October 21, 2009
Aquafortis and I are always interested in giving props to writers from our neck of the woods. Ying Chang Compenstine, who we interviewed in 2008 about her YA novel, Revolution is Not A Dinner Party (which won 19 literary awards, woot!), is a Bay Area author who has a new picture book out called Dumpling Boy, illustrated by James Yamasaki.
Ying also celebrates the release this month of a collection of Chinese festival-themed ghost stories for older readers, called A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts. Dumpling Boy has a yummy looking simplified recipe for dumplings (Boy-free, the author assures us) which kids can make themselves.
The Hungry Ghost Festival is a festival which occurs on the seventh month in the lunar calendar; apparently at that time, the gates of the underworld open, and unleash the ghosts onto the world for a month so that they can eat. Many Asian and Southeast Asian families leave offerings of food near graves and shrines. If that's not a pre-made setting for a fully creepy collection of stories, I don't know what is...!
Ying is an author who knows the way to her readers' hearts. For the release of her hungry ghost book, she hosted a FOURTEEN COURSE Chinese banquet for her guests. And you just know they had dumplings.
Why am I suddenly starving?
You can find Dumpling Boy or A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts at an independent bookstore near you!