Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Happy Book Birthday, Ramen for Everyone by Pat Tanumihardja!

Today's read hits food (and I do love food). I remember eating ramen way back in my college days as a cheap way to fill the stomach. And fast. It's remained a wonderful go-to for snacks and such in my family, but it wasn't only until the last few years, which I realized that packaged ramen is only a very basic beginning to what can be so much more (sometimes, it takes me a bit to notice the obvious). Now, we make it into a healthier quick meal with ginger, leeks, carrots, spinach, cabbage, celery, green onions....basically, whatever I happen to have in my fridge at the time. But we haven't made our own noodles from scratch, yet. Have you? 

by Patricia Tanumihardja
Illustrated by Shiho Pate
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Picture Book
48 pages
ages 4 to 8

In this adorable picture book for fans of Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao and Bilal Cooks Daal, Hiro aspires to make a bowl of ramen as delicious as his dad’s—and runs into some surprises on his first attempt!

Hiro loves ramen. Every Sunday, Hiro’s dad makes delicious, perfect ramen for dinner, using a recipe passed down from his dad. There’s nori seaweed, briny like the ocean; nitamago egg, the yolk golden like the sun; and chashu pork so tender, it melts in your mouth. Yum!

Hiro’s dream is to make his own perfect bowl, and he’s sure he can do it after watching his dad and taking notes. But when he gets started, things don’t go according to plan. The seaweed crumbles! The eggs slip through his fingers! The pork falls apart! Hiro is worried he’ll never be a real ramen chef…but thanks to his father’s wise advice and his own creativity, Hiro discovers that every person’s perfect bowl of ramen is unique.

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59875642-ramen-for-everyone
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ramen-for-everyone-patricia-tanumihardja/1141651837
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1665904356
BOOK DEPOSITORY: https://www.bookdepository.com/Ramen-for-Everyone-Patricia-Tanumihardja/9781665904353


The versatility of ramen comes to light in a fun tale, which will have readers wanting to dive into the dish themselves.

Hiro's dad is the most amazing ramen cook and is able to meet the desires of everyone in the family. When Hiro decides he wants to cook ramen, too, he takes the recipe and gives it a go...which doesn't run as well as he'd hoped. Now, Hiro's family is hungry, and their favorite ingredients are in the garbage trash. He's not sure what to do. 

Ramen takes center stage in this read as readers/listeners learn some of the various ways it can be served...and learn that there are, actually, no limits other than personal taste. It's inspiring to see how Hiro's dad flies through the kitchen with ease as Hiro watches with hunger and excitement. This alone will have readers wanting to try new combinations with the dish, but the tale doesn't stop there.

Hiro's desire to do it himself hits home, especially when his enthusiasm crumbles as things don't work out as he'd hoped...and that while he followed directions. Many listeners/readers will be able to empathize with the situation of disappointment and nervousness. It also shows there's no reason to be ashamed and that reaching out for help isn't a bad thing. There's family warmth woven in as well to make it a wholesome read. At the end, there is a recipe, which readers/listeners can use to create their own ramen dish.

The text and illustrations are both well done and fit to the intended age group. The scenes will make readers/listeners smile, while the text gives the right amount of flow without growing too heavy. It makes a nice read aloud and expands the view on how to consume ramen.

And here they are...

Patricia Tanumihardja was born in Jakarta to Chinese Indonesian parents and raised in Singapore. Ramen for Everyone is her debut picture book. She also writes cookbooks and loves to weave food-centric themes into her stories for young people. Patricia now lives in northern Virginia with her husband and son, where she enjoys drinking bubble tea, making dumplings, and hiking. Her perfect bowl of ramen is shio (salt-flavored) ramen topped with chashu, menma (fermented bamboo shoots), and corn. Visit her at EdibleWords.com or @EdibleWords on Instagram, and don’t be shy about asking for her favorite recipe!

Shiho Pate was born in Hokkaido, Japan, and raised in Aichi. She received her degree in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design and worked for indie gaming studios before she started making children’s books. Shiho lives in Southern California, where she loves hunting with her daughter and husband for new ramen restaurants. Visit her at ShihoPate.com or @ShihoPate on Instagram.

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