[cookbook review + recipe + giveaway] Chinese Fairy Tale Feasts by Paul Yee, Judy Chan and Shaoli Wang

Imagine a sumptuous Chinese banquet with thirteen enchanting fairy tales on the menu — centuries-old stories of gods, ghosts, noblemen, monks, peasants, farmers, and merchants all motivated by some aspect of food — having or not having it, growing, cooking, relishing, transforming it.

Each tale is served alongside a tempting recipe and lovingly flavored with gorgeous folkloric illustrations (a visual feast in itself), making this literary banquet something to savor with family and friends across generations time and again.

Chinese Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook (Crocodile Books, 2014), is a delightful trifecta of tales by master storyteller and award-winning Canadian author Paul Yee, mouthwatering recipes by Judy Chan, and charming illustrations by Shaoli Wang. While this book is perfect for celebrating the Lunar New Year this week, it’s equally satisfying any time you wish to nourish the mind, heart, body, and spirit.

This is the third in the literary cookbook series following Fairy Tale Feasts (2009) and Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts (2013) by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, books that have my name written all over them, as they explore and illuminate the fascinating connections between stories and food. As Jane Yolen says in her Foreword for Chinese Fairy Tale Feasts, the ability to make things up, to tell stories, distinguishes us from other animals:

And the connection between food and stories is profound and clear. Both are infinitely changeable, suiting the needs of the maker and the consumer.

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soup of the day: where the mountain meets the moon by grace lin!

Gorgeous photo of Grace by Alexandre Ferron.

Hooray hooray hooray!!

Today is official Pub Day for Grace Lin’s brand new middle grade novel, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Little,Brown, 2009)!

As far as I’m concerned, any time Grace publishes a new book, it is cause for big celebration. I’m a huge fan of both her gorgeous picture books and her heartwarming novels about Pacy Lin, Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat. When I interviewed Grace last year, she had recently returned from visiting China and Taiwan, and she talked about how she hoped to incorporate some of the sights and sounds of her fascinating experiences in a new book.

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