Friday, February 20, 2015

Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park

Bee-bim Bop!
by Linda Sue Park
illustrated by Ho Baek Lee     
children's book 2005
finished 2/2/15 (and many other days)

I bought Bee-bim Bop! two years ago, and found myself wishing this story of a loving family and a special Korean dish had been available when my South Korean born children were young. Now, miraculously, there are two little ones in my life to read it with. I haven’t read it to Campbell Walker yet because his visits are always packed with activity, and there isn’t any quiet time to sit and read. But Tom and I and Margaret have read it to Hazel Nina many, many times. Here is a picture from today's reading.

After the grandchildren were born, I decided to gather together all the children's books and put them in our bedroom. 

I would bring downstairs a couple at a time, and Bee-bim Bop! was occasionally one of them. A while ago Tom finished building some shelves we had planned for family photographs in the study. Because Hazel Nina could now reach the lowest shelf, I decided to use that one for children’s books. 

Margaret had the great idea to rotate the titles, and I’ve been doing this so that each Tuesday when Hazel comes, there is a new selection. Whenever Bee-bim Bop! was there, it was invariably the book she would pull off the shelf. 

We were all quite amazed. Does she see a resemblance to her mum in those lovely illustrations by Ho Baek Lee? Does she see herself in the little girl? When I recently switched it off the shelf, I decided I’d put it on a new little book shelf I bought for the living room, 

and, you guessed it, as soon as she walked in, she went right over and pulled off Bee-bim Bop!!

As the author explains 
Bop is the Korean word for rice, and bee-bim means “mixed-up.” So “bee-bim bop” means “mixed-up rice."

The book is told through delightful little verses. It starts off with the mother and daughter shopping.

And when they get home, preparations for supper begin.

The book continues on until the special dish is ready.

And when the book is over, the author tells the child and the adult who is reading to her just how to make bee-bim bop.

I just love the 'you' and 'grownup.' I expect that Margaret and Hazel will make this together, and perhaps Tom and I will, too (leaving out the meat).

Publishers Weekly says that Bee-bim Bop! is "Unabashedly happy." I can't remember ever reading a more apt description of a book!

I thought I'd offer this as an entry in Weekend Cooking.


  1. This is so cute! And, of course, your little Hazel is so precious "reading" the book. Special times and special memories being made. :-)

  2. What a great way to have your grandchildren grow up with books and reading, and already they have their favourite storues! The okd shelf with the mirror is very beautiful.

  3. It's wonderful to read your posts about your grandchildren. Hazel Nina is quite the little girl now. I love that you have made a place for books for the kids. I love picture books that show parents and kids doing things together, and it is nice to see there are so many more books with diverse characters. I love that there is a recipe in Bee-bim Bop.
    My Kiddo's husband is from China and even though there won't be kids for a while still, I have been collecting story books for that possibility, especially those with Asian characters.

    I also see on your sidebar that you are reading a Miss Fisher's Mystery - I love Miss Fisher. Have you seen the series from Australia on PBS?

  4. Love this post! Hazel Nina is adorable and it's uncannily wonderful how she gravitates to Linda Sue's book :). Yum!

  5. Not a pencil near me as I've read this, but I've bookmarked it to try to find for granddaughter Nora whose parents also make reading a top priority. What a precious story, Nan, of Hazel Nina's love of this special happy book.

  6. What an awesome post! I'm sure Hazel loves both the story and the pictures, which have people who like her. I love that you put kids' books on your lowest photo shelf. What a great idea. Isn't it wonderful to have book-loving grandchildren?

  7. What a delightful book to read to a child, but my heart is especially taken with the beauty of that baby! What a joy to read to!!

  8. So sweet! I love the photos you've posted here!

  9. What a great post! I LOVE the low shelf with the rotating children's books, LOVE it!
    Isn't is interesting that Hazel would go straight to that book? As you say, it must be because she recognizes her Mom in the drawings!
    And you have reminded me of one of the first blogs that I was a Korean cooking blog, it had the word "sunshine" in it, I think...wish I could find it, it had some great recipes.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  10. I just love this! I even see a grandma in there ( although she looks more like a great grandmother like me than a young and vital grandma like Hazel's. ). What an absolutely perfect book. No surprise that it is her favorite. I love the bookshelf/photo unit and a great idea to rotate the books on the grandkids special shelf.

  11. What a delightful book for you to share with your grandchildren. I like the description "unabashedly happy!"

  12. What a cute book and I love that it gives the recipe at the end. My youngest son loves to help me cook and I love teaching him about different cultures through books! Stopping by from Weekend Cooking and hope you'll link up this post with my Small Victories Sunday Linkup too!

  13. Oh, the joy you will have reading all those wonderful books to that darling child. How sweet that she keeps going back to Bee-Bim-Bop! I love these posts, Nan!

  14. I have enjoyed catching up with your posts, after nearly a month with no internet. During that time I brought out a number of favorite books [retrieved from packing boxes] and sat by the woodstove each evening. I'm currently nearly through a re-reading of the 'Father Tim' stories in preparation for opening the latest in the series. I ordered the book when it was released and feel as though I have been 'saving' it for a special moment.
    Many years ago, Louise Andrews Kent wrote a column for Vermont Life magazine. As we had family friends living in Calais, VT near Kent Corners it was easy to picture 'Mrs. Appleyard' in her own setting.
    Only one of my three ]now adult] grandchildren liked to settle in for a reading session--a well-remembered time.

  15. I remembered this from before, but mostly how much Hazel N loved the book. And how I loved your bookshelves. I forgot that you included the page with the recipe. I bet it would be wonderful with firm tofu ... Or just the rest of it and no meat. Did you try it?


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