Maggie's Chopsticks (Hardcover)

By Alan Woo, Isabelle Malenfant (Illustrator)

Kids Can Press, 9781554536191, 32pp.

Publication Date: August 1, 2012

List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In this lovely picture book, a young girl named Maggie gets her own pair of chopsticks. Now everyone insists on telling her how to use them. Her grandmother says, ?Do it like me!? while she rapidly works her old wooden sticks with a ?click-clack-clicketing.? Her sister instructs, ?Be graceful like this!? as she crosses her pair ?back and forth, like legs, dancing.? But it's no use. No matter how hard Maggie practices to be like the others, they keep telling her she's doing it wrong! Frustrated, Maggie asks her cat, the Kitchen God and her ancestors what she should do. Finally, her father gently tells Maggie just what she needs to hear. ?Everyone is different. Everyone is unique,? he tells her. ?You hold your chopsticks perfectly.?

Author Alan Woo uses a poetic style to tell a timeless story about self-discovery and identity. It offers an inspiring message to young children about the importance of being true to yourself as you navigate the challenges of growing up. The rich illustrations by Isabelle Malenfant add depth to the spare text, capturing the family dynamics between the different personalities and beautifully portraying details of a traditional Chinese New Year gathering. This book is a wonderful resource for social studies lessons on world cultures, particularly on family traditions and celebrations. It makes a perfect read-aloud during classroom observances of Chinese New Year. A few Chinese words are included within the story, with translations and phonetic spellings provided in the front of the book.

About the Author

Alan Woo's writing and poetry have appeared in Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine and Ricepaper magazine. Maggie's Chopsticks is his first children's book. Born in the Year of the Dragon, Alan lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, and sometimes likes to use a fork.

Isabelle Malenfant has illustrated more than a dozen children's books, garnering awards along the way. Maggie's Chopsticks is her first book with Kids Can Press. Isabelle first learned to use chopsticks when she was eight years old. She lives in Montreal, Quebec, with her family.

Praise For Maggie's Chopsticks

... a great choice for kids of all ethnic backgrounds.—School Library Journal

... the story is well-intentioned, the character plucky and hardworking, and the illustrations warm and striking.—Kirkus Reviews