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Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando
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Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  484 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Inspiration struck when Momofuku Ando spotted the long lines for a simple bowl of ramen following World War II. Magic Ramen tells the true story behind the creation of one of the world's most popular foods.

Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab--a little shed in his backyard. For years, he'd dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick,
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by little bee books
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The history of the inventor of Instant Ramen noodles is told in these pages. Momofuku Ando lived the WWII and the bombings in Osaka. He was haunted by the long lines of hungry people waiting for Ramen soup. He spent over a year working on a recipe so people didn’t have to wait in line, all the while haunted by those lines.

I can’t imagine what that was like. It sure did push him to do something about it. That is extraordinary to me. I thought it was a fine story.

The nephew didn’t realize Ramen
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
I loved this SO SO MUCH.
It's the story of the inventor of instant ramen, Momofuku Ando, then this book is for you!

- Such a gem and tells the story of how Ando invented instant ramen, following the devastation of WWII.
- About persistence, trying over and over again and failing over and over again to achieve your goal and to help make people's lives better.
- Boasts gorgeous illustrations that were absolutely captivating and lovely.
- Perfect for kids who love biographical stories, or even adults
Sometimes, to train a child to be a reader with wide tastes and a full body of knowledge, it is imperative to train their parents at the same time. New parents today are often unaware of the sheer scope of topics they can read to their children. I sympathize. When we were kids you had your picture books, maybe your comic books (but almost never from the library) and then came the older stuff when you were able to read on your own. For nonfiction or informational books I can only clearly remember ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully told and illustrated story of Momofuku Ando and his invention of ramen noodles. The art has an anime and graphic novel style, and story about Ando's struggles to bring a tasty and easy-to-make noodle soup to poor people after World War II is fascinating and inspiring.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the aftermath of World War II, Osaka remains devastated. Food is scarce with bad harvests and rationing. The luckiest people stand in long lines for bowls of ramen. When Ando sees this, he realizes that something must be done to help people. He decides to dedicate his life to food, first opening a salt business and eventually following his memories of those hungry people to figure out how to make instant ramen. It was a long process of invention, trial and error. Once he created the perfect ...more
Becky B
A picture book biography of Momofuku Ando who invented instant noodles.

I love how this picture book biography really brings across all the trial and error of invention and the ways that failures are part of the process to success. I also had no idea that the creator of instant noodles was inspired to create something cheap that anyone could afford to help alleviate hunger. Make sure you read the further info in the back of the book about how Ando kept on inventing even into old age, even
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How am I supposed to see a book called Magic Ramen, and NOT read it?

Answer, I'm not.

I saw this book as an On Order book in my libarary's catalog and put it on Hold straight away.

It's a fun little book, with wonderful illustrations. And it's a great way for kids (and adults!) to learn more about Momofuku and where Instant Ramen came from.

I liked it because not only are we learning about the history of these delicious noodles, it also is a good story about using perseverance, and not giving up,
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
A fascinating biography/ history of how instant ramen came to be. Inspired by the lines of people waiting for food in post WWII Japan, Momofuku Ando made it his life mission to make ramen noodles both quick and easy for anyone to make. It took a year of experimenting, but he finally achieved the right texture of noodle and the right amount of flavor. Beautiful illustrations, some cultural lessons, and the ubiquity of Ramen noodles make this a successful book. Fun fact: the indentation on the ...more
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
delightful! this little history of instant ramen is beautifully illustrated in a manga-like style, and shows Momofuku Ando hard at work solving the challenge of making a quickly made ramen that would be cheap and accessible to the poor. I loved the endpapers that show whole ingredients at the beginning of the book and the finished product at the end.
And NOW I need to go fix myself a bowl of ramen.
Jessica Rinker
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have eaten a LOT of Ramen in my life and I never thought about who invented it! It's pretty amazing to think someone spent so much time lovingly creating a product to help others--something as simple as noodles, in fact. Proof that we can always find a way to make a difference in other people's lives. I really enjoy that this biography shows us a specific time in a man's life, rather than a cradle to grave approach, and the action is present. Great storytelling and beautiful art.
Chris Hays
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This type of story falls under my favorite type of biographies. The text is not as sensational as many will know what the ending becomes. However, for students it is an interesting way to be introduced to a person and learn as they might not know or realize the ending. I have quibbles about some of the pictures depicting scenes, yet on a whole the artwork helps to add an excellent cultural touch.
Melissa Neufer
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who knew Instant Ramen was invented for charity? I already liked ramen but this is pretty freaking great.

Easy to read and easy for kids to understand the science and actual story as well. The illustrations are super cute.
Tina Hoggatt
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lively and engaging story of the inventor of instant ramen and his efforts to bring good, nutritious food to the Japanese people after WWII and its hungry aftermath. Delightful illustrations and effective use of graphic novel panels to move the action along.
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating portrait of the man who created instant ramen. Perfect for units on inventors or whenever a books about perseverance is needed. Great illustrations accompany a compelling story.
This book is so interesting! I had never heard of the history of ramen before. What an awesome person! The illustrations were fun and really helped tell the story.
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Never knew the true story behind instant ramen. Loved the illustrations and story of why he wanted to create the product. Remarkable.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great picture book biography, always fascinating to see where these ideas originated and how they came to be what they are today
Debbi Florence
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A delicious tale (in text and art) about Momofuku Ando's inspiration and journey in inventing instant ramen in post-war Japan to feed the hungry. I love this book!
What a sweet little history book! Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando is a good story to get readers thinking about creative problem-solving and persistence. Additionally, it's a pleasure to read (or be read to) and I'd recommend this book to older readers and adults in addition to the 'regular' picture book crowd.

