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Happy Belly, Happy Smile
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Happy Belly, Happy Smile

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  76 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Every Friday Louie sees the hustle and bustle behind the scenes at his grandpa's Chinese restaurant. The chef's hands fly as he chops vegetables, the delivery boy zips in for a pickup, and the waiters holler out order after order. Then it's time to eat. Grandpa offers Louie a whole fish and crabs. "No, thank you, Grandpa!" But the dumplings, egg rolls, and chow mein sure ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 28th 2009 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published September 2nd 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nielson
Mar 15, 2010 Nielson rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Louie gets to visit his grandpa's Chinese restaurant every Friday night to enjoy all of the hustle and bustle. He looks forward to it each week and watches as the chef's prepare all sorts of Chinese culinary treats. The eye-catching illustrations are created using a blend of collage and oil painting. Using both text and illustrations, students will learn more about Asian dishes as well as cultural symbols.
Margaux
Cute story of a little boy at his grandfather's restaurant. Introduces children to the realm of Chinese cuisine, and how it's prepared and eaten.

I wouldn't do this for a storytime... the illustrations (while great) are very hectic.
Courtney Thompson
Feb 10, 2015 Courtney Thompson rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Louie loves Fridays because he gets to have dinner with his grandpa in China Town. He loves watching the behind-the-scenes action, like the chefs chopping up vegetables and the delivery boy rushing in and out of the restaurant. He loves the rice and eggrolls, but declines the fish and crab. After dinner, Louie receives a fortune cookie that says, "Happy food, happy belly, happy smile."
One major theme in this book could be the importance of working together. Louie gets to see how the restaurant n
...more
Mary Ledom
May 09, 2015 Mary Ledom rated it really liked it
Happy Belly, Happy Smile is a book that every student will be able to relate to in different aspects. I really enjoyed this book because it presents the audience with new incite on Asian and Chinese culture. It is about a young boy who sees his grandfather work at a family owned Chinese restaurant. I think students would really enjoy this because the illustrations and the ideas of the book are very enjoyable. I think this would be a great book to have on the shelf and not necessarily a read ...more
Dolly
May 14, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a sweet book that describes a boy's experience eating at his grandfather's Chinese restaurant. The mixed media illustrations are bold and colorful, and the textures are very interesting.

The story is simple, but I liked the fact that Louie didn't like all of the different foods at the restaurant. That's pretty realistic. His expressions when his grandfather offers him a fish and crab are priceless. And his excitement of seeing a friend at the restaurant is quite appropriate as well. I th
...more
The Library Lady
Oct 10, 2009 The Library Lady rated it it was ok
I like the story idea. But Isadora's art style for this is scratchy and distracting. And as the wife of someone who is Asian American and the mother of two girls who are half-Asian, I really dislike the way she has drawn her Asian characters--lots of stereotypical slant eyes.

If you want a book about characters at a Chinese restaurant, I'd suggest
Big Jimmy's Kum Kau Chinese Take Out by Ted Lewin, which has much more realistic pictures and a similar story.
Amy
This was a cute book I read in my field placement following a little boy who lives in Chinatown and visits his grandfather's restaurant. Though it is a good description of the different food and how he and his friend share it, the illustrations give a stereotypical portrayal. I might find this appropriate in a Kindergarten or first grade classroom that can introduce kids to different foods and how they are cooked.
Youth Services
Oct 25, 2009 Youth Services rated it liked it
In this book, Louie talks about how he loves Fridays because he visits his grandpa Sam, and has dinner with him in his restaurant in Chinatown. The illustrations are really interesting -- piecey bits of paint arranged into shapes, and kids will enjoy making them out as they hear this story.

Lisle Library Call #: E ISA
Kaitlyn Horvath
Dec 10, 2013 Kaitlyn Horvath rated it it was amazing
I really like this book. The art was awesome in it and i think that will keep the kids interested. It is a good teaching book also, it gives food ideas and you can maybe have a party in the class with different asian food and customs.
Michelle Young
I don't know many other picture books that feature Chinese and African-American characters, so that's kind of cool. Otherwise, the story was just OK. The artwork, of course, is great! Collage seems to be the in thing in picture books, and Isadora is a leader in this art. :)
MissInformation
Dec 26, 2009 MissInformation rated it it was ok
I like a lot of Isadora books, and this one is a pleasant tour through a family chinese restaurant- but I have mixed feelings for some reaason. I love the paper collage illustrations, and the text is uber simple. Just need to balance this book with asain kids in other than restaurant settings....
Gwen the Librarian
I love Rachel Isadora's newest multi-generational, multicultural offering. It celebrates the diversity of our world, our food culture, and shows how restaurants work. All of this is paired with Isadora's signature collage illustrations.
Kathi-Ann Busha
Jun 23, 2016 Kathi-Ann Busha rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
The art in this book is really nice. I like that it looks like it was cut out of paper. The story was also cute.
Abby Turner
Mar 25, 2014 Abby Turner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Wonderful, beautiful illustrations for a simple story about dinner with Grandpa at a Chinese restaurant!
Stephanie
Jul 29, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Very cute! Reminds me of my kids, especially the last page. We would get ginger tofu and they love to do that too!
Tierra Redmond
Tierra Redmond rated it it was ok
Dec 01, 2012
Lisa Castellano
Lisa Castellano rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2011
Alfajirikali
Alfajirikali rated it it was ok
Nov 04, 2009
Tracie
Mar 10, 2016 Tracie rated it really liked it
A young boy visits his grandfather's Chinese restaurant.
Aspasia
Aspasia rated it liked it
Feb 07, 2010
Krista
Krista rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2009
John
John rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2010
Lorie
Lorie rated it really liked it
Oct 19, 2009
Laura Elisabeth
Laura Elisabeth rated it it was ok
Mar 07, 2013
Leslie
Leslie rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2016
Kim
Cute book about going to a chinese resturant to eat.
Mohammad
Mohammad rated it did not like it
Oct 28, 2010
Valerie
Valerie rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2012
Sam Bloom
Sam Bloom rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2009
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Rachel Isadora is an award-winning children's author and illustrator. She has written children's books on multiple topics including ballet, life in America and Africa, and has illustrated several Brother Grimm tales in an African setting. She is most well-known for her Caldecott Honor Award book "Ben's Trumpet". She was a ballet dancer before she became an illustrator and children's writer.
More about Rachel Isadora...

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