Life is pretty hectic around here…my husband has been having heart issues and they are doing a cardiac catherization at Mass General in Boston today…which is where I am right now!
But I didn’t want to miss Perfect Picture Book Friday…especially since the author of this book is going to be our guest on Will Write for Cookies tomorrow. I’m reprising the review of her amazing nonfiction picture book that I featured last year because it’s a fabulous mentor text for all of my pb writer friends, because it’s a great read for young kids, and because next month it will be awarded the National Council of Social Studies’ Carter G. Woodson Award. Here’s the link.
MOUNTAIN CHEF: How One Man Lost His Groceries, Changed His Plans, and Helped Cook Up the National Park Service
Written by Annette Bay Pimentel
Illustrated by Rich Lo
Publisher: Charlesbridge (2016)
Discrimination, conservation, National Parks, cooking, ingenuity
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.
Tie Sing was a frontier baby, born high in the mountains in Virginia City, Nevada. Growing up, he breathed crisp Sierra air and scuffed through sagebrush. He learned to write in both English and Chinese.
Why I like this book:
- I love unknown gems of history uncovered by writers who weave great picture book stories for kids.
- This story has so many different levels…National Parks, racial discrimination, conservation, cooking, ingenuity, courage…parents and teachers can use it as a springboard for many different discussions.
- Wonderful illustrations that help you feel you are camping right alongside Tie Sing.
- Last summer was the 100th anniversary of the National Park System: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/index.htm
- If you have a National Park in your area, why not plan a day trip. When we lived in Colorado, we often drove 2+ hours to get to Rocky Mountain National Park…in the summer, we’d fish…in the fall, we’d stroll around Estes Park, the town right at one of the park’s entrances, where elk would walk up and down the streets…and in winter, we’d go up for a weekend and stay at one of the local lodges in the park…to snowshoe and cross country ski during the day and soak in the outdoor hot tub in the evening.
- Fortune Cookies
Photo courtesy: Taste of Home
Have you ever made fortune cookies? The kids will have fun thinking up their own fortunes to put in the cookies.
You can find the recipe here: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/homemade-fortune-cookies
Please leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of this wonderful book…and don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the Q&A with author Annette Bay Pimentel.
To find more picture book reviews, hop over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday page.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!