PPBF: Tofu Takes Time

It's dewberry season and that spells Kolaches in our home.

And like with these Kolaches from start to finish, deliciousness takes time! It means putting on our boots and grabbing walking sticks to head out to find these tasty treasures growing wild along fence lines. It means watching out for yellow jackets (yes, I got stung!), spiders and snakes while searching for the fruit from ground-creeping bushes riddled with thorns so that we can pick them fresh and bring them home by the bucket.

It means setting the yeast dough and giving it time to rise, making the berry compote to fill the Kolaches, rolling out the dough when it's ready, filling the pockets with cooled compote, topping with a buttery streusel, and baking them to golden-brown perfection. 

*Hint: It also means eating them warm for the freshest flavor!

Guess what else takes the better part of a day?
Enter today's PPBF.

Title: Tofu Takes Time
Author: Helen H. Wu
Illustrator: Julie Jarema
Publisher: Beaming Books
Birth Date: April 19, 2022
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes: patience, family time, tradition
Brief synopsis: Lin and NaiNai are tackling traditional tofu; will the lessons that simmer while they wait last a lifetime?
Opening page: Today I'm making tofu with NaiNai. All from strach! "Let's see if you are patient enough to make tofu," NaiNai says, rinsing soybeans into a big bowl. Plink. Plank. Plunk. 
"That doesn't look like tofu?" I say. "It looks like seeds."
"You're right! Making tofu takes time," NaiNai says. 

Resources: Read a review {here}.
Enjoy an author interview {here}.
Watch the book trailer {here}.

Why I like this book: Perfectly timed for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, this tiny treasure will undoubtedly yield tasty results as its readers experience what it means when we say that "good things come to those who wait!" I savored all of the stuff that Lin learns about everything that's involved (including the stakeholders!) for those soy beans to transform into tofu, stuff like "And it takes seeds from soil, rain, and the sunshine." and "And it takes cloth, from thread and fiber."  She gleans a beautiful appreciation for the process while she discovers the delightful bonus of spending time with her grandma as it cooks. My favorite line? And it takes ingredients to dance together. Doesn't that line just BEG you to drop what you're doing and have a dance party?

After you're done dancing, let this text serve as a springboard for a 
classroom collection of traditional culinary favorites into a cookbook.

Ask them to write their own story about a kitchen creation that takes time,
about a time that they've learned patience and perseverance, then
host a book tasting so they can share their stories along with savory
samples of the goodness that they've cooked up together.

For our younger learners, think about interviewing them about
their moms or grandmas and a favorite treat that connects them.
Look at what Joshua made for me in first grade:

He's 23 and this STILL hangs in our dining room.

Prepare to find out why Lin says that "happiness fills my belly."
Check it out then head to Susanna Hill's blog for the other PPBF picks.


  1. Oh, I love that this shows different parts of the process! I’ll have to look for this one!

  2. Helen's book is so delightful and I love that the grandmother is imparting a skill and teaching patience! I'm glad to see you highlighting it Barbara. Thanks!


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!