Reviews + Features

“This picture book had me laughing out loud and cracking up. Jenny’s experience of struggling to do something and feeling behind others her age is so relatable, and the way she uses creativity and trial-and-error to solve her problem is inspiring and empowering, showing kids that it’s okay to fail as you learn and grow. I also love that this is a celebratory and fun picture book with incidental diversity where identity is not the focus or an issue.”

~Kristie C., Associate Editor, Atheneum/Simon & Schuster on Tricky Chopsticks

Chen’s use of onomatopoeia (represented in both English and Mandarin characters) perfectly conveys Jenny’s frustrations, while Liem’s appealing cartoon illustrations capture Jenny’s experiments in chopstick re-engineering with slapstick humor and cleverness. Young chopstick users will find comfort in this story about a common rite of passage, but all readers will be delighted by Jenny’s problem-solving prowess... A funny, relatable tale about the value of creative thinking and persistence.

~Kirkus Reviews (read the full review here)

Cooking with STEAM: Jenny, a Chinese American girl, is clueless when it comes to eating with chopsticks, a skill that everyone else in her family has mastered. With some experimental tinkering — she reengineers the utensil — and critical thinking, she just might be able to level up in time for her family's annual chopsticks challenge, scheduled to unfold at her cousin's approaching birthday banquet.

~"Foodwise lists" by Summer Edward, The Horn Book (read the full roundup here)

An enjoyable story of perseverance, ingenuity, and dim sum.”

~Cortney's Picks, Changing Hands Bookstore in Arizona (read the recommendation and Cortney's full list of picks here)

After reading this book, you’ll be inspired to hold your own Chopsticks Challenge. Author Sylvia Chen remembers her mom challenging her to pick up wet marbles with chopsticks. Chen’s son still had trouble with chopsticks, but he was extra motivated to get comfortable by the time the book came out in March. (He did!)

~"Read through AAPI Month in May" by JiaYing Grygiel, Seattle's Child (read the full article here)

Author Sylvia Chen and illustrator Fanny Lien have created a joyful picture book that speaks to the power of perseverance and the sweet smell of success when all your hard work pays off. Jenny’s story will resonate with many kids and families faced with daunting tasks. Chen shares the inspiration behind this story and includes a challenge for readers to try. An ideal title to use for STEAM-related projects.

~Laura Frantz, collection development librarian, Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (read the full review here)