Cora Cooks Pancit

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
This fun picture book geared toward "wannabe" younger cooks features Cora, who desperately wants to learn how to make the wonderful Filipino dishes her family loves. Taking advantage of her older siblings being out of the house, Cora asks Mama what they are going to make that day. When Mama gives Cora the choice, Cora chooses pancit, a Filipino dish featuring noodles and vegetables. Embedded within Cora's story is the one Mama tells her about Cora's grandfather, Lolo, who came to California to cook for Filipino farm workers and who shared his love of cooking and his memories of the Phillipines with Cora's mother. The book then follows through the making of pancit, right down to the recipe, (which is included in full at the back of the book) and the proper approach to making this particular dish. Adding to the humor are Cora's attempts to emulate what she has seen her sisters and brothers do in the past, sometimes resulting in spilled water and mushrooms escaping from the cooking pot. At suppertime, when the other members of the family come back from their day away, Cora is nervous: Will they like her pancit? It is a happy ending for this book when Papa gives Cora the great compliment that her pancit "tastes like your Lolo's." The illustrations are vivid, give the main characters' great personality, and perfectly match the tone and mood of the book. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—When Cora's Filipino family cooks together, she's always stuck doing the "kid jobs." Then one day when her older siblings are out and about, Cora gets her chance to bond with Mama in the kitchen. She even gets to choose her favorite dish, so the two of them make a large bowl of noodles, chicken, and vegetables called pancit. Clear expository prose explains how to perform kitchen tasks. For example, Mama tells Cora, "Open the package of rice noodles and put them in this bowl of water." Then she engages her daughter by asking her, "Do you know why we soak them?" These scenes effectively model how adults can introduce children to cooking. The simple, direct style also makes the book equally well suited as a read-aloud and for newly independent readers. The artwork nicely complements the text, as Valiant's warm hues of gold, red, and orange highlight the family's loving relationship. They also capture Cora's feelings through facial expressions. Wide eyes and smiles show the child's joy at cooking with her mother, while a downcast mouth and arched eyebrows illustrate her anxiety that her family won't like her pancit. Although this dish is unique to Cora's culture, children of all backgrounds will share her feelings at being allowed to help cook a meal for the first time. A solid choice for schools and public libraries, especially where family-based programming is popular.—Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781885008350
  • Publisher: Shen's Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 564,786
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 6, 2013

    Young Cora finally gets to do real cooking activities. Beautifu

    Young Cora finally gets to do real cooking activities. Beautiful illustrations and also includes the recipe!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

    Cora Cooks Pancit Bubbles Over with Beautiful Illustrations

    The story of Cora cooking a family recipe with her mother is a lovely piece which will appeal to children and parents alike. The writing is nicely done, but the illustrations are what really make it stunning. Kristi Valiant's warm colors and scenes capture all of Cora's curiosity and eagerness. The love between mother and daughter is also evident from Valiant's art. Don't forget to see what the family dog is up to in every scene! Great work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2009

    Filipino American girl makes a meal with her mother

    When the young girl Cora's older siblings are not around as they usually are to help her mother prepare dinner, she steps in. The family is a Filipino American family. She and her mother prepare the favorite Filipino dish of noodles with vegetables, spices, and chicken called pancit. As Cora is doing some of the more involved tasks, the mother talks a little about how Cora's grandfather back in the Philippines would prepare pancit for field workers. The preparation of the meal thus becomes an activity bringing together different generations of the family. With the central activity of the story and the recipe for pancit following it, the book also relates to the current interest in teaching young children about food, diet, and cooking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013


    I love this book! The pictures and story are sweet and I love the recipe! Thrilled it was free! :)

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    Posted June 26, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

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