Publishers Weekly - Publishers WeeklyBack from The Story of Chopsticks, the Kang brothers are in for another culinary misadventure in The Story of Noodles by Ying Chang Compestine, illus. by YongSheng Xuan. When they fool around instead of following their mother's instructions on making dumplings for the village cooking contest, they inadvertently invent a new food. A recipe for sauce and author's note on the history of noodles close the volume.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalPreS-Gr 3-The Kang family hopes to win the emperor's annual cooking contest with Mama's special dumplings, but when a pig turns up missing, the three boys are left in charge of rolling out the dough while their parents hunt for the stray. The brothers jump on the grinder to flatten the dough and-"BOOM!"-the table breaks. When Mama returns, she is horrified to discover strips of dough dangling everywhere. Ever inventive, though, the boys come up with novel ways to consume them-"eating a drumstick" (rolling large portions around chopsticks), "sucking a worm" (slurping individual strands), and "cutting the grass" (biting off short pieces). Their creation turns out to be the hit of the competition. Xuan's lively, paper-cut illustrations, bordered by heavily textured cream paper, reveal interesting details of Chinese life. Heavy, stylized black outlines give them the appearance of stained glass and make them suitable for group sharing. Although the ending is a bit too good to be true, this tale of the origin of noodles in China will be a welcome addition to multicultural units. A recipe for "Long-Life Noodles" and an author's note are included.-Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsThis story may leave your mouth watering for noodles and your chopsticks at the ready, as Compestine and Xuan (The Story of Chopsticks, 2001) cook up a tale explaining the origins of a favorite Chinese food. The three Kang brothers are back again, eager and creative, especially after they ruin mother's dumpling dough. Instead of following Mama Kang's instructions, the boys try to save time and wind up with strips of dough all over the house. Although the transition isn't clear enough in the story, the boys have invented noodles, or mian tiao, flour strips. They also are prepared to demonstrate three different ways of eating the new dish at the cooking contest that Mama Kang hopes to win. The boys' humorous exploits are brought to life in Xuan's illustrations, created with vivid colors surrounded by the striking black lines of traditional paper cuts. The borders of textured flour paste are less successful. The author's note confirms that the Kang brothers are not alone when they roll their noodles around chopsticks like a drumstick or make loud noises like "sucking a worm" or "cut the grass" with their teeth. These are all ways that today's children (and grown-ups) eat their noodles. A recipe for long-life noodles is appended. An appetizingly funny story, but look elsewhere for the real story of how noodles came into the heart of Chinese cuisine. (Picture book. 6-9)
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