Thursday, July 30, 2020

Someone's Been Eating My Congee? Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim

Goldy Luck was born in the Year of the Dragon.

"This child will bring us luck!" said her mother.

Her father pointed out that her face was as round as a gold coin.
"She'll bring great wealth!" he said.

But Goldy wasn't lucky. She lost her Grandmother's New Year's gift and her piggy bank was always empty.

One Chinese New Year's Day, Goldy's mom woke her up early to take the greeting, Kung Hei Fat Choy, to their neighbors, the Chan's, with a plate of hot turnip cakes to share with Little Chan.
"But Ma Ma, I am still sleepy, and I'm SO hungry," Goldy moaned.

"Be nice, or you'll have bad luck," her mom warned.

Goldy trudged next door with the turnip cakes. When her knock gets no answer, she pushes against the door and stumbles, spilling the warm turnip cakes all over the floor. Slumping off into the kitchen to find a broom, she notices three bowls of congee waiting on the table. She was still hungry, so she tried the big bowl. Way too watery! The medium bowl was lumpy, But the little bowl was delicious and all gone before Goldy knew it. Now she was not hungry, but she was still sleepy.

She tried Papa Chan's big massage chair.
Something hard steamrollered her back! OUCH!

Mama Chan's chair made Goldy feel like a stuffed pork bun, and apparently Little Chan's chair was too rickety, since one of the rockers cracks! So far, Goldy's luck is all bad!

But still sleepy, she heads for the bedroom, where she finds Papa Chan's big bed feels like a stale almond cake.
The electric bed folds her up like a dumpling!

And that's how the returning Chan family finally found Goldy Luck sound asleep in Little Chan's cozy futon!

But all's well that ends with New Year's luck after all, when Goldy Luck takes her own warm breakfast bowl of congee over for Little Chan and together they make turnip cakes for all, in Natasha Yim's Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas (Charlesbridge Publishing), a jolly fractured fairy tale which introduces Chinese New Year to the picture book set with her version of the oft-parodied Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It's always good luck when good neighbors get together with a Kung Hei Fat Choy for everyone.
(The author appends a recipe for turnip cakes--which also contain shrimp and sausage.)

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