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Jin wishes his family would ask him to help prepare the Lunar New Year feast. But boys, or Babas, never get asked—only Nyonyas, the girls.

It’s the eve of Lunar New Year, and Jin can’t wait for the big family reunion dinner. He loves the aromas and the bubbly chatter coming from the kitchen. His grandmother, Mamah, is cooking up a storm!

As his aunties dice, slice, and chop, there’s nothing Jin wants more than to learn about the history of his family’s cooking and to lend them a helping hand. After all, no one else can tell the difference between ginger and galangal as well as he can! But his aunties shoo him away, claiming he’ll just get bored or be in the way. Luckily, Mamah steps in and asks Jin to help her prepare their special meal. Soon, Jin is squeezing, slicing, and stirring, too!

This loving picture book about a young Malaysian boy who defies gender expectations will make hearts warm and stomachs hungry. With beautifully vibrant illustrations of a traditional nyonya kitchen, Boys Don’t Fry is a heartfelt celebration of family, culture, and traditions—both old and new.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374389857
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 11/14/2023
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 322,060
Product dimensions: 10.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: AD770L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 6 Years

About the Author

Kimberly Lee is a lawyer, Managing Editor of parenting platform, makchic, the author of Boys Don't Fry, illustrated by Charlene Chua, and the co-author of What if?. Her love of cooking good food is superseded only by her love of eating it. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and their two young sons. Find her online on her website or on Instagram and Twitter.

Charlene Chua (she/they) is the illustrator of several picture books, including Pinkie Promises by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and LAMBDA nominated book Love, Violet by Charlotte Sullivan Wild. She is also the author-illustrator of Hug? When they are not making art, they enjoy cooking, reading, and playing with their cats. Charlene now lives with her husband (and cats!) in Hamilton, Ontario.

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