What if your food was cool enough to talk two languages and fight the evil of the world? Only in the comic book world is food this awesome. Take a mix of American and Chinese culture, mix well with Chinese food and martial arts, and you have one unique comic book that is not only entertaining but helps teach a new language.
I think the parent team — who created this comic partly for their daughter — probably never tell her not to play with her food. Her food fights bad guys and helps her hold on to the Chinese culture of her parents, and to her new country, America.
Originally created as an interactive iPad app, this comic book is now being used in some classrooms to help teach language. Of course, you can always just read it for fun. With names like “Fried King Academy,” “The Baked Kung Kung Sisterhood,” "Colonel Quicky Noodle”and “Boiled Kung Temple,”,and with characters that are everything from chicken feet to Ramen noodles, the food theme is weaved throughout the book. Using the app, you are able to interact with the story by switching between English and Chinese or have it read to you in either language.
The only problem with this book is that it just might make you hungry .... but nothing a serving of dim sum wouldn’t cure. In fact, if you never had it before, go to your local Chinatown and try it, and then you can enjoy the comic books that much more as you see the ingredients of your bowl parade across the book. You might even be able to find and enjoy “Phoenix claws,” which are deep fried chicken feet boiled and marinated and then finally steamed. In the book, a character by the name of “Master Phoenix Claw” is described by the author as “a sort of used car salesman. He’s always trying to pull a fast one on everyone.” Chicken feet meshed with a used car salesman personality. Never saw that one coming.
As a food writer, I love the playfulness of this comic. As a mother, I love how this format is helping children learn a new language. And I have to admit, it made me want to go try dim sum.
• Find it at Amazon: Dim Sum Warriors Volume 1: Enter the Dumpling (Dim Sum Warriors, Volume 1)
• Read more about the series at The World.
• Watch a trailer for the iPad app or get a free PDF of Issue 1.
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