Book Highlight: Let's Get Mung Beans, Momma! • 媽媽買綠豆
It's interesting to see how my taste in books has changed since kids. And it's STILL evolving right now, as my son grows, and I continue to develop a taste for what I enjoy reading with him.
I've known about this award-winning book 「媽媽，買綠豆！」for a while. It comes fairly highly recommended among the online Chinese parenting communities. Yet when I flipped through it the first time, I recall thinking... “What's the hype??”
For one, I thought the cover was meh 😂 I also remember feeling the text was too sparse. (Some context: I didn't used to like wordless books; I felt like I needed ~words~ to help me know what to read to my child 😅). That, and I thought the storyline felt pretty ordinary.
BUT we've been pulling this book out a lot lately, and it has slowly become one of our fav books 🥰
It certainly helps that I’ve since grown to love books with minimal text (I’m looking at you, 小小人兒來幫忙 books!). And the plot, while seemingly "ordinary" at first, feels so ~endearing~ to me now.
The story opens with a mother and son, shopping for mung beans at an old school bulk store in Taiwan. We follow along as they make a classic Chinese mung bean dessert soup together.
The book illustrates this process in a surprising amount of detail, not just around the recipe itself, but also around the cute interactions between the mother and son.
The plot's "ordinariness" almost becomes its strength. I see so much of my 3yo in the protagonist, and I suspect it's the same reason my 3yo enjoys the book so much as well.
The illustrator does a masterful job of using multi-panel layout to communicate progress, and passing time. My son especially loves the page with 9 panels illustrating the growth of a mung bean from seed to sprout 💕
It's a super heartwarming book with beautiful realistic illustrations ("Montessori friendly"), neat biology lesson, and 80s/90s Taiwan nostalgia wrapped into one.
And because there isn't a lot of text, it's suitable for even young toddlers! We're sold out of this book currently, but are restocking end of this month or early next ☺️
Find the book here: Let's Get Mung Beans, Momma! • 媽媽買綠豆