How My Parents Learned to Eat

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Bibliographic Information: Friedman, I. R., & Say, A. (1984). How My Parents Learned to Eat. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Brief Annotation: A Japanese schoolgirl and an American sailor stationed in Yokohama meet and want to enjoy a meal together, but cannot because of their fear of different eating styles. With help from family and friends, they each learn the others culture and are able to enjoy a meal together.

Genre: Fantasy

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this: Readers who like to eat; readers with a Japanese background

Rating/Response: 4 An important message on culture and respect is shared through this charming story of two individuals simply sharing a meal. Not only does this book teach readers the basic traditions of Japanese and American meal rituals, but it also shows the value of compromise and harmony that can be shared between diversities. 

One question you would ask before a read aloud: (Have a set of chopsticks and silverware) “Who can tell me what these two things have in common?”

Reading Strategy: Social Studies

Rationale for Strategy: This book is a great tool for introducing students to different cultures and traditions shared around the world.

Posted by: Sammi Keller

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