WOW Recommends: A Big Mooncake for Little Star

A Big Mooncake for Little StarA Big Mooncake for Little Star, by Grace Lin, will become a classic read aloud to children for generations to come. The endpapers show Little Star and her mama making a Big Mooncake. When it is baked, Little Star’s mama lays it in the night sky to cool. Little Star’s Mama says “your Mooncake took us a long time to bake, so let’s see if you can make it last awhile. Can you remember not to touch this Big Mooncake until I tell you to?” Little Star replies, “Yes, Mama.” “But in the middle of the night, Little Star woke. She forgot what her mama had said and only remembered the Big Mooncake.” So her little feet went “Pat, pat, pat.” across the sky to take a tiny nibble of the brilliant yellow Mooncake. Over the next nights she takes nibbles out of the Mooncake until it is a narrow crescent. A two page spread shows twelve phases of the shrinking moon with Little Star taking a nibble out of each one until it is a crescent. One night Little Star’s mama goes to look for the Big Mooncake and finds it is gone. Mama asks Little Star, “You ate the Big Mooncake again, didn’t you.” “Yes, Mama,” says Little Star. “Now let’s go make another one.” On the final endpapers, the story ends as it began with Little Star and her mama making a new Mooncake to place in the sky. It is a circle story. The story started with the making of the Big Mooncake and finishes with a new cake being made.

The illustrations are backed by the solid, black night sky on every page. Little Star and her mama wear black night clothes festooned with stars that stand out in the night sky where they make their home. The dear love in Little Star’s relationship with her Mama is evidenced by the loving looks they exchange. Even when Little Star is found out, Mama’s mouth curves and Little Star grins back reflecting her mama’s smile. Bright yellow objects contrast against with the dark sky. Look for the details in the pictures. Little Star has a darling stuffed bunny that is her companion. The cozy kitchen scene features small details that point to other constellations. There is a wall clock that shows the phases of the moon and details about the making of the Mooncake that make it look scrumptious. Backed by the black sky the figures and the Mooncake stand out, making easy for children to see in a read aloud group.

The simple text features many words that children will want to repeat, like “Mmmmm, yum!” and “Nibble, nibble… yum.” The story and the illustrations work together to enhance and extend the story. I purchased this lovely book so it can become a tradition to read it aloud in our Family. Bring it out at the time of the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is a harvest festival celebrated by the Chinese and Vietnamese people. -Recommended by: Marilyn Carpenter, Professor Emeritus Eastern Washington University

ISBN: 9780316411400
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
PubDate: August 28, 2018

Each month a committee of Worlds of Words advisors recommends a book published within the last year. Our hope is to spark conversations on our website and on social media about the book that expand global understandings and perceptions. Please join us by leaving a comment. You can also share your thoughts with us by using the hashtag #WOWRecommends on social media.

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