Dim Sum Palace

Tundra. Sept. 2023. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781774881989.
Gr 1-3–Liddy is so excited that her family is going out for dim sum that she can’t sleep the night before. Or so she thinks—but readers may take a different view as delicious odors draw her out of her bedroom and all the way to a night kitchen where chefs are making “baos, buns and bowls of congee! Dumplings, shumai and lots of sweet treats!” There, being tiny, Liddy falls into a bowl of dumpling filling, is served to an empress who just in time hears her calling, “STOP! Don’t eat me!” and chows down on yummy dim sum until she really does fall asleep. Liddy and all of the other figures in the illustrations are not only themselves as round as dumplings but also smile infectiously to give this outing a properly cheery, festive tone. And even if the next day there is no empress at the real Dim Sum Palace, “The food tasted better than in her wildest dreams.” To further tempt young foodies, Fang opens and closes with a gallery of labeled dim sum treats. Liddy remains clothed throughout, but otherwise parallels in both the story and art make this delectable debut well worth dishing up with Maurice Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen as parts of a themed story hour.
VERDICT A savory delight for young readers who enjoy dreaming about food as much as eating it.

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