Review of The Best Kind of Mooncake

The Best Kind of Mooncake The Best Kind of Mooncake
by Pearl AuYeung ; illus. by the author
Primary    Page Street    32 pp.       g
10/22     978-1-6456-7556-3     $18.99

As a girl helps her family set up their stall on “beeping, bickering, and bartering” Tai Yuen Street in Hong Kong, she complains that every day is boringly the same. ­Suddenly and with a “THWUMP!” a man falls to his knees. He tells the crowd of hawkers and shoppers that he’s traveled a thousand miles through forests and across rivers, leaving “everything behind but the clothes on his back” to cross the border. The crowd turns away, “uninterested in hearing their own stories retold to them,” but the girl’s mother asks her to bring the tired and hungry man a mooncake—the very one that was promised to her and her brothers. Reluctantly, she offers him the mooncake, “the best kind” with a double-yolk center. Her act of kindness ripples out into the crowd, reminding onlookers (and readers) of the satisfaction of being able to share what they can. AuYeung’s expressive digital illustrations depict Hong Kong’s Tai Yuen Street and its people with lively details that lighten the tone. An author’s note provides historical context and explains that the story is based on her family’s experiences.

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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