Where On Earth Is My Bagel?

By Kirkus Reviews

The fates look kindly upon the mixture of longing, serendipity, and quick thinking that accompanies the Parks’ story of Yum Yung’s bagel desire. It came to Yum Yung out of the blue one day: His village in Korea might have many things — “There were waterfalls rushing into streams of daring fish. Thee were lilacs gently blossoming on every hillside” — but there were no New York bagels. To remedy this problem, Yum Yung ties a note to a pigeon’s leg and bids the bird haste to New York City with his request for a bagel. But the bird is ever-so-long in returning, and Yum Yung worries the bird has delivered it somewhere else. So he asks his neighbors — a farmer, a fisherman, a beekeeper – if they have seen it. No, they respond after learning what a bagel is. “It is round and it has a hold in the middle.” They are experts in their craft, but it is not a plow wheel, a life ring, or a circle of bees. When Yum Yung knows just where to get flour, sea salt, and honey. And voilá , Yum Yung has his bagel. Lin’s transporting artwork has a toned-down Eastern flavor that makes for a successful expression of the story’s trans-cultural happening, but it is the pursuit of passion — and warm rewards that may follow on its wake — that makes this story special.