Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic

:: Home :: About the Authors :: About Soybeans ::

:: Art Shows/Book Events :: Awards/Reviews :: Ordering/Contact ::

2012 Society of Illustrators Juried Exhibition

            One of the original plates from our book will be on display in New York, Oct 24 -  Dec 22.


Named a Highly Commended title by the 2013 Charlotte Zolotow Award Committee


Selected for the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom Project 2013

The Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom program is excited to showcase ‘Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic’ with classrooms across the state.  Not only is it a great story with beautiful artwork, but it also features accurate information about Soybeans!   The role of farmers across generations and how soy can be used as animal feed and in many unique aspects helps bring this magical bean to life! (Kevin Daugherty, Education Director, Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom)

 Lee and Low Books 2012

Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program Book Dragon by Terry Hong (excerpt)

Based on the real-life memories of two sisters growing up Chinese American in the Midwest … Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic is definitely one of those heartwarming multi-generational family tales you’ll want to share again and again.

As entertaining as the story is – just adorable, for sure! – Picnic‘s uniqueness-factor belongs definitely to the whimsical, delightful art. Younger sister Beth Lo is a ceramic artist who created a series of handmade, hand-painted ceramic plates to illustrate … Ginnie’s text!

Talk about a cultural dish! WOW!

Kids Book Central: 5 out of 5 by Francesca Amendolia (excerpt)

AUNTIE YANG’S GREAT SOYBEAN PICNIC by Ginnie Lo tells the story of a small soybean picnic (just a couple of families and a couple of quarts of soybeans taken from a local field) and how it grew to become a huge annual event, with hundreds of families gathering to eat thousands and thousands of soybeans.

Beth Lo's illustrations are especially fascinating. They’re actually painted on plates, and then photographed. ... the illustrations and cheerful narrative voice create a child-sized world for a curious reader to explore.

... the story is pitch perfect, and one well worth sharing with a class, or a child, perhaps with a bowl of edamame to snack on while you read.

Booklist: Starred Review (excerpt)

"Historical fiction, at its best, makes the specific universal. Here that happens in the story of two sisters, Jinyi and Pei, who live in a small Indiana town in the 1950s. …This heartfelt story (based on the authors’ childhoods) is absolutely delicious. Readers will feel a kinship with the young cousins, who are isolated at first, but soon become the center of an annual tradition. Adding an extra layer of charm to the story is the unique artwork. Beth Lo is a ceramic artist, and she painted the illustrations on plates that fill the pages. The winsome pictures, drawn with a childlike charm, capture the warmth of family, friendship, and food. “

Kirkus Reviews: Starred Review (excerpt)

"More warm family memories from the Chinese-American creators of Mahjong All Day Long (2005), with cheery illustrations painted on ceramic plates… The simply drawn scenes of busy, festive groups reflect the narrative’s happy tone, and they are capped with old snapshots from past gatherings in the afterword. The pleasure of finding unexpected links between a new country and the old suffuses this autobiographical outing."



School Library Journal: Starred Review (excerpt)

"Ginnie Lo draws on her own memories to share a sunny tale about the
value of family and community. Adding fullness to the narrative,
wonderfully appropriate to the content, and paying homage to China’s rich
art history, Beth Lo’s series of hand-painted porcelain plates serve as the
book’s illustrations. The soft, rounded compositions and earthy shades create
feelings of easy comfort and warmth, and are a joy to behold...."

"This is a stellar title that will rest comfortably next to acclaimed picture-book memoirs by Allen Say, Peter Sís, and Uri Shulevitz."


Publishers Weekly (excerpt)

"In the second book from these sibling collaborators (following Mahjong All Day Long), Chinese-American Jinyi and her family are visiting their Auntie and Uncle Yang outside Chicago. While on a drive, the extended family discovers a soybean field … and they share their first “soybean picnic,” which becomes a new tradition. Lo echoes the message about the importance of personal heritage with her engrossing domestic scenes, painted on glazed porcelain plates. Each expressive composition stands alone, but together they provide an intimate chronicle of a multigenerational family."

Copyright Ginnie and Beth Lo. Website designed by Sawitree Wisetchat.