Monday, January 6, 2020

Blog Tour: Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

Coming Soon: 
A powerful new chapter book series about a Korean-American girl learning how to share and celebrate her culture! 

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business
by Lyla Lee, illustrated by Dung Ho

Meet Mindy Kim: the plucky protagonist of a new chapter book series that is like Fresh off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones. Mindy Kim tackles the everyday experience of millions of Asian-American kids—sorely underrepresented in chapter books—with tenacity and heart.

Mindy Kim speaks directly to Korean-American kids who have never seen themselves 
on the page, inviting readers to both express their cultural identity with pride, and celebrate identities unlike their own.

 Mindy’s first day of school goes awry in MINDY KIM AND THE YUMMY SEAWEED BUSINESS (Aladdin | On Sale 1/14/20). Mindy’s grateful when her new friend Sally is able to make her initially unpopular dried seaweed snacks seem totally delicious to her new classmates. But when someone tries to sabotage Sally and Mindy’s Yummy Seaweed Business, Mindy wonders if she’ll ever fit in. Starting a new school is hard for any kid, but for Mindy, who finds herself at a school without any kids who look like her for the first time, starting anew means finding the courage to stay true to oneself even when it seems like no one can understand. Kirkus Reviews gave this “lovingly authentic debut” a star, raving that “Lee takes on a number of issues with a new school, microagressions, friendships, and grief, and she manages to artfully balance it all.”

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I felt bad for Mindy as she tries to navigate a new school far away from home on top of dealing with her grief from her mother's death.  I like how she shares her seaweed snacks with the class (And how it gets a little bit out of hand). I loved her father and their relationship. There's so much packed into this charming story. I'm looking forward to many more Mindy adventures.

*  I also love how Mindy' adventures were based upon the author's life (A Korean-American girl starting at a new school in a predominately white neighborhood.) 

* Lunar New Year is on Janaury 25th, the perfect time to read the second book

LYLA LEE is a writer of many things. After working various jobs in Hollywood and studying psychology and cinematic arts at USC, she now lives in Dallas, Texas. When she is not writing, she is teaching, watching Korean dramas and other TV shows, and eating all kinds of good food. Visit her online at and on Twitter and Instagram at @literarylyla.

DUNG HO was born and raised in Hue, Vietnam, where she studied graphic design at the Hue University College of Arts. After graduating, she worked in the design and advertising industries before discovering a great passion for illustration and picture books and becoming a freelance illustrator. Currently, she lives and works in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. Ho draws inspiration from nature and the interaction between people and nature and especially loves to draw children. When not drawing, she enjoys cooking and watching movies. Visit her online at and on Instagram @dunghanhho.

Up Next:
Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade

Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year ParadeIn MINDY KIM AND THE LUNAR NEW YEAR PARADE (Aladdin | On Sale 1/14/20), it’s Mindy’s first Lunar New Year without her mom and she’s determined to enjoy the day. When Mindy decides to make traditional Korean New Year food to celebrate, things don’t go according to plan. But with the help of her family and friends, Mindy finds a way to celebrate her old traditions and create new ones along the way, discovering that she can find her own way of being Korean-American.

This series is for every new kid, every kid missing a parent, every kid picking themselves up after facing a challenge—but it’s vital that Mindy isn’t just any kid. Korean-American author Lyla Lee writes Mindy from her own experience as the new kid at a predominately white school.

Book Info:
MINDY KIM AND THE YUMMY SEAWEED BUSINESS by Lyla Lee, illustrated by Dung Ho
Aladdin January 14, 2020 Ages 6-9 96 pages
HC ISBN: 9781534440098 PBK ISBN: 9781534440074 $16.99 (HC)/$5.99 (PBK)

MINDY KIM AND THE LUNAR NEW YEAR PARADE by Lyla Lee, illustrated by Dung Ho Aladdin
Aladdin January 14, 2020 Ages 6-9 96 pages
HC ISBN: 9781534440111 PBK ISBN: 9781534440104 $16.99 (HC)/$5.99 (PBK)

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