Cora loves the smells and sounds of cooking in the kitchen! Her Mama cooks delicious Filipino food while her older siblings help by slicing vegetables and stirring noodles. When she gets her chance to help Mama in the kitchen, Cora does a great job, impressing her family with the pancit dish that was Grandpa’s recipe.
Before, During and After Reading
Introduce the book to your child. Read aloud the title of the book, sweeping your finger under the words as you read the title, the author, and the illustrator. Talk about the jobs of the author and the illustrator. Encourage your child to talk about what she sees on the cover of the book, and ask her what she thinks Cora is doing. Pancit, a Filipino noodle dish, may be an unfamiliar word; the story will go into more detail about what it is and how to make it.
Discuss what you read and see. The story follows Cora and her desire to help Mama in the kitchen. As it unfolds, the book connects Cora to the history and traditions of her family. Talk about family stories, recipes and other traditions — some may even be the same as in Cora’s family. Talk about the illustrations and ask your child if she can identify things she sees on the page.
Names of Filipino foods and other Filipino words are italicized. A glossary near the end of the book provides explanations and pronunciation tips.
Discuss what happens in the story. By the end of the story, Cora is successful in helping her Mama make pancit. She grows in her abilities, her confidence, and in her connections to family and culture. Pancit may resemble a food made or eaten at your home, like spaghetti or ramen noodles. Discuss the foods your family cooks and eats. If there are special dishes, talk about what makes them special.
On the last page of the book is a full recipe for pancit. With your child, think of a dish you and/or your family cook that you both like to eat. Give some paper and crayons, colored pencils, and/or markers to your child and help her write out the name of the dish and the ingredients used to make it. Help her write step-by-step instructions, and encourage her to draw pictures that illustrate each step of the recipe. After she’s finished, if there’s time, make the dish together. Talk about what you’re doing as you make the dish, and point out the steps in the recipe.
For more stories about foods, read these books:
Explore other recommended children’s books and reading activities for five-year-olds, or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.