Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Review - Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao

by Kat Zhang
illustrated by Charlene Chua
Date: 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Aladdin
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

Meet the funny, fierce, and fearless Amy Wu, who is determined to make a perfect bao bun today. Can she rise to the occasion?

Amy loves to make bao with her family. But it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious. And her bao keep coming out all wrong.

Then she has an idea that may give her a second chance…Will Amy ever make the perfect bao?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao is about a little girl who wants to make the perfect steamed bun. But her bao are always too small, too large, too full, too empty, or just too messy. When her family spends the day making bao, Amy tries to make the perfect one... but just can't manage it. She's frustrated, but then she comes up with a solution.

The illustrations by Charlene Chua are really adorable, and the whole premise is liable to get some stomachs growling (there's even a recipe in the back so you can make your own bao). But I'm not sold on Amy's solution to the problem; it doesn't make a lot of sense. How does cutting the dough in half result in her making the perfect-sized bun? I feel like I'm missing something.

But the message about persevering is good, and I enjoyed seeing the bao-making as a family activity. It's a cute picture book, and the bit of weakness in the plot is made up for by the darling illustrations and the nice message.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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