Book review: No Kimchi for Me!, by Aram Kim

Kim, Aram. No Kimchi for Me! Holiday House, 2017. Unpaged. $16.95. ISBN 9780823437627. Ages 3-7. P7Q8

I enjoyed reading this book about Yoomi, who hates kimchi (a fermented vegetable condiment very common in Korea). Her brothers tease her about it and call her a baby, so she tries to make herself eat the fiery side dish by hiding it on other foods like chocolate chip cookies and pizza. But to no avail- she really hates it! But then Grandma and Yoomi try another idea- they make a kimchi pancake, and amazingly, she likes it! I liked the idea that having Yoomi participate in making the dish helps her to like it. I lived in South Korea for a year, and had a hard time with kimchi at first too- and also learned to like it. The endpapers are bright and fun- at the beginning there are vegetables that commonly go into kimchi, and at the back various styles of kimchi. There is also a recipe for kimchi pancakes for kids who want to try something new.

VERDICT: I think that many children will identify with Yoomi in hating a food that others expect her to like- it brought back memories of trying to make myself eat Lutefisk (a Norwegian Christmas tradition in my family).

February 2018 review by Carol Schramm.