Cover Image: The Blue Bowl

The Blue Bowl

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Member Reviews

'The Blue Bowl' by Flo Leung has great illustrations illuminating how a bowl signifies different events in a family. Cute.

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A very sweet book about a young boy and his love for the food from his culture as well as a mix of the foods he is surrounded by. I loved how this book showed the complexity and conflicted feelings children of immigrant families often experience and the emphasis of a balance that’s needed. We can love our cultures and our own foods, and we can also love the food from other cultures.

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An absolutely sweet story about blending cultures, The Blue Bowl is absolutely a book I would have in my classroom as a teacher, and in my home as a parent. The blending of Max's favorite foods from other cultures and the foods of his own, especially at the end of the book, is delightful (and made me hungry the whole time!).

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Max loves all kinds of food. He loves his family’s Cantonese food, which he always knows is coming when the blue bowls come out. He loves going out to eat with cousins and grandparents, but sometimes he wishes he could have a mix of his favorite Italian dishes with some of the Cantonese, or ice cream with sprinkles for dessert at his favorite restaurant. They are headed to his grandparents’ house for his birthday so he knows the food will be yummy Cantonese, but he can’t help wishing there was a little mix of some of his other favorite foods in there too. He doesn’t think it could happen, but could it?

I like how the story shows a family knowing the desires of a child they love’s heart. Kids have a hard time verbally expressing how they feel torn between cultures sometimes, but preferences for different kinds of food could be an area where they can express themselves. I can see Max’s story being used as a springboard for adults to help third culture kids or children/grandchildren of immigrants process their love for their unique blends of cultures that make up their life.

I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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"The Blue Bowl" by Flo Leung reflects the melting pot of food culture as well as human culture. Food can represent history, family, caring, and the future. The creation of a "new" food to match Max's mixed desires can inspire families to create new traditions. The story and illustrations are just the right helping of relatable feelings and new experiences. The only reason I didn't give five stars was I was hoping for a recipe!

Thank you to NetGalley for the eArc. All opinions are my own.

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A sweet story about family and culture and delicious food. A young boy is torn between the Cantonese foods of his family and the American dishes his friends eat. In the end, his family helps bring the two together for a yummy surprise! This is a great picture book for children who are confused and feel torn between the culture they live and that of their family. A wonderful story!

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How can a simple, familiar blue bowl make someone feel like they belong? This is the question that Flo Leung weaves into a beautiful story about food, family, traditions, culture, through the eyes of young Max, the second-generation Cantonese-Canadian child growing up in the cosmopolitan city of Toronto.

Through Max’s eyes and tastebuds, we lean about his favourite meals from around the city, all made familiar to him in the blue bowls used by his family. Readers will connect to a favorite dish, cup, or plate as Max and his sister set the table. And will, no doubt, see their own families reflected in the changing and merging traditions shown in Max’s family.

This delightful story is both about feeling seen and understanding the importance of our roots.

+A digital advanced copy was provided, and I am providing this review of my own accord.+

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Lovely picture book about mixed cultures and food and celebration. It touches on how mixing cultures can be difficult at times but in the end it is beautiful.

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When Max sets the table with the blue bowls, he knows he will be enjoying his familiy's Cantonese
dishes. As much as he loves the food, he also loves other foods, like tacos, pizza and fries. When
he celebrates his birthday at his grandparents' home, he is happy to see that his cousins have
combined flavors from other cuisines in some of the dishes. Max has the best of both worlds - the
Cantonese food of his grandparents and other world cuisines.
Delightful picture book.
#TheBlueBowl #NetGalley

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This delightful book explores how food can connect us to family and culture, even if we live in a different place. Max learns that the familiar Cantonese family dishes merge very well with the diverse dishes from around his home. "But it all works together, and it feels just right."- wonderful sentiment. One thing I appreciated about this story is that there wasn't the trope of Max being made fun of for having different foods. There is one quick statement about kids at lunch who said that the dumplings are stinky but Max disagrees. The story doesn't dwell on the sometimes negative aspects of having differences, but rather focuses on celebrating how we mesh together.

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Max's realization that he can enjoy both his Cantonese and American cultures through his favorite meals makes the reader to value and appreciate one's culture.
Filled with well-detailed illustrations, the story has an amazing plot where we learn about Max's multi-generational family and their customs through food (which I cannot resist)! I'd recommend this book for curious readers who enjoys food and learn different cultures. Ideal for ages 4-8.

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A wonderful story to share with my kids. Teaches us about cultures and family through foods. Thank you to the publisher for a copy.

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I love love loved the way that this incorporated different foods, tastes, and cultures, while telling a heartfelt story.

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I received an electronic ARC from Owlkids Books through NetGalley.
A warm and supportive multigenerational family story. Max's family is Cantonese and celebrates their cultural foods. Max struggles as he also likes different foods he has tried. His immediate family eats a variety of food styles but when they gather as an extended family, the food is always Cantonese. When they go out to eat, they always eat at a Cantonese restaurant. For his birthday, Max really wants to go to an Italian restaurant but the family gathers at his grandparents' home. To his surprise, his cousins bring out different dishes to blend with the Cantonese meal. Max realizes he can like a blended menu of options and still celebrate his heritage.
Leung captures the emotions and struggles involved in honoring your heritage and finding your own identity. The joy and love found in gathering with multiple generations comes through clearly as well.
The artwork is highly detailed and welcoming to readers. This is a must for elementary libraries.

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I like that writers see that children need books on their level to discuss the significant cultural aspects of growing up. This book is perfect because it teaches children and adults that it is okay to merge old traditions with new ones and that each part of your life (culture, surroundings, geographic location, etc.) builds you into the person you are.

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This was such an amazing book that tells a story of culture and multigenerational family tradition through food, celebrations, and family heirlooms. Filled with beautifully illustrated pages, it's such a sweet story about Max and his family as he shares a variety of his favourite foods in preparation for his upcoming birthday party, which includes both traditional Chinese dishes and treats and Italian-inspired dishes.

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Aww this is going on my bookshelf for my future child. It has a personal connection to me since I'm chinese, but I think this could relate to any child that has a cultural recipes or traditions.

The art style is so beautiful and the food looked extra delicious.

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This is kind of a light tour of cultural foods via a little boy's family & his birthday celebration. He tells us about his Cantonese family's traditions, & that's how the blue bowls come into the story. His descriptions of the foods are 'mouth watering!' And the illustrations are wonderful.....& colorful & detailed......the pictures are really fun to look at! I think this would be a great conversation starter about different foods, it'd be fun to read & share with a kid! This would be great to have in every library!
I received an e-ARC of this book from publisher Owlkid Books via NetGalley, for review purposes...& these are my own fair & honest opinions.

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Thank you Netgalley and OwlKids for the opportunity to read The Blue Bowl by Flo Leung. Max loves to eat all the dishes his family makes but he also loves American food. Food brings people together and there is always a way the two can come together and celebrate.

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The Blue Bowl is a great book for kids of all ages. Max is excited about his birthday and wants all his favorite foods so his family comes together to mix their family Cantonese favorites with some of the Italian-American favorites Max also grew up with.

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