A Big Mooncake for Little Star
Grace Lin, Author and Illustrator
Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Fiction, Aug. 28, 2018
Caldecott Honor Book
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes: Moon phases, Stars, Chinese Moon Festival, Asian Holiday, Baking Mooncakes, Multicultural
Opening: Little Star’s mama laid the Big Mooncake onto the night sky to cool. “Now, Little Sar,” Mama said, “your Moon cake took us a long time to bake, so let’s see if you can make it last awhile.”
Pat, pat, pat…
Little Star’s soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake.
Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she’s not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can’t resist a nibble?
In this stunning picture book that shines as bright as the stars in the sky, Newbery Honor author Grace Lin creates a heartwarming original story that explains phases of the moon.
Why I like A Big Mooncake for Little Star:
Such a charming and gentle bedtime tale about a little girl who promises her mama she’ll wait until she’s given permission to eat the Mooncake she and her mama bake for the annual Chinese Moon Festival. But the temptation to take just a nibble is too great and Little Star sneaks a tiny nibble of the sweet treat. Readers will identify with Little Star and enjoy the anticipation of her journey. What will she do next?
I love that the story is a based on folklore and Chinese cultural tradition. But it also focuses on the phases of the moon in a delightful way that will illicit many chuckles from children. The ending is heartwarming. Grace Lin wrote the book for her daughter, because it’s one Lin’s favorite Asian holidays.
Grace Lin’s text is sparse, gentle and a bit mischievous. Her illustrations are stunning. The background on each page is shiny black, with Little Star wearing black PJs with bright yellow stars. Little Star’s expressions are warm and tender. The clever double-page spread in the center of book depicts the moon phases in a entertaining way.
Resources: Make sure you check out Grace Lin’s Note at the end of the story, as well as the endpapers. Bake a mooncake with your children. This book can be used throughout the year, but it especially meaningful during the Autumn Festival and perhaps during the new lunar year. Help children bake their own mooncake. Grace Lin has a recipe on her website.
Grace Lin is a Newberry author and National Book Award Finalist of books including Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same, and The Ugly Vegetables. Grace lives in Massachusetts. She invites you to visit her website.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*I won this book in a holiday picture book giveaway by Max on Completely Full Bookshelf, where readers can find enthusiastic reviews about books in all genres.