Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Non Fiction Picture Book Challenge - Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix

Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I love the encouragement to explore more nonfiction.

illustrated by Man One

This is another great title from the Readers to Eaters publishing company. They seem to focus on books about slow and local whole foods. Chef Roy Choi is a wonderful biography. First off, the endpapers are decorated with ramen!! Awesome. The book shows a bit of his early life like how food was very important in his family when he grew up. There were even meals that they created together as they interacted with one another. We learn about Sohn-maash or the "flavors in our fingertips." It reminds me of how my grandmother baked things with love. There were other Korean words and phrases explained in the book.
Roy Choi had an indirect path to food trucks, but his experiences helped prepare him for that type of work. I love that the book shares some of his Korean heritage, but also shows how things from his community also blended with that to create something wonderful and new. 

Speaking of blending, the art is a mix also. Since this is a book about street food, they invited a street artist to illustrate the book. The art has a graffiti look to it at times and shouts city. 

This would be a great book to use when talking about persistence or that failure doesn't mean everything is over. It's great for teaching resilience too. One of the pages is talking about his career as a fancy chef. "Roy was a success--until he wasn't." That was when he got the nudge to open a taco truck which ultimately was a more fulfilling job for him. 

Since our community is seeing an uptick in food trucks, this is a book I am happy to have around. It has many great things going for it. It would also work well paired with the middle grade fiction book Stef Soto, Taco Queen which centers around a family who owns a taco truck. It's a lovely book that like Chef Roy, features a comittment to food and community. I haven't read it yet, but there is also a fun looking picture book called Food Trucks! by Mark Todd I might have to get.

Roy maintains a Twitter account so you can find out what he is up to. He has expanded way beyond one simple food truck at this point.


  1. My husband and I love watching cooking competition shows and have seen Roy Choi (I guess as a judge on something). I haven't heard of this book but am off to add it to my tbr shelf. How could I go wrong with a Jacqueline Briggs Martin book?!

  2. This looks cool. Food carts are big here in Portland and this seems like a cool biography that will intrigue readers.