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Big Jimmy's Kum Kau Chinese Take Out
     

Big Jimmy's Kum Kau Chinese Take Out

by Ted Lewin
 

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Even before Kum Kau Chinese Take Out opens, there's so much to do. The deliveryman arrives. The cooks clean the kitchen from top to bottom. Then chop, chop, chop, they slice and dice the fresh meat and vegetables. But when the customers arrive, Kum Kau really comes alive. Woks sizzle. Pots steam. The cooks whip up tantalizing dishes for hungry

Overview

Even before Kum Kau Chinese Take Out opens, there's so much to do. The deliveryman arrives. The cooks clean the kitchen from top to bottom. Then chop, chop, chop, they slice and dice the fresh meat and vegetables. But when the customers arrive, Kum Kau really comes alive. Woks sizzle. Pots steam. The cooks whip up tantalizing dishes for hungry patrons. A young narrator shares a behind-the-scenes look at the hustle and bustle of a busy Chinese take-out restaurant. Then it's time for his favorite dinner.

Delectable tastes and savory smells will make mouths water as Caldecott Honor artist Ted Lewin takes us to a favorite Chinese restaurant in his Brooklyn neighborhood.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A young narrator takes readers behind the scenes at his family's restaurant, and serves up a surprise in the end, in Big Jimmy's Kum Kau Chinese Take Out by Caldecott Honor artist Ted Lewin. Realistic watercolors depict the food, family and Brooklyn neighborhood with flair. A recipe for "Buddha's Delight," a vegetable dish, is included. (Jan.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This is a truly charming book that should make everyone who reads it hungry for a plate of subgum chow mai fun or a carton of sam gap tai. The narrator is a very young boy who helps out at his family's restaurant every Saturday. Through his adventures, we explore a wonderful meal, from the delivery of ingredients to the prep work in the kitchen to the delight of the customers, who are regulars and therefore friends to be greeted by name. Children will be in awe of the boy who "works" so hard, and greatly amused by what HE chooses for dinner. (Hint—It's not Chinese food.) To create his delightful illustrations, Lewin took photos at his favorite Chinese restaurant and reproduced them in watercolors. He also reproduces that restaurant's colorful menu on the inside covers of the book. The only possible response to reading this book is to take the kids out for Chinese. Teachers or librarians could combine a reading of the book with the serving of some Chinese appetizers, or even just with fortune cookies. 2002, HarperCollins, $16.95. Ages 3 to 9. Reviewer: Donna Freedman AGES: 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Irrepressible energy propels a young narrator through a day at his parents' Brooklyn restaurant (a real place), from early morning deliveries to dinnertime. Lewin's photo-realist scenes take viewers from quiet, sun-drenched sidewalks to the gleaming kitchen's busy nether reaches, all to a mouthwatering commentary: "Uncle Ming, Chung, and Wing work side by side, moving around each other like dancers in a ballet. Subgum Chow Mai Fun. Sam Gap Tai. Moo Goo Gai Pan.-Flip. Flip. Flip. Done!" After a day of greeting regulars, handing out menus, and chucking packets of condiments into bags of takeout, "It's time for my favorite dish-PIZZA!" Lewin himself puts in an appearance at the end, happily chowing down on his favorite dish, Buddha's Delight. Serve up this tribute to a neighborhood establishment with the likes of Alexa Brandenberg's Chop, Simmer, Season (Harcourt, 1997) or Marissa Moss's Mel's Diner (BridgeWater, 1996) for a taste-tempting storytime.-John Peters, New York Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a fond salute, Lewin (Red Legs, p. 588, etc.) introduces readers to his favorite Chinese take-out place. It is a mood piece, striving for ambience rather than story line, and it succeeds admirably. The narrator is a young Chinese boy who takes readers through a day in his family's Chinese restaurant, beginning with his own tour of duty carrying in supplies. A slew of uncles staffs the kitchen, chopping vegetables and meats, prepping for the lunchtime onslaught. "Chop! Chop! Chop! Dice and slice. Trim and dice. Slice and shred. Faster. Faster." Lewin's watercolors work wonders with the tight but electric bustle of the men as they respond to the gathering mayhem of lunch orders. Filling the pages with activity, he leaves borders of space for the text, which reflects the varying colors of the food and interior lights when the pictures are inside and are in black when the ordinary outside world is the scene. Then there are the regulars (including the handsome illustrator), whose orders are shouted into the kitchen without them even having to open their mouths. All day, the little boy pitches in to help, folding menus, packing take-out bags, and passing along orders. In a wonderfully abrupt turn, Lewin closes the long day at the restaurant with the narrator enjoying his favorite food-a slice of pizza. Finally, Lewin himself prepares to eat his favorite dish and offers the recipe, except for the "special secret sauce." Everyone loves take-out food. And everyone ought to love this, from its menu on the endpapers to the aromas that fairly rise off the page. Readers won't just drink in its transporting atmosphere, but will soon be on their way to their nearest Chinese community to taste thevery air as well as the food. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688160265
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/28/2002
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Ted Lewin grew up in an old frame house in Buffalo, New York, with two brothers, one sister, two parents, a lion, an iguana, a chimpanzee, and an assortment of more conventional pets. The lion was given to his older brother, Don, while he was traveling as a professional wrestler, and he shipped it home. The family kept Sheba in the basement fruit cellar until Don returned and their mother convinced him to give it to the Buffalo zoo.