The illustrations are lovely and expressive, and this book has nice spacing/balance of words to pictures. Author's note and additional info at the end (including a pronunciation
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn’t love Ramen?! Well, dive right into this fabulous book about the man behind the popular soup!
Magic Ramen- The Story of Momofuko Ando by is an inspiring story of hard work, perseverance and failure!
Ando recognized a problem “the world is peaceful only when everyone has enough to eat..” and so made it his mission to create a dish that was accessible, nutritious, belly-filling for all people! After many failed attempts he found the way and such has become one of the most eaten foods
Momofuku Ando was moved by the plight of poor, hungry people in Japan after WWII, when even a bowl of ramen was difficult to afford. He was determined to find a way for everyone to enjoy a healthy meal of noodles and broth at a low cost. He began experimenting with various noodle and soup recipes, trying to create something both delicious and nutritious. Just when he thought he would never get them right, his wife's cooking gave him an idea that helped him solve his problem. Instant ramen noodle ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: k-3rd grade
This made me hungry for ramen. Very good at showing persistence, how trial and error works while inventing. The artwork fits well and the page layouts provide variety while pacing the reading. Some graphic novel-type panels, full page art, full two-page spreads. When artwork extends over the entire two-page spreads, elements usually lead the viewer -- Ando lit up while viewing the nighttime line for ramen which ends with the server and soup lit up; dough becomes noodles and a strand leads to ...more
Laurie Hnatiuk
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is such a fascinating story of something we are all familiar with - ramen noodles. As a reader we do not learn a great deal about its inventor Momofuku Ando other than he sees a need for food after the devastation of Japan after WWII. He believes that if people can be fed they can be at peace and move forward to tackle other problems. And this is where he decides to make a food that can be stored easily, flavourful and economical. What this story really demonstrates is how persistence and ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love stories that tell of events in history that happened to help people in war torn countries. This is the making of ramen noodles for people to make it and eat it in minutes. He invents something to feed the people that doesn't work on the first try but takes a lot of tries and fails before it is a success. Momofuku Ando saw a need among the poor and hungry in Japan and worked to satisfy the people with a nutritious dish which he was still improving in 2005 to work in space and with less ...more
Lynn  Davidson
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Post World War II left much of Osaka, Japan, in ruins and people were very hungry. Momofuku Ando wanted to make something that would be more nutritious than the ramen noodle soup they got to eat. With that in mind, years later he tried over and over to make noodles that were just right, and after a year's efforts he came up with what people called Magic Ramen. It is what we now can buy as instant noodles with vitamins and vegetables in it, a healthy meal.
This is a very well told and interesting
Kate Hastings
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: multicultural
Grades 1-3. Biography, narrative nonfiction. A story of creativity and perseverance. Momofuku saw impoverished people who had a hard time finding a healthy meal. He wanted to find something that tasted good and was easy to cook (just add water). After years of experimenting with recipes he finally figured out what he needed to do and his product was a huge success. Now Nissen foods!

Not particularly riveting, this story is interesting especially if you have foodies/inventors. It's also an
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got this book because I thought my students (a lot of Japanese kids) would enjoy it. They loved it! Not only are the illustrations cute, but the story is clear and easy to follow (even for my English learners)! It is so refreshing to read a biography that more contemporary and more closely reflects my students. This book sparked so much conversation about ramen, history, and personal connections. It's so popular with my students, I had to get a second copy to supply the demand to borrow it!
Wanting to make ramen accessible to most people, Ando went to work in creating instant ramen-- what most people assume ramen has always been.

Toil and tenacity work well in his back shed to figure out the right amount of ingredients and then additional items to make it the ramen we know today. A neatly packaged picture book biography that would compliment Asian history, manga, biographies, inventors, etc.
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My students and I loved this book! It's the story of the inventor of instant ramen, Momofuku Ando, and how Ando invented instant ramen, following the devastation of WWII. It's a story of grit, determination, and the desire to make people's lives better. The illustrations were captivating, and after I read the story aloud, I noticed my emerging readers retelling the story to themselves through the pictures.

Sophia Gholz
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful story of perseverance and determination. Urbanowicz’s delightful illustrations transport the reader to post-war Japan, while Wang takes us on an inspiring adventure. Follow Momofuku Ando and his dream of feeding the poor and hungry in this captivating story. Informative back matter provides an excellent resource for parents, teachers and librarians alike. Magic Ramen is a fun read that will make a fantastic addition to all bookshelves.
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Andrea Wang is the author of the picture books THE NIAN MONSTER (Albert Whitman & Co., 2016) and MAGIC RAMEN (Little Bee Books, forthcoming in 2019). She has also written seven nonfiction children's books for the library and educational market.

A former environmental consultant, Andrea likes to write about science, food, and far-off lands. Potato chips and chocolate are her kryptonite.