Reading books about stone soup, and green eggs and ham were entertaining and fun when I was young, but as a Korean-American kid who grew up eating westernized suburban fare and injeolmi toast from my birth country, they barely resembled my culture and definitely didn’t reflect my family’s dinner table.
Still, I never questioned the lack of representation and the implications it had on my understanding of my own culture until I read Bee-bim-bop! last year as a full-grown adult. It’s a beautiful peek inside the vibrant and sensory details that make up a typical Korean-American family dinner, and resembled all the scents, sights, and sounds of a regular night at the Lee household growing up. Though I hate to admit how long it took me to find this book, I’m grateful for authors like Linda Sue Park who make me feel seen and proud of my culture.