Ted always knew he wanted to be an illustrator. As a child he copied the work of illustrators and painters he admired, including N. C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Velázquez, and Goya. When it came time to go to art school (Pratt), he needed to earn money to finance his education. So, following in his brother’s footsteps, he took a summer job as a wrestler — the beginning of a 15-year part-time career that eventually inspired his autobiographical book I Was a Teenage Professional Wrestler. Ted’s career as an artist began with illustrations for adventure magazines, and it’s only over the last several years that he has devoted his time to writing and illustrating children’s books. "I’m having more fun doing this than anything I’ve ever done before," he says. He is an avid traveler, and many of his books are inspired by trips to such places as the Amazon River, the Sahara Desert, Botswana, Egypt, Lapland, and India. His Market!, published in 1996, showcases markets around the world, from Uganda to Ireland to Ecuador.

Touch and Go is a collection of stories about the adventures Ted had while researching his books. Gorilla Walk is his first collaboration with his wife, Betsy, and is about their trek to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda. They’ve just completed their second collaboration, Elephant Quest, set in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Ted’s current project is about a Civil War drummer boy.

Ted and Betsy live in Brooklyn, New York, where they share their home with two cats, Slick and Chopper.

Ted Lewin grew up in an old frame house in Buffalo, New York, with two brothers, one sister, two parents, a lion, an iguana, a chimpanzee, and an assortment of more conventional pets. The lion was given to his older brother, Don, while he was traveling as a professional wrestler, and he shipped it home. The family kept Sheba in the basement fruit cellar until Don returned and their mother convinced him to give it to the Buffalo zoo.

Ted always knew he wanted to be an illustrator. As a child he copied the work of illustrators and painters he admired, including N. C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Velázquez, and Goya. When it came time to go to art school (Pratt), he needed to earn money to finance his education. So, following in his brother’s footsteps, he took a summer job as a wrestler — the beginning of a 15-year part-time career that eventually inspired his autobiographical book I Was a Teenage Professional Wrestler. Ted’s career as an artist began with illustrations for adventure magazines, and it’s only over the last several years that he has devoted his time to writing and illustrating children’s books. "I’m having more fun doing this than anything I’ve ever done before," he says. He is an avid traveler, and many of his books are inspired by trips to such places as the Amazon River, the Sahara Desert, Botswana, Egypt, Lapland, and India. His Market!, published in 1996, showcases markets around the world, from Uganda to Ireland to Ecuador.

Touch and Go is a collection of stories about the adventures Ted had while researching his books. Gorilla Walk is his first collaboration with his wife, Betsy, and is about their trek to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda. They’ve just completed their second collaboration, Elephant Quest, set in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Ted’s current project is about a Civil War drummer boy.

Ted and Betsy live in Brooklyn, New York, where they share their home with two cats, Slick and Chopper.

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