cover image Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao

Kat Zhang, illus. by Charlene Chua. Aladdin, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-1133-3

In this tasty story of tenacity and ingenuity, everyone in the family can make perfect bao except for Amy. Hers are “too empty or too fat. They have holes them. They leak.” Amy is good at many other things, Zhang assures readers, and bao making can’t be too far beyond her grasp—especially since her parents and grandmother are happy to dedicate a day to helping. But perfection continues to elude the increasingly frazzled child, until she figures out how to hack the process by using smaller dough circles (“Amy-size”), which yield flawless bao that “are soft and fluffy and so, so delicious.” Chua’s bright-eyed protagonist is winning from the start, and the book’s jaunty pacing, sparkly palette, and visual directness are reminiscent of a classic animated cartoon short. A bao recipe concludes, as does a revelation that “not-so-perfect bao” taste just as a good as their tidy counterparts. Ages 4–8. [em](Oct.) [/em]