Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park

Picture Book Around the World: Reading Through Korea I’m working hard on my Picture Book Around the World sequel to Picture Book Preschool, my preschool read aloud curriculum for homeschooling your preschooler or kindergartner. This week at Semicolon, we’re going to be visiting Korea through the medium of a treasure trove of picture books featuring that country and its children.

What do you think of when you think of Korean food? Since I don’t really know much about Korean cuisine, the only things that come to mind are rice and kimchi. At least, those were the only Korean dishes I knew anything about—until I read about Bee-Bim Bop.

Bee-bim bop means “mix mix rice”, and the child in this rhythmical, rollicking story is hungry hungry hungry/for some bee-bim bop!”, a Korean dish made with egg, veggies, a little meat, and rice. Of course, the real aloud time with this book must, must, must be followed up with a cooking adventure making Bee-Bim Bop. Fortunately, there’s a recipe in the back of the book. (Or here’s an internet recipe, called Bibimbap. Apparently, Korean spelling is somewhat flexible.)

You can get this book on the Kindle, but the layout is odd. The pages keep getting repeated, first in small print, and then with the same words in larger print. I don’t know why Amazon would let the book show up in this unwieldy formatting, but at any rate, I’d advise searching out a hard copy of the book to enjoy with your preschool or primary age student.

Whatever the format, I do recommend Ms. Park’s happy story of a Korean family shopping for and cooking a family favorite. The illustrations by Ho Baek Lee. a resident of Seoul, South Korea, are cartoonish enough to fit with the upbeat tone of the story and realistic enough to give children a family with whom to identify. The entire experience of reading this book aloud makes me hungry, hungry, hungry for some bee-bim bop!

Other reviews: Cynsations by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Dashing Bean, Betsy at Fuse #8, Fiction Addict.

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