Boys Don't Fry (Hardcover)
Jin wishes his family would ask him to help prepare the Lunar New Year feast. But boys, or Babas, never get asked—only Nyonyas, the girls.
It’s the eve of Lunar New Year, and Jin can’t wait for the big family reunion dinner. He loves the aromas and the bubbly chatter coming from the kitchen. His grandmother, Mamah, is cooking up a storm!
As his aunties dice, slice, and chop, there’s nothing Jin wants more than to learn about the history of his family’s cooking and to lend them a helping hand. After all, no one else can tell the difference between ginger and galangal as well as he can! But his aunties shoo him away, claiming he’ll just get bored or be in the way. Luckily, Mamah steps in and asks Jin to help her prepare their special meal. Soon, Jin is squeezing, slicing, and stirring, too!
This loving picture book about a young Malaysian boy who defies gender expectations will make hearts warm and stomachs hungry. With beautifully vibrant illustrations of a traditional nyonya kitchen, Boys Don’t Fry is a heartfelt celebration of family, culture, and traditions—both old and new.
Charlene Chua (she/they) is the illustrator of several picture books, including Pinkie Promises by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the Amy Wu book series. She is also the author-illustrator of Hug? When they are not making art, they enjoy cooking, reading, and playing with their cats. Charlene now lives with her husband (and cats!) in Hamilton, Ontario.
"Delicious and affirming." —Kirkus
"This heartwarming picture book centers on a boy wanting to help his grandma cook the Lunar New Year feast and beats down stereotypes with a mighty whisk." —School Library Journal
"Mouthwatering word choices and exuberant digital illustrations draw readers into their Malaysian Lunar New Year celebration...this gentle challenge to gender stereotypes is a welcome addition to holiday shelves." —Booklist