Bee-Bim Bop, by author Linda Sue Park and illustrator Ho Baek Lee, is an adorable, sing-songy book about cooking this favorite (at least one of my favorite) Korean dishes, bee-bim bop, which means mixed-up rice in Korean. It’s no surprise the book was chosen in 2009 by the public libraries of New York as one of the top 20 favorite stories to read aloud because of its catchy rhythm.
Beginning with a trip to the grocery store, mother and daughter then return home to cook. Through rhyme, the book introduces us to the ingredients that go into making bee-bim bop and shows a little girl helping her mom in the kitchen including cleaning up her spilled water and setting the table; books that demonstrate helping and working together are always a plus for me.
The main verse is woven throughout (with a few variations):
“Hungry hungry hungry
for some bee-bim bop”
is guaranteed to have your kids repeating it! But unlike other stories with a potentially annoying refrain, it was pretty cute to hear my non-Korean-speaking kids going around chanting “bee-bim bop.” The book ends with the parents, their two kids, and a grandmother mixing up their bee-bim bop around the dinner table.
An added bonus is a recipe for bee-bim bop at the end of the book, crafted in a way for you to make it with your kids; it’s directed to “you” and includes cooking instructions for a “grown-up.” I can’t wait to see if this book will have an influence on my kids wanting bee-bim bop next time we eat Korean.