by Linda Sue Park
illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
children's book 2005finished 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.