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The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale by…

The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale

by Ying Chang Compestine

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Recently added byMeadLibraries, theisc, JenniferSaville, emtimmins, private library, Lholden, MelissaZD



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I used this book in celebration of Chinese New Year. It is a great tale about a beat up wok that takes things from the mean rich family--food, toys, and money--and brings them to the poor family who is appreciative and willing to share. The wok also makes handy work of the mean family at the end. The pictures are vivid and carry the energy of the story.

Illustrator: Sebastia Serra ( )
  emtimmins | Mar 18, 2014 |
The Runaway Wok is a compilation of several classic fairytales. The story begins with a Jack-and-the-Beanstalk-esque tale of Ming, who is sent to trade eggs for rice in the market, and comes home with a rusty wok instead. The bulk of the rest of the story follows the traditional Robin Hood pattern, as the wok jumps from rich home to poor home, stealing from the needy to give to the greedy. When the "greedy" finally catch up to the wok, it commences to lead them on a Gingerbread-Man-like goose chase. The "evil" rich are led away from the town, and Ming and his family are left to live happily ever after with their stolen riches.

I loved this book! It was silly and funny and entertaining, and the pictures were beautiful. The story flowed effortlessly through the various fairytales, blending modern and traditional. I used this book for my read aloud, and the kids really loved it, and responded to it really well.

1. Have kids make a collage of things they would want the wok to bring them.
2. Have kids break up into groups and act out different parts of the story, to incorporate movement and the dramatic arts into the classroom.
  JenniferSaville | Feb 12, 2014 |
I found this to be an interesting approach to the Gingerbread Man. The main theme of the book is to express the importance of sharing. The story is almost like Robin Hood, a wok stealing from the rich to feed the poor.

I like the story. For example I like how the wok brings food back to the poorer family. I think this story is weaker than Compenstine's other book. I also like the portrayal of Spring Festival. It is one of the most important Chinese holidays so this is a good introduction to Asian culture.

I also like the illustrations. For example, the illustrations were pretty accurate in showing Spring Festival decorations and customs. I like how they are also wearing the traditional dress. These are not mentioned in the text, so it progresses the story in a different way. Overall, I find this book to be a good introduction to Chinese New Year. ( )
  larasimmons2 | Oct 29, 2013 |
This book is about a little boy named Ming and his family. They live in Beijing, China and they are poor. One day Ming's mom sends him to trade their last eggs for a bag of rice. Along the way Ming meets and old man who wants to trade his old rusty wok for Ming's eggs. The wok sings telling Ming to trade and great things will come for his family. Naturally when Ming hears the wok sing he trades thinking that is is magical or something. When he gets home his mom is upset but then the wok sings again telling her that if she makes the wok look good then there will be plenty of food to go around. Immediately after she cleans it, the wok runs away to the house of the greedy rich man who Ming's dad works for. Each time the wok runs away it goes to the rich man's house and brings back food, toys, and money that the family puts in it. The story ends by the wok taking the rich man and his family out of Beijing forever. I really liked this story. At first I thought it would be like Jack and the Giant Beanstalk but it turned out to be more like Robin Hood. The wok took from the rich and gave to the poor just like Robin Hood did. The illustrations were very colorful and made me feel like I was really in China. I also liked that the wok sang because I love to sing myself. A classroom extension could be to have students draw a picture of what they would put in their wok if they could put whatever they wanted in it. Another could be to have students create a list of things that they have that they want and things they have that they need.
  Amber7 | Oct 2, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this story, as I found myself rooting for Ming and his family. The illustrations were colorful and interesting. ( )
  dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0525420681, Hardcover)

When a boy goes to the market to buy food and comes home with an old wok instead, his parents wonder what they'll eat for dinner. But then the wok rolls out of the poor family's house with a skippity-hoppity-ho! and returns from the rich man's home with a feast in tow!

With spirited text and lively illustrations, this story reminds readers about the importance of generosity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:29 -0400)

On Chinese New Year's Eve, a poor man who works for the richest businessman in Beijing sends his son to market to trade their last few eggs for a bag of rice, but instead he brings home an empty--but magic--wok that changes their fortunes forever. Includes information about Chinese New Year and a recipe for fried rice.… (more)

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