Dumplings for Lili by Melissa Iwai
It's going to be a special day. Nai Nai has invited Lili to help her make baos. This granddaughter not only loves to eat these steamed bundles of goodness, she loves to make them.
With charming watercolor illustrations, Lili describes each step. She begins by making the dough, then creating the filling, and finally tucking the filling inside each little pastry pillow. She refers to helpful cooking tips "secrets."
When Nai Nai is missing cabbage leaves to line the bamboo basket and keep the bao from sticking, Lili ventures up to Babcia's apartment on the 5th floor for cabbage. She discovers that Babcia has cabbage to share but needs a potato for the pierogi she is making. This pattern continues. Lili traipses up and down the stairs, locating a missing ingredient for the resident grandmothers as each cooks her own version of savory filled pastries: ravioli, tamales, beef patties, fatayer, pierogis and of course, baos.
A top floor view, looking down, reveals on all the flights of stairs Lili and her adorable dog must traverse. Note: a posted sign indicates that the elevator is out of service.
Details from each apartment showcase the diversity of this community. In addition to learning various names for grandmother, readers are introduced to common phrases and greetings in a variety of languages.
An infographic offers a concise map of Lili’s journey throughout the apartment complex. The location for each type of dumpling is identified. Bonus: A bao recipe is included.