Dumplings for Lili (Hardcover)
An NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Recommended Book
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year
A heartfelt picture book celebration of food, community, and family—and little dumpling treasures from around the world.
Lili loves to cook baos, and Nai Nai has taught her all the secrets to making them, from kneading the dough lovingly and firmly to being thankful for the strong and healthy ingredients in the filling. But when Nai Nai realizes that they are out of cabbage (Secret #8: line the basket with cabbage leaves!), she sends Lili up to Babcia’s apartment on the sixth floor to get some. Babcia is happy to share her cabbage, but she needs some potatoes for her pierogi. . . .
What follows is a race up and down the stairs as Lili helps all the grandmothers in her building borrow ingredients for different dumplings: Jamaican beef patties, Italian ravioli, Lebanese fatayer, and more. Energized by Melissa Iwai’s engaging artwork and kinetic storytelling, Dumplings for Lili is a joyful story of sharing food, friendship, and love in all their forms.
— Booklist (starred review)
A resonant portrait of intergenerational care, and a toothsome celebration of how food unites a multicultural community.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Like a good dumpling, the elements of this story are well known yet the combination is reassuring.... The textured, brightly colored illustrations exude warmth.
— Kirkus Reviews
Iwai employs a bright palette and effectively plays with perspective.... In their generosity and joy of cooking, Nai Nai and her friends are kindred spirits to the title character in Oge Mora’s Thank You, Omu!
— Horn Book Magazine