Where on Earth is My Bagel?

Overview

No one knows how the idea of a New York bagel popped into Yum Yung’s head — perhaps it was inspired by a dream, or by listening to sparrows’ songs. Yum Yung lives in Korea where there are no New York bagels, and one day he just knows he has to have one. This timeless fable will make readers giggle with delight and satisfaction as Yum Yung, with the help of his friends, fulfills his bagel dream. The tale illustrates the power of perseverance.

When a young boy in Korea...

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Overview

No one knows how the idea of a New York bagel popped into Yum Yung’s head — perhaps it was inspired by a dream, or by listening to sparrows’ songs. Yum Yung lives in Korea where there are no New York bagels, and one day he just knows he has to have one. This timeless fable will make readers giggle with delight and satisfaction as Yum Yung, with the help of his friends, fulfills his bagel dream. The tale illustrates the power of perseverance.

When a young boy in Korea dreams of eating a New York bagel, he asks a farmer, a fisherman, a beekeeper, and a baker for help.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This book tells a story about the value of pursuing dreams and how sometimes we need help from those around us to reach our goals. The tale takes place in a small village in Korea. The main character, a young boy named Yum Yung, one day develops an urge to eat a New York bagel, but he lives on the other side of the world and he has never tasted one. To fill his insatiable hunger for this mysterious New York bagel, Yum Yung sends a pigeon to New York with a note asking for a bagel to be sent back to him. After many days with no response, Yum Yung sets out around the village in search of his 'misplaced' bagel. He stops at various locations around the village but unfortunately, no one has even heard of a bagel, let alone seen one. Finally, the pigeon returns with a note from a baker in New York, giving Yum Yung his secret recipe for bagels. Yum Yung then needs the help of his fellow villagers whom he has met along his expedition to help him make his bagel. This book presents a valuable and beneficial message of seeking help from the community to achieve goals and dreams. As children, we are often told to "pursue our passions," but few people tell us how to achieve this and to whom we can turn for help. This book conveys that help can be found not only from family, but friends, the community and even complete strangers. 2001, Lee and Low,
— Sara Carman
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Where on earth did Yum Yung get the urge to have a bagel? He has no idea, but desperate for one, he sends a message from his Korean village via pigeon to New York City for someone to send him one. While he waits, he asks the farmer, the fisherman, and the honeybee keeper for help, but none of them have ever heard of a bagel. Just after Yum Yung reaches Oh's Heavenly Bakery, the bird returns without a bagel, but with the recipe. The baker gets the required ingredients from the boy's new friends and makes one huge bagel. "It was so heavenly he could even taste the curious hole in the middle." With charming gouache illustrations that evoke the intricate and colorful patterns found in Korean fabrics, this story mixes up cultures quite nicely. Bagel shapes abound, including a full moon with a cloud providing the hole in the middle. Pair this story with Ina Friedman's How My Parents Learned to Eat (Houghton, 1984) for a fun program on foods in different cultures.-Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The fates look kindly upon the mixture of longing, serendipity, and quick thinking that accompanies the Parks' story of Yum Yung's bagel desire. It came to Yum Yung out of the blue one day: His village in Korea might have many things-"There were waterfalls rushing into streams of darting fish. There were lilacs gently blossoming on every hillside"-but there were no New York bagels. To remedy this problem, Yum Yung ties a note to a pigeon's leg and bids the bird haste to New York City with his request for a bagel. But the bird is ever-so-long in returning, and Yum Yung worries the bird has delivered it somewhere else. So he asks his neighbors-a farmer, a fisherman, a beekeeper-if they have seen it. No, they respond after learning what a bagel is. "It is round and it has a hole in the middle." They are experts in their craft, but it is not a plow wheel, a life ring, or a circle of bees. When Yum Yung is paying a visit to the baker, the pigeon returns, not with a bagel, but with a note from Joe's To-Go Bagels giving his secret recipe. The baker says she hasn't the ingredients, but Yum Yung knows just where to get flour, sea salt, and honey. And voila, Yum Yung has his bagel. Lin's transporting artwork has a toned-down Eastern flavor that makes for a successful expression of the story's trans-cultural happening, but it is the pursuit of passion-and the warm rewards that may follow on its wake-that makes this story special. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781600609817
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 825,161
  • Age range: 5 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 590L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Frances Park
FRANCES PARK and GINGER PARK are the authors of several award-winning books for children. The idea for The Have a Good Day Cafe originated many years ago when the authors would drive to work together and see a Korean family setting up an outdoor food cart each morning. The Parks both live in the Washington, D.C., area.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2001

    Enchantment for the eye and ear

    Where On Earth is my Bagel? is a wonderful tale which has universal appeal while told in the idiom of a specific culture. The child's curiosity, search and ultimate success the the search for a bagel are delightful and will strike reponsive chords in the many young readers this book deserves. The text and illustrations combine perfectly as a joyous feast for young and old souls looking for some reawakening of the sense of innocent pleasure with respect to the times in which we live.

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