Saturday, December 2, 2023

What's In A Dumpling, Grandma By Linda Meeker

What's in a Dumpling, Grandma?
by Linda Meeker
Illustrated by Sandra Eide
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

As a grandma, I'm always excited to learn about books that encourage these relationships with grandchildren. When I learned more about this book after being reached out to to review the book, I was totally onboard! I was sent the book for review.


From the creator of the TikTok sensation Grey and Mama (@greyandmama, 7.5M followers) and author of Thank You, Mama comes a Vietnamese American family story about a boy who loves to eat adventurously, comfort food, family tradition, and a grandmother's love and wisdom.

Join Grey and his cousin Mila as Grandma teaches them to cook bánh loc, Vietnamese dumplings, and passes down her memories of sharing this heritage comfort food with other loved ones.

This warm-and-toasty picture book for 4-to-8-year-olds

  • celebrates the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild,
  • explores the importance of family history and cultural heritage through the act of passing down a favorite recipe,
  • honors the past while expressing joy for today's memories-in-the-making,
  • features the bright and imaginative artwork of Sandra Eide,
  • offers a recipe for Grey's grandma's famous fish sauce, and
  • includes lots and lots of delicious dumplings!

What's in a Dumpling, Grandma? is the perfect story

  • for families eager to help young children find meaning in family history and tradition;
  • for kids who are interested in cooking; and
  • to give as a gift for a grandparent's birthday, the holidays, Grandparent's Day, and Mother's Day.

This delicious story will leave your mouth watering and your heart full.

My Review:

Being that I'm a grandma, when I looked at what What's in a Dumpling, Grandma? was all about, it tugged at my heartstrings! I realized a couple of important things. First is that my family doesn't have any recipes to pass down on my moms side of the family. On my bio dad's side, I think my aunt Becky learned to make popovers from my grandma. Aside from that, we basically have no heritage to pass on to future generations that go back numerous generations.

The other piece that struck me is how sad it is when traditions and heritage are lost as cultures are assimilated into new ones. I think that's why this storybook for children is so important! Not only is the relationship of grandparent and grandchild a bond that should be forged, but passing down traditions is vital to connect the past to the future.

My lovey and I enjoyed reading the story, learning new words, and watching grandma teach her grandchildren to make dumplings. The illustrations are sweet, and I like how the fonts were used to tell the story. When my son-in-law was reading the book to my granddaughter, it was so sweet to listen to. He really gets into his storytelling and was doing his best to say the Vietnamese words correctly!

I enjoy being able to expose my lovey to different cultures through stories. Even better when it includes a grandma in the mix. When I have more time, I may try the dueling recipe with her, but maybe we'll venture out and try to make my Aunt Becky's popovers. 

I think my biggest takeaway is that grandparents play a vital role in connecting the past to the future. We need to be involved in our grandchildren's lives to pass on the past so it's not lost. Building those relationships with our grandchildren through our heritage (if possible) is truly a gift.

About the Author:

Linda Meeker is a first-generation Vietnamese American author. Her first book, Thank You, Mama, was based on the videos of her son, Grey, trying new foods with gratitude, which brought her social media popularity on TikTok and Instagram (@greyandmama). Linda, her husband, and Grey live in Seattle, Washington.

About the Illustrator:

Sandra Eide is an Asian American children’s book illustrator and surface designer from the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest, but she currently resides in the hot desert of Nevada with her husband and border collie. She works digitally in Procreate and Photoshop but also likes to dabble in watercolors. Her style is soft and sweet with an emphasis on characters and connections. Her art is influenced by nature, culture, and the importance of showing all kinds of people in her illustrations. Sandra is represented by The Bright Agency and is a member of SCBWI. Follow her work at and


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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.