Sunday, September 9, 2018

Mooncake Recipe

Some people have lamented that I didn't include a mooncake recipe in A Big Mooncake for Little Star.  There's a few reasons why I didn't-- there wasn't really enough room in the book to fit it in and mooncakes are  pretty difficult to make. I actually don't know anyone (not even my grandmother) who actually makes mooncakes, everyone I know just buys them. 

That said, if you do want to give it a shot, there is another children's book, The Shadow in the Moon by Christine Matula & illustrated by Pearl Law about the Moon Festival that does include a mooncake recipe.  To make a traditional looking mooncake, you will need a mooncake mold with the designs; but you can also use a silicone cookie mold to have it look more like the smooth cookie from A Big Mooncake for Little Star:
Mooncakes with Red-Bean Filling (from The Shadow in the Moon)
Ingredients
4 tbsp golden syrup (light corn syrup)
water mixture of 1tsp water & 1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
3tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 small can (200 g) sweetened red bean paste
egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp of water)

1. In a large bowl, mix golden syrup, water picture, vanilla and old, then add flour. Mix gently. Knead the dough for a minute and set aside for 40 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F
3. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a cylinder (1 inches in diameter) and cut into 12 equal pieces.
4. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten with your hand to make a small circle, not too thin.
5. Place a large rounded spoonful of the red bean pasties the center of each dough circle, wrap it, in the seams, then gently roll it into a ball shape. 
6. Place each ball in the mooncake mold and press. Transfer the mooncakes to a baking sheet.
7. Bake the mooncakes for 7 minutes, remove from the oven and brush on the egg wash with a baking brush.
8. Place the baking sheet back int he oven and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes, the remove from baking sheets.
9. Serve when cool.


*See all the Mooncake Activites I have available HERE!
And don't forget to share a photo of A Big Mooncake for Little Star on twitter* or instagram* with the #BigMooncake4LittleStar and to win one of these scarves!

A Big Mooncake Show



If you came to my book launch (thank you so much for coming!), you would have seen the real Little Star and I do what she calls "The Show." The Show is really just a little interactive readers' theater that you can do yourself! Below is the downloadable script.

 
Readers Theater
On the opening pages, Mama and Little Star are making a Big Mooncake in their kitchen. Here are some suggested ways to involve your read aloud audience from endpaper to endpaper.
DOWNLOAD Big Mooncake for Little Star: Readers Theater (PDF)


Of course, the huge mooncake prop that Little Star and I used for the show is a bit more elaborate than what you have to do! Here is a smaller, paper version that you can use:
Moon Nibble
This activity allows you to remove (and nibble) the phases of the moon just like Little Star. This activity pairs well with the Reader’s Theater.
DOWNLOAD Big Mooncake for Little Star: Moon Nibble (PDF)

*See all the Mooncake Activites I have available HERE!
And don't forget to share a photo of A Big Mooncake for Little Star on twitter* or instagram* with the #BigMooncake4LittleStar and to win one of these scarves!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Make a Big Mooncake Phase Viewer!



Spoiler! In A Big Mooncake for Little Star someone is making the moon change shape! Thanks to the brilliant minds at Curious City, you, too, can do it. Using the download and these instruction make your own Moon Phase viewer!

  DOWNLOAD THE CRAFT HERE! And in case you need some help, watch the instructional video:




See all the Mooncake Activites I have available HERE!
And don't forget to share a photo of A Big Mooncake for Little Star on twitter* or instagram* with the #BigMooncake4LittleStar and to win one of these scarves!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

behind A Big Mooncake For Little Star


If you couldn't tell, A Big Mooncake for Little Star is a book very dear to my heart.  I began illustrating it with election despair and finished painting it with attempting bravery. So there is so much in this book about my daughter, being American, and finding my own way in this book. Here's a video that kind of covers it all:


Book Chat with the Illustrator: Grace Lin on A BIG MOONCAKE FOR LITTLE STAR from LB School on Vimeo.


*See all the Mooncake Activites I have available HERE!
And don't forget to share a photo of A Big Mooncake for Little Star on twitter* or instagram* with the #BigMooncake4LittleStar and to win one of these scarves!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Make the Little Star Mobile!




