If you don’t like hot pot, I just don’t know if I can trust your tastebuds and #SorryNotSorry about that. In this simple story, an apartment building comes together (think old-school Stone Soup style) to make a communal meal. It is in a similar vein of Our Little Kitchen, and emphasizes how everyone has something to share, and everyone is welcomed to the table.
The story’s text is repetitive and sparse, making it a great read aloud for younger children. In the back is a hot pot recipe that author illustrator Vincent Chen was taught to make by his mother. Hot Pot Night! is a story that teaches teamwork, community, and sharing resources. We are stronger together, and cooking with one another brings us closer and shares knowledge between generations and families. I also appreciate the apartment building setting, which isn’t often seen.
The illustrations are adorable and fun, even having a page that the reader must turn to read. These little details make a unique story and made me reflect on different communal meals I’ve made with friends and neighbors Beware though, this book will make you uncontrollably crave your own hot pot night!
This book was kindly sent by Charlesbridge, but all opinions are my own.
Vincent Chen is a Taiwanese American illustrator from the humble state of New Jersey. With a BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, Vincent has always loved putting pencil to paper. By day, he is a background painter in animation and by night, he illustrates children’s books.
Vincent loves to explore color, texture, and shapes in his work. He draws inspiration from nature, film, and animation. On weekends, he can be found working on his latest freelance projects and doing digital nature studies. When he’s not drawing, Vincent is binging the newest Netflix original show or rewatching his favorite superhero movies. His favorite hot pot ingredient is fatty pork belly.