Karen Chan’s What’s That? – released this week – is a heartwarming children’s book focused on kindness and friendship.  The HonestlyYUM food blogger tells the tale of a young boy and the Chinese food his grandmother makes for him and embracing his family’s food traditions.

Jax loves the food his family cooks. But when his grandmother packs his favorite Chinese dishes for his first day of school, Jax discovers his lunch looks very different from what the rest of his classmates are eating. Embarrassed to eat his food, Jax finds himself sitting alone. When Meena sits next to him, the two strike up an unexpected friendship over their lunches, sharing a mutual joy of time spent in the kitchen and the meals they eat with their families. What’s That?

“I remember one time my dad packed me a lunch with rousong, which is dried shredded pork floss,” Chan, a South Bay native, tells L.A. Weekly. “It’s hard to describe, but think of it as pork jerky that’s shredded into a light, fluffy cotton. Yes, pretty strange. I loved that stuff growing up, but was mortified when I saw it in my lunch!”

Chan, who now lives in Silver Lake, went to law school in Los Angeles and spent her childhood driving out to the San Gabriel Valley for Chinese food and stocking up on Chinese groceries with her family.

“Nowadays, there are so many good restaurants in SGV, I can’t even keep up with the latest dim sum or hot pot place,” she says. “My knowledge of Los Angeles has been fully informed by its food too, whether it’s getting Persian kabobs in Westwood or Soondubu in Ktown or pupusas in Westlake. I love that you can travel the world without leaving the city.”

One dollar from the sale of every book will go to First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise focused on equal access to quality education for kids in need and provides educators with brand new, high-quality books, educational resources, and other essentials to help kids learn.

Sure, Christmas and Hanukkah are supposed to be full of laughter, generosity and quality time with friends and family. But everyone knows the truth – the holidays are stressful at best and downright depressing at worst. Miserable Holiday Stories (20 Festive Failures That Are Worse Than Yours) by Alex Bernstein offers tongue-in-cheek escapism in the form of offbeat, thought-provoking tales. 

The collection of 20 short stories by the staff writer on the new Discovery Kids cartoon The Dog & Pony Show features Jewish Elvis impersonators, a kidnapped Santa Claus, confused parents, horrific holiday traffic and unbreakable toys.

Tales include:

  • “Blue Christmas”
  • “Coloring Books”
  • “The Unbreakable Toy”
  • “The Smoking Lounge”
  • “Brownie Mix” 
  • “The #$@!# Bicycle Boys Save Christmas, Again!” (Also released as a single on Amazon)

 

 

 

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