cover image Dumplings for Lili

Dumplings for Lili

Melissa Iwai. Norton Young Readers, $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-324-00342-7

Chinese youngster Lili is thrilled when her Nai Nai asks if she wants to help make bao. But when Nai Nai realizes they’re out of cabbage, she sends Lili—and Shiba Inu Kiki—to request some from Babcia, a blue-eyed, white-haired grandmother making pierogi on the building’s sixth floor. Babcia happily hands over a head—but then asks Lili to get potatoes from Granma, a Black grandmother with periwinkle spectacles on the second floor who’s making Jamaican beef patties. In this way, Lili’s relay continues as she requests and delivers dumpling ingredients for six grandmothers. Author-illustrator Iwai’s prose is approachable and heartwarming; in one spread, she advises readers to let bao dough “take a catnap in a warm place while you make the filling.” The art is similarly friendly, punctuated by speech bubbles. A resonant portrait of intergenerational care, and a toothsome celebration of how food unites a multicultural community. Back matter includes a bao recipe. Ages 6–8. [em](June) [/em]