” says Mike), the boy suggest the family distinugished itself by selling mandoo (dumplings), bulgogi (marinated beef strips) and other Korean delicacies - with Grandma as head chef. The newly dubbed (courtesy of Mike) “Have a Good Day Cafe” is a hit with more than just the customers (“Grandma puts her arm around me and hugs me tight,” says a triumphant Mike)… [T]he Parks (My Freedom Trip) make clear how much is at stake in a small family business (as Mike and his grandma watch from under a nearby tree, “Hours passed - no more customers”). Potter’s (Naming the Cat) flat, literal pastels effectively convey the stretching of hours and Grandma’s steely, faraway sadness… [P]lenty of affection and keen observation animate this book, and it may even spark some interesting discussions about global cuisine and the value of selling something that ignites one’s own passions