A Big Mooncake for Little Star came out yesterday and I'm still celebrating! In fact, I'll be celebrating all the way to November when I announce the winners of the those Little Star Moon scarves! Want to make your photo extra special? Or just want to beautify a room? How about a Little Star Mobile?

 

Yes, with help from the genius minds of Curious City,  you can download instructions to create this  adorable Little Star mobile!  Click HERE for the download the Little Star Mobile craft.


*See all the Mooncake Activites I have available HERE!
And don't forget to share a photo of A Big Mooncake for Little Star on twitter* or instagram* with the #BigMooncake4LittleStar and to win one of these scarves!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Happy Birthday to Little Star!



Today is the day! A Big Mooncake for Little Star is now available! To celebrate, I had 8 lovely (even if I do say so myself) infinity scarves made with art from the book! And one could be yours!


All you have to do is share a photo of A Big Mooncake for Little Star on twitter* or instagram* with the #BigMooncake4LittleStar and you are entered into a random drawing! Brownie points given to those most creative (and tag me @pacylin)! Winners announced here 11/20/2018!!!


*if you are not on twitter or instagram, you can still enter via Facebook! just tag me @authorGraceLin

Monday, August 27, 2018

question

Would you be embarrassed
of the station wagon
and the pitched roof house
So far from
The building of glass
that would glow
like a jewel box at night

Would you cringe
at the flowered curtains
and the plastic toys, mislaid shoes, marker drawings
strewn like fallen leaves
So far from
Lines of clean marble
and white Saarinen chairs
creating Matisse masterpiece shadows

Would you scoff at
dreams of
chickens and sunflowers
fuzzy pajamas and solitary walks in snow
So far from
Ambitions of
accolades and magnum opi monographs
black dresses and safe deposit boxed jewels

Would you be ashamed
Or
Would you have changed
Like I did?
5/30/72-8/27/07



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

on the PBS NewsHour again!





Yes, even though my last opinion didn't go over so well, I dared to do it again! I was on the PBS Newshour last night, talking about why "Why Our Culture is a Seed, Not a Treasure."

Of course, some people are already misinterpreting it, saying I want immigrants to assimilate by forgetting their culture--which, hopefully, long-time readers of my work know is not true. Like the stories in my books and myself, I believe we need flexibility--that we need to use our past to grow from, not as something to cling to.

But you are, of course, welcome to your own humble opinion!


Transcript:

Many of my books integrate Chinese traditions and adapted folk tales, so Asian parents with American-born children often ask me, how can I make my child be Chinese?
And I have to tell them, your child will never be Chinese. By being born here and living here, your child will always be Chinese-American. And that is hard for those who are afraid of losing their culture.

And I completely sympathize, because I feel the same way. It’s why I write the books that I do. Our culture, our heritage is a part of who we are. We use it to claim our identity, so we can find true belonging in a group.

It’s why I let my child believe that Santa might be wearing red because it’s a Chinese lucky color.

But if we treat our cultural heritage as something that can’t change, if we feel threatened when time and other cultures rub against it, we make our lives smaller.

An Italian-American friend of mine once told me how her relatives ostracized her when she divorced, because they believed Italians don’t get divorced, oblivious to the fact that, back in Italy, divorce was acceptable.

We cling to a culture that is part of our past, freezing it in our minds, instead of the real flexible culture of our time. This is dangerous, for us as individuals and for our society.

At its most extreme, it leads to clashes, like the violence inflicted on women who resist arranged marriages, or riots over the removal of Confederate statues.

So, let’s stop thinking of our culture as treasure we need to cling to. Instead, let’s think of it as a seed, as something to nurture and cultivate. We should respect and honor it, but we should also let it adapt to its time and surroundings.

When we do that, we allow for unique creations, like black Storm Troopers in “Star Wars” movies, and fortune cookies, which, by the way, do not exist in China. It’s a completely Asian-American invention.

Because the truth is, time and change will always win. And when we cling to our culture to keep it from change, we are, in fact, strangling it to death.

We can’t live forever, but, if it is nurtured, our culture can.