|Hundred years of happiness|
Author: Lai, Thanhha
An's grandmother Ba sometimes gets trapped in her cloudy memories. An and her grandfather, Ong, come up with a plan to bring her back to a happy moment: they grow gac fruits so they can make xoi gac, Ba's favorite dish from her wedding in Vietnam many years ago.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Quang, Nguyen|
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School Library Journal (+) (04/01/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2022 K-Gr 3—An's grandmother, Bà, can no longer remember. An spends time after school with Bà, feeding her sweet fruit and singing a forgotten song about a baby elephant. An's grandfather, Ông, is devoted to his wife, thinking of ways to remind her of herself. Enlisting An's help, Ông plants seeds, hoping to grow the vines that will render the special fruit used in Vietnamese sticky rice. This dish holds a special place in the family history, as it was eaten at the couple's long-ago wedding as family wished them a "Hundred Years of Happiness." An and Ông lovingly tend their vines, eventually rewarded with the prickly orange fruit. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, Bà is presented with the rich, red treat. For a moment, and only a moment, Bà's memory rises to the surface. While An is disappointed, Ông is ready to start again, if only to recover one more small moment. The illustrations are soft and lovely, connecting the family's journey to the growth of the lush green vines. The bittersweet sorrow of watching a loved one deal with memory loss is palpable in the lyrical text but ultimately the story celebrates every moment of joy. VERDICT At once a lifelong love story between husband and wife, a tribute to the sweetness of multigenerational connections, and a celebration of Vietnamese cultural traditions and cuisine, this title should find a home in every collection.—Alyssa Annico - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/15/2022 In this story of an intergenerational Vietnamese family, An and her grandfather go through the laborious process of cultivating fruit to try to revive her grandmother’s memories, which are fading due to dementia. They plant the seeds of orange-red melons called gãc fruits, with the goal of making grandmother’s favorite dish from her wedding, gãc sticky rice. There’s a chance that eating it will help her remember her wedding wish for 100 years of happiness. They soak seeds, grow the vines, and wait months for fruit to ripen. Cooking isn’t easy, either. But when it’s ready, a bite brings grandmother a flood of memories—that soon fade. An and her grandfather start the process anew. The vivid and emotional illustrations bring to life the tender relationship between An and her grandparents. This tale of hard work to achieve a brief moment of hope, woven in with the story of the life cycle of gãc vines, will be a special one for young readers, inviting them to meditate on the arc of life—and the deliciousness of sticky rice. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.