Oct 27, 200907:39 PMBest Of Editor Picks
Two Ghoulishly Good Books
The deliciousness of the main character in Ying Chang Compestine’s new children’s book Boy Dumplings will appeal to even the most candy-obsessed junior trick-or-treater this Halloween season.
You and your child can take a break from your sugar high and look in on a pudgy little kid, who is as clever as he is adorable. When spotted by a hungry ghost who’d love to eat the boy up, the boy tricks the ghost, sending him all over China looking for just the right ingredients to make boy dumplings. Young readers will wonder whether their young hero will successfully avoid the ghost’s cooking pot.
Compestine, who lives in Lafayette and has written everything from cookbooks to a novel, has once again brought humor and charm to the world of kids’ books. The bold illustrations, by James Yamasaki, are also full of fun.
Boy Dumplings, which includes a recipe for “Boy-Free Dumplings,” is one sweet Halloween treat that won’t rot your teeth.
Not nearly as sweet but fun in a different way is Compestine’s other new release, A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts, which is a collection of ghost stories for young adult readers. For older kids who like a little blood and gore around Halloween time, this could be just the book.
A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts also includes recipes for an entire Chinese banquet, as well as some concise explanations of the Chinese cultural traditions and real-life social problems that underlie the grisly tales.
Recipes from both books will come to life at a full Chinese banquet on Tuesday, November 3, at 6:30 p.m., at Three Brothers From China restaurant, 2001 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill. Tickets are $34.95; to reserve, call (925) 673-3325.
Also, if you’re in Alameda, check out the free tasting from Boy Dumplings on October 31 at 2 p.m., at Books Inc., 1344 Park St., (510) 522-2226.