Multicultural Children’s Book day is a celebration of diversity in children’s books. I was fortunate enough to be chosen to review Natasha Yim’s latest book, Luna’s Yum Yum Dim Sum. Not only does this book celebrate diversity featuring Chinese American characters, but it also teaches children that they can all be mathematic thinkers. Equal representation in children’s books has been an important cause that we have strived to champion. A wonderful book like Luna’s Yum Yum Dim Sum is a great example of what we need more of on our book shelves.
We follow a very special day in Luna’s life- its her birthday and the whole family is out for dim sum. Through Violet Kim’s colorful and cartoonish drawings, we easily find ourself sitting at the table sharing pork bun’s for Luna’s big celebration. Everyone is enjoying the meal when Luna and her brother can’t agree on how to share their remaining pork buns. This was especially fun for my kids to read along with because it opened up a great opportunity for us to discuss how it could be equally split. Everyone has their own measure and definition of fairness.
“The oldest gets another bun,” declares Kai, “Ma Ma tells us to always respect our elders.” “But I’m the birthday girl!” Luna Says.
At this point the book transitions into practical applications of fractions in a real life situation. It proves to be very effective at teaching simple division to young readers. I am reminded of my math teacher that would draw pizza’s on the chalkboard and we would draw different slices to show fractions. It is the real life utilization of math that we all can relate to; who doesn’t appreciate fairness when you are hungry for a delicious pork bun!?
I appreciate that we have Luna’s older brother, Kai, helping to facilitate the math exploration. Having him involved in caregiving (Kai is seen pushing the stroller of his younger brother) and actively helping is wonderful for other siblings to see. It takes a village to raise a child and having the older brother help out sends a powerful message to the reader and other siblings that may be reading along as well.
The matching activities and details about dim sum and the Chinese zodiac at the back of the book continue to educate and inspire tomorrows learners today. We spent a lot of time talking about our zodiac signs and what they meant to us. I love it when a book can be more than just a story, but also a conversation starter!
“Storytelling Math books show that all children can be mathematical thinkers. Stories feature children of color using math as they play, build, and discover the world around them. Includes activities for families to do together. Storytelling Math goes beyond counting and shapes to explore concepts that all young children need for later school success.”
Find out more about Natasha Yim and her books on her website.
If you are interested in learning more about illustrator Violet Kim, her books, and her art, visit her website.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.
Eight years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
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