characters Ù Pie in the Sky



10 thoughts on “Pie in the Sky

  1. says:

    My full review can be found in my blog The uiet PondThere are books that I love and there are books like Pie in the Sky that stay in my heart forever I loved this book so so much prepare for me to YELL about this book A MG novel filled with gorgeous illustrations by Lai herself It follows two Chinese brothers who move to Australia with their mother and how Jingwen the older brother navigates the challenges of moving to a new place This story explores immigration assimilation language barriers and how they affect kids Jingwen vs his little brother's age and also grief Though this book made me laugh to myself for its sweet and wholesome narrative there were also parts that HIT ME IN THE FEELS I tear up just thinking about it I just I felt this book so deeply I love it with my whole heart This is up there as one of my favourite MG books everTriggercontent warning view spoilerdeath of a parent hide spoiler


  2. says:

    I was lucky enough to read this book before it was publishedwhat a hilarious poignent GORGEOUS middle grade book The feeling of being in a strange alien world and then realizing YOU'RE the alien will be familiar to every kid immigrant or not because that's part of growing up I didn't see the fully illustrated product will add to this review when I do But Remy Lai is insanely talented and has a gift for words and art that make us laugh through our tears READ THIS AS SOON AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN


  3. says:

    This year I stumbled into an unexpected pattern Though I didn’t uite mean to I ended up reading a whole slew of middle grade novels that were funny I’m not avoiding the serious stuff but through a series of unlikely events I found myself diving deep into funny book after funny book Now a hilarious novel for children can go one of two ways It can be simply amusing for the sake of amusement making no attempt at being meaningful in any way I have a grudging respect for these books since I think it’s a lot harder to get them published in today’s market The publishing world of the early 21st century has little tolerance for meaningless whimsy Far common then are the books that look funny and then when you least expect it hit you in the gut with – BAM Pathos It’s not a bad way to go about things if the writing can pull off the switch Pin in the Sky is by all accounts a debut but it sure doesn’t feel that way Gracefully switching between text and comics comics and text author Remy Lai feeds breadcrumbs or accurately cake crumbs of humor and seuential art to kids luring them towards a storyline with a deeper darker meaning For the kid that avoids serious stories like the plague Pie in the Sky is the perfect gateway drug There’s a whole lotta sad going on here and a whole lotta humor as well The end result is a balancing act that will keep you absorbed and reading until the endSome kids love sports and some love reading and others love dance or games Jingwen loves cake Sort of makes sense His grandparents run a cake shop and his dad was always making cakes before he died In fact his dad was even going to start his own fancy cake shop called Pie in the Sky where he and Jingwen would make things like chocolate raspberry tortes Neapolitan mousse cake apple mille feuille and Now Jingwen has moved to Australia with his mom and annoying little brother Yanghao He doesn’t speak the language He doesn’t have any friends And there’s something about his dad’s death that’s weighing him down like having heavy seashells in your pockets The only thing Jingwen can think to do is to try and bake every single one of the cakes his father was going to make for Pie in the Sky The trouble? His mom has forbidden him from using the stove while she’s away and she’s away all the time Now faced with being moved back a grade if he doesn’t improve in school Jingwen dedicates himself heart and soul to cake baking But when your problems have nothing to do with pastries how do you finally come to realize what’s really important? The thing about Pie in the Sky is that it’s technically playing fair right from the very start Though the reveal that the dad is dead doesn’t happen until you’re already a couple chapters in and by then you’re hooked it’s early enough that it doesn’t feel like the author has pulled a weird tonal switcheroo on you But let’s examine the book’s first chapter You can tell a lot about a book by its first chapter If for example Lai set this book up as some happy go lucky spree you might feel betrayed later on when things get bleak But from the get go we understand instantly that 1 Jingwen and his immediate family have left their home to move to Australia 2 Not everyone from home came along 3 Yanghao is annoying and hilarious 4 As indicated by the thoroughly smashed cake this story is going to be an interesting combination of awkward sad and funny all at once All this in one chapter where the text is routinely punctuated with comic style art Recently I’ve become and interested in middle grade novels where bullying isn’t the stereotypical jockmean girlcliue set of tropes that kids by now have internalized Put simply that stuff is boring Saturday morning cartoon boring If you’re going to have a character feel bullied in some way let it come from nice kids Because being hurt by a mean kid isn’t fun but you can write that person off as mean Getting hurt by a nice kid? A million times worse In Pie in the Sky no one ever walks up to Jingwen to say something mean to him But than once he overhears a classmate and is able to understand just enough to know or think that they’re talking about him Even then what they’re saying is that he’s “slow” particularly when it comes to speaking English Not the worst insult but it just kills him You get this amazing moment when Jingwen who’s been picturing himself as an alien ever since he arrived in Australia looking in the bathroom mirror to find that because of their words he sees himself as monstrous and grotesue rather than less a trope that sort of peters out at the end but oh well Later when he runs into those kids one will just run away rather than deal with what he said There’s a lot of truth to that and it sure as heck beats watching someone get stuffed in a locker As I read Pie in the Sky I noticed that Lai uses a specific techniue in the book that feels familiar The I read the I felt that she was referencing Shaun Tan’s The Arrival on some level It makes sense Both Lai and Tan live in Australia Both have firsthand knowledge of the immigrant experience whether it’s their own or their parents So when Lai depicts the English language as an alien series of indecipherable pictograms I was reminded of how Tan did something similar in his books by cutting up English letters and rearranging them into unfamiliar but beautiful patterns Another book Here I Am by Patti Kim features art by Sonia Sánchez that is “wordless” by also making the English words impossible to read on the page And like Pie in the Sky it’s about a child coming to a new country and new classroom far from everything that’s ever felt familiar Three books on a similar theme one a graphic novel one a picture book and one an illustrated novel Together they eual necessary purchases for your home or public librarySo let’s talk a bit about Lai’s comics First off can I tell you how freakin’ thrilled I was when I found out Lai was a woman? I love two things in this world possibly but for the purposes of this sentence we’re sticking with two Funny female writers and female comic artists To get both in one book blows my furry little mind I mean I was pretty much in Lai’s pocket from the first page onward Wanna know how she hooked me? It was Yanghao I think writers of middle grade everywhere could learn a lot from the creation of Yanghao Loads and loads of novels are written every year on deeply sad depressing topics I mean this book is dealing with grief and guilt and culture shock and immigration and It could bog down even the most valiant reader if not for Yanghao that little jolt of joy Is he annoying? Let’s just say I have never encounter a book for kids that used the word “Booger” as often as this one does and I include William Joyce’s Billy’s Booger in that statement But Yanghao is also honestly funny Literally the first thing he does in the book is say on the airplane to his brother holding up a barf bag with evident glee “Jingwen Jingwen I’m puking in this bag” I mean right there I was his Funny then? Check But then there’s just the fact that Lai is a really good artist You notice this in a lot of little ways Consider the moment when Yanghao right at the beginning of the book drops the rainbow cake from home which by the way a clever book group would point out ties in perfectly with the baking of the rainbow cake at the end of the book First you have on the left hand page Yanghao’s enormous hands reaching towards you as he says “Letmeholdthecake” Then on the opposite page Lai cuts the image into two parts A panel at the top laid over the image beneath shows the brothers looking down Yanghao’s left hand is open in this funny little position You know that moment when you’ve caused an accident and you just pause there as if by holding still you can undo what you did? The smashed cake diagram that makes up the bottom half of the page is in and of itself a work of beauty Arrows indicate each color with wonderfully precise yet descriptive language “Cat Tongue Pink” “Fire