Bee-Bim Bop!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2006
I am a first grade teacher and used this book while teaching my class about South Korea. My kids really enjoyed the fun rhyme and rhythm of this book, which I used to culminate our week-long unit. When I finished the story, we made "bee-bim bop" right in class! It was yummy, the kids loved it, and they were eager to read the book over and over again in our class library.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
As far as I can ascertain, Linda Sue Park does not sleep. I have good strong evidence for this. Since 2004 this woman has single-handed churned out more picture books, pieces of historical fiction, and fantasy novellas than any person dare count. She wins Newbery awards, brings Korean-American families to the foreground of kiddie lit and with "Bee-bim Bop!" the woman even has a storytime picture book to her name. This is no mean feat. Coming up with a storytime picture book is one thing. Coming up with a storytime picture book that is actually enjoyable to read aloud is another entirely. I was wholly within my rights when I looked on "Bee-bim Bop" with a skeptical eye. A person can only be good at so many things, and while I was a big ole fan of her, "The Firekeeper's Son", it may be a picture book but it's an entirely different breed altogether. "Bim-bim Bop!" is just your average getting dinner on the table type affair, but by the end of the story I wouldn't be entirely surprised if you find your small children begging for that tasty meal themselves. It does look delish.

The story, such as it is, follows a young girl and her mother on a shopping expedition. In rhyme the girl continually prods her mother along with lines like, "Hurry, Mama, hurry / Gotta shop shop shop! / Hungry hungry hungry / for some BEE-BIM BOP!". Back at home the two stir and fry, flip the egg pancakes, set the rice ah-steaming, and chop some garlic and green onions. This goes on with more and more ingredients cooked and added. The table is set with spoons and chopsticks, the family gathers, and it is finally suppertime. Everyone mixes all the ingredients together (the "bee-bim") and chow down on some yummy food. Park includes a recipe for Bee-bim Bop at the end. The cooking instructions are clever separated into the parts that "You" can do (like mixing together ingredients and pouring in the water) and the parts a "Grownup" will have to do as well. There's a rather nice if low-quality photograph of Linda Sue Park and her niece and nephew making this very dish at the end.

The book scans nicely and you won't find yourself tripping over syllables that are a bit too long or phrases that tie up the tongue. The illustrations are by one Ho Baek Lee. Mr. Lee lives in Seoul with his wife and started a children's book publishing company of his own there. His pictures are fine, but not particularly mind-blowing. They show what's going on with a kind of straightforwardness you would expect. There isn't an overabundance of Korean-American picture books out there, but as more and more get published you certainly get a sense that there's a need. Definitely read this book alongside other Korean-American food-centric picture books like, "The Have a Good Day Café" by Frances and Ginger Park. A nice book and a good storytime pick if you're looking for a food themed choice.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2006
We lived in South Korea for a year when our children were smaller. We like to cook Korean food at home to help them remember our experiences there. I was thrilled to find this book. The rhymes are delightful, the pace is light, the illustrations are charming, and the recipe and instructions are wonderful! We've had so much fun as a family with this book. It's a keeper.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2011
My 16 month old loves this book. He calls it 'bop' and asks for it daily and usually a few times in a row. The writing is very lyrical and rhythmic and he starts smiling as soon as I start reading. The illustrations are really nice too and my son likes to point to things in the pictures and hear what they are, especially the ingredients. I'd recommend this to anyone, regardless of heritage!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2010
I really like the catchy text. How many bouncy ways can we rhyme with bee bim bop? (A zillion, apparently.)

And I liked the recipe, and the family togetherness, and the artwork. (Note: I asked around when I cooked this, as I was short a few things, and was informed that this is one of those "meh" recipes where you don't have to be exact and can add or take away as you wish. I love those!)

As an atheist/agnostic I wasn't super-thrilled with the page dealing with them saying grace, however, this is what I call a "deal with it moment". Lots of people pray, it's important to a lot of people, it's important for kids to know this sort of thing, and in the context it's just not a big deal in this book. If this is the sort of thing that concerns you, you can skip over those two pages. Just, you know, tape 'em together :P

Another reviewer made some comments about how, somehow, this book will prevent your kid from talking right or something. I have NO IDEA what she's talking about. Every line of this book fits the rules of Standard American English grammar. (Even if they didn't, it's good for children to hear different ways of talking. One book will not suddenly convince your child to speak a less prestigious dialect. Children learn language from the people around them.) And the rhymes are never awkward or forced in this book. Neither is the scansion weird.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2005
Bee-bim Bop is a traditional Korean dish: it's also a story about a child cooking with a parent, and it's also a rollicking verse of the experience, under Linda Sue Park's seasoned hand. The recipe's included in the lively story of a child who helps her mother from start to finish - and concluding it all is a kid-friendly version of the theme.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2006
Text and illustrations are perfectly matched in this lively book. Readers will appreciate Park's rhythm (never forced) and rhyme (she never runs out of clever ways to rhyme "bop" with other words). Each verse shows a step of the bee-bim-bop making process, from shopping to eating, and the whole poem flows smoothly, bringing the reader, along with a hungry narrator, closer to a delicious conclusion. Lee's pictures are charming and tender with a touch of humor; readers familiar with the culture will appreciate the distinct Korean American touches.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2012
Both my daughters [and my husband] instantly loved this book. They all think it sounds very catchy to read. Also, it makes them want bee-bim-bop every single time we read it. Let's just say we've been reading and eating a lot of bee-bim-bop lately. Lovely illustration. Cute story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2011
I bought this book for my 15 month old grandson and it was a total hit! He loved the story and the pictures. Two days after we got the book, we had a family gathering and made Bee-Bim Bop for dinner, it was great! I love this book and highly recommend it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2012
Loved this book! We had a great time making the recipe in the back! My kids sing this book as a song whenever they are hungry now!
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