Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chinese Movie Night

Our family has a tradition each Friday. Chinese Movie Night.
We order take out from a local Chinese restaurant and set up tray tables or choose picnic style in front of the television for a family friendly movie.
It's not the most exciting thing we ever do or the most educational, but it's something special to us.
We look forward to Fridays because it's our time to be together as a family.

Big Jimmy's Kum Kau Chinese Take Out by Ted Lewin is the story of a young boy who helps out at his family's restaurant.

It begins with the early morning deliveries and follows the hectic pace of the kitchen as meals are prepared and sent home with customers. The young boy narrates the day with great enthusiasm and pride, not only in his own work, but that of his extended family working together.

I love that about the book, the pride in a job well done. Isn't that a lesson we want to teach every child?

I'm a big fan of watercolor. I adore the amazing illustrations by Mr. Lewin.
They've been called photo-realistic and it's the perfect description. I also agree with luminous, gorgeous, or anything else that sings their beauty. The cleverly designed end papers are menu reproductions from the Kam Kau restaurant.
In addition to all that, there's a bit of a surprise at the end of the book when the narrator shares his favorite food. What could it be?  Ask your child to guess before you turn the page.

Whether you enjoy Chinese food or not, you're sure to delight in this tasty treat of a book for read aloud.

Cooking Extension Idea:
Provide dry rice for exploration in the sand table for a day. Measure and weigh amounts of rice during play. Discuss texture and size.
Cook rice in a steamer (no stove top necessary) and discuss how different the rice looks and feels once it has cooked. Show the difference between a cup of uncooked rice and how much rice results from cooking that cupful. What happens to make the rice "grow"?
Enjoy rice for snack!

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