Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

Lee, Lyla. Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business
January 14th 2020 by Aladdin Books
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Mindy and her father move from California to Florida for his work, and it's a bit of an adjustment. Mindy hopes that now that they have a house, she can finally get a dog, but her father doesn't think she is quite old enough. Mindy is very apprehensive about starting second grade at a new school, but she manages to make friends with Sally early on. The other children think that Mindy's lunch of Korean food, including seaweed snacks, is rather odd, but when they try the snacks, most of the students think they are yummy. Sally points out that Mindy could trade for other students' snacks, and this works well, but there are too many snacks to eat at lunch. Sally then suggests that Mindy sell the snacks, and Mindy thinks that this is a way to earn some money that she can put towards a dog. She thinks that a dog will help her father be less sad about the death of her mother before the move. Right away, the teacher finds out about the business venture and shuts it down, but is understanding that Mindy was just trying to make friends, and didn't know the rules. Mindy starts to feel more comfortable in her new school, and hopes that someday soon she can get a puppy!
Strengths: My gold standard for early reader chapter books is Carolyn Hayward's B is for Betsy, the first chapter book I ever read. This had a similar vibe, and I would have loved it is first grade. Reading about other children's lives always fascinated me, and books like Kashmira Sheth's Nina Soni or Debbi Michiko Florence's Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen would have utterly fascinated me. This had great illustrations, lovely, nice sized font, and a story that most children can relate to. Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade comes out January 14th as well.
Weaknesses: Her father drove her to a store an hour from home to buy snacks? That was the only thing I didn't believe! (And since I posted this on Goodreads, another reader assured me that her own family would indeed drive that far to get foods at an ethnic grocery store, so I no longer doubt that! My own mother disliked going to the grocery store so much that she would freeze gallons of milk in the winter so we didn't have to go out! Every family is different.)
What I really think: This is too young for my students, but I would love to see similar realistic middle grade novels with cultural connections!
Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. My parents used to drive one hour to Chinatown when I was young to go shopping for ethnic foods that weren't available anywhere else.