“I eat kimchi every day. I like kimchi every way!” This picture book is an adorable and utterly charming ode to the delicious Korean dish kimchi. The young heroine gazes with adoration at a Sunday feast filled with kimchi, and flings her head back in Snoopy-like joy at Wednesday’s dish of “kimchi stew, in a pot, bubble, bubble, steaming hot.”
The rhymes are super catchy, and the illustrations just bursting with happiness. Think of a little kid being presented with their favourite treat — that’s this book on every page, and honestly, it’s a joy to see the young heroine get so much of her favourite food for an entire week.
In a lovely touch of additional love for her Korean heritage, author-illustrator Erica Kim uses Hanji, a paper from a native Korean mulberry tree, for her cut paper art technique. It’s a subtle homage that, at least for me, enhanced my appreciation of the fun artwork.
The final few pages also include a kimchi glossary, with a bit of an explanation of the various kimchi dishes featured in the book. Fun facts I learned from the book: November 22 is National Kimchi Day, and there are actually kimchi museums in Korea! Perhaps catering to readers raised on North American cuisine, Erica advises trying kimchi on dishes like burgers, tacos, and fries. I’m glad she included that; I like to think this book can inspire readers unfamiliar with Korean cuisine to try out the flavours by adding kimchi to foods they may be more comfortable with.
Overall, this book is absolutely delightful. Read it with some kimchi on-hand — you’ll definitely be craving the dish afterwards!
Thanks to Thomas Allen Ltd for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.