Monday, January 9, 2017

Mountain Chef

Mountain Chef
by Annette Bay Pimentel

About the Book:

Title: Mountain Chef | Author: Annette Bay Pimentel | Illustrator: Rich Lo | Length: 40 Pages | Genre: True Story | Ages: 6 - 9 | Grade Levels: 1 - 4

A Peek Inside:

Book Description:

The true story of a Chinese American mountain man who fed thirty people for ten days in the wilderness—and helped inspire the creation of the National Park Service.

Tie Sing was born in the mountains. The mountains were in his blood. But because he was of Chinese descent at a time in America when to be Chinese meant working in restaurants or laundries, Tie Sing’s prospects were limited. But he had bigger plans. He began cooking for mapmakers and soon built a reputation as the best trail cook in California.

When millionaire Stephen Mather began his quest to create a national park service in 1915, he invited a group of influential men—writers, tycoons, members of Congress, and even a movie star—to go camping in the Sierras. Tie Sing was hired to cook.

Tie Sing planned diligently. He understood the importance of this trip. But when disaster struck—twice!—and Tie Sing’s supplies were lost, it was his creative spirit and quick mind that saved the day. His sumptuous menus had to be struck and Tie Sing had to start over in order to feed the thirty people in the group for ten whole days. His skills were tested and Tie Sing rose to the challenge.

On the last night, he fed not just the campers' bodies, but also their minds, reminding them to remember and protect the mountains.

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, created by Congress on August 25, 1916.

Today, you can hike to Sing Peak, named for Tie Sing, in Yosemite National Park.

Purchase on Amazon:

My Review:

Mountain Chef is a true story that takes place in 1915 about a Chinese American man named Tie Sing. He helps inspire 30 men over 10 days along wilderness trails to establish a National Park Service with his scrumptious food. While the men climb steep peeks to get the best views and swim in mountain pools, Mr. Sing is planning the next meals. The trip is met with disaster twice when provisions are lost, but that doesn't stop Mr. Sing from keeping the men well fed.

This story teaches the value of hard work, persevering in the face of difficulty, and the importance of protecting our natural wonders.

Amanda and I enjoyed the story very much. It was well written with appropriate vocabulary for older children. The water color illustrations were of the highest standard. There are also some original photos with further historical facts at the end of the story for those who want to learn more.

I highly recommend this book for children ages 6 to 9.

Mountain Chef is a great reminder that eating outside is a wonderful way to enjoy nature. In the photo above, Amanda is having a picnic in our garden with a friend. Sometimes we use a picnic blanket, but this time we took out a little table and chairs. The girls decorated the table with play food too.

Last year she had a picnic with us at Cape Town's National Botanical Garden and several times at our local one. During the Christmas holiday, her grandma organized a picnic for all of us at a nature reserve on South Africa's West Coast. From our picnic table we could see the beach and dolphins swimming in the waves.

Mountain Chef also inspires children to learn about making delicious meals. In the photo below, Amanda made her own creative play dough meal adding in bits of garden plants. She also helps me sometimes in the kitchen and knows how to read a recipe.

About the Author:
Annette Bay Pimentel

Annette Bay Pimentel loves research! For this book she spent almost a week at the Bancroft Library in Berkeley, California, paging through photo albums and reading old magazines and newspapers. She also went to Yosemite to talk to ranger Yenyen Chan,, the authority on Chinese American contributions to the park. Annette lives with her family in Moscow, Idaho.

About the Illustrator:
Rich Lo

Rich Lo's family emigrated from Hong Kong to the United States when he was seven years old. Like Tie Sing, Rich speaks both English and Chinese, loves good cooking, and believes in doing your best at whatever you do. Rich grew up in Chicago, where he still lives and works today.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.
Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Links of Interest:

Multicultural Children's Book Day

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers
(limited supply - open until February 2017)

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for
Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians
and Educators

Diversity Book Lists and Activities
for Teachers and Parents

Disclosure: I received a free Kindle version of this book for my honest review.

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