There are an increasing number of parents who choose to adopt young children from other countries. Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles is a perfect book to relate to those families. This is a book about a young girl, whose parents do all they can to incorporate the traditional culture the child comes from even though she has grown up in an American family. The uniqueness of Mei-Mei blends perfectly into a family who has made the effort to not make her just like them, but to allow her to be herself, and keep the tradition of her own culture that she was born into. They celebrate her adoption to the family as a holiday, and the parents have worked to learn how to keep her culture alive by teaching her Chinese foods, traditions, and language. This book is a perfect example of how cultures can come together by celebrating the differences, which can make the connection stronger. Mei-Mei acknowledges not looking like her parents, but that doesn’t change that they are in fact, her parents.
The drawings done by Heidi Goodman are a beautiful collection of colorful art. The book includes a treat of the recipe for Lucky Birthday Noodles to make at home for any readers who are interested in trying it out themselves, or to possibly create a new family tradition of their own. This is a delightful story and one that children can appreciate in any family dynamic. The book is a good lesion – appreciate your own family, and their uniqueness rather than trying to make everyone conform to some “standard.”
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