Written by Janice Levy
Have you heard about the Christmas custom in Oaxaca, Mexico called The Night of The Radish (El Noche de Los Rabanos)? As part of the special festivities, people carve large radishes into elaborate scenes – most of which have a Christmas or Nativity theme. And some are amazing works of art.
In this story, one radish decides that she does not want to become part of this festival and runs away. A huge chase ensues and a cast of characters chase the radish in a way that resembles the story of the gingerbread man.
Funny, cute and a nice way to talk about how holiday customs differ from place to place, the Runaway Radish is a great book to add a touch of mirth to the holiday season!
Written and Illustrated by Grace Lin
Are you harvesting veggies from your garden or selecting something delicious from your local grocery store or farmer’s market? Did you buy any ugly vegetables?
This short and cute book, written and illustrated by Grace Lin, tells the story of one family whose garden is really different then their neighbors. While the little girls’ neighbors plant a rainbow of flowers, her mom insists on digging deep into the soil and planting things that look like weeds and grass. And when they finally have fruit – boy, are they ugly!
Then the harvest day comes and the mom begins preparing a dish so delicious that it brings the neighbors running to her front door. When they try the soup made from ugly vegetables, everyone can appreciate what’s been growing in that little girl’s backyard.
This book is a fun introduction to vegetables used in Chinese and Asian cooking such as Jeou Tsay (Chinese leeks), Kuu Gua (bitter melon) and Sheau Hwang Gua (bumpy Chinese cucumbers). The book comes complete with an easy recipe for Ugly Vegetable Soup and is inspiring for it’s larger lesson about learning to appreciate the many gifts that come from our heritage and family background.