BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin [in Shelf Awareness]

*STARRED REVIEW
Little Star and her Mama are such good bakers that Mama must remind Little Star once more to curb her appetite: “Can you remember not to touch this Big Mooncake until I tell you to?” Little Star’s immediate agreement lasts through teeth brushing, face washing and snuggling in bed with book and bunny. She even manages to fall asleep – but she can’t stay asleep and soon enough, she “Pat pat pat”s her way to her first tiny nibble. Once begun, resistance is futile, and Little Star returns night after night for one more little nibble. The mooncake wanes – what will Mama say when she discovers nothing left but “a trail of twinkling crumbs”?

A Big Mooncake for Little Star is Newbery Honor and National Book Award finalist Grace Lin’s first picture book since Thanking the Moon (2010). Since then, she’s become the mother of a little girl who, like Little Star, loves mooncakes and moon tales, as revealed in Lin’s back-flap author’s note. With each gorgeous spread set against the night sky, mother and daughter, garbed in matching golden-starred pajamas, cook, negotiate and enjoy each other. Lin adds touches of her Chinese heritage and her literary legacy to her celestial kitchen: a bamboo steamer, Chinese ingredients, Little Star’s moon rabbit; a mommy/baby bear scene on a blueberry-colored shelf in a nod to Robert McCloskey’s classic Blueberries for Sal and to the cover of The Seven Chinese Sisters, which Lin illustrated. While noting her original story “doesn’t have any roots in Chinese mythology,” Lin nevertheless “imbues it with all the traits [she] associate[s] with the Moon Festival – quiet joy, love, and beauty,” and creates a perfectly irresistible treat for parents and children of all ages.

Discover: Grace Lin’s picture book introduces adorably mischievous Little Star, who can’t resist nibbling on the Big Mooncake she baked with her Mama.

Review: “Children & Young Adult,” Shelf Awareness, August 24, 2018

Readers: Children

Published: 2018

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