REVIEW: Luli and the Language of Tea

May marks Asian Pacific month, which is why I’m thrilled to share this book with you today! Growing up, I’ve been surrounded by coffee drinkers, except for my uncle, who has a deep love for tea. I remember his earthen teapots, tea trays, round, stacked, disks of tea leaves, and how he sits at his tea station whenever we spent Chinese New Year in his house to brew tea.

I can’t wait to spend Chinese New Year there again. This time, with a new appreciation for tea.

Luli and the Language of Tea
by Andrea Wang and Hyewon Yum (illustrator)

get it here


Though they may speak different languages, kids from all over the world come together to enjoy the shared pastime of tea in this delicious book for young readers.

When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can’t speak English, neither can anyone else. That’s when she has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring them all together.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

A review copy was provided by courtesy of Holiday House Publishing, Inc.

Making friends isn’t easy, especially when none of you speaks the same language. One thing we know is that Asian cultures show they care through food. It’s a given that we make friends this way too!

Luli and the Language of Tea is a heartwarming picture book that communicates care and hospitality, just like tea. For children, it teaches friendship and sharing. For adults, it reminds us that there’s a lot more in common we have with one another than we thought.

I enjoyed the storyline and the art. It features a class of racially diverse students studying ESL, each of who plays a role in this story. I love the variation of skin tones, inclusion of the word “tea” in their native language and the gorgeous illustrations of the teacups they use in each country. There’s a little history section at the end that shows how each country typically drinks tea, and it’s on my bucket list to try the many possible ways to drink it! Overall, it’s entirely wholesome and a good start to Asian Pacific Month.


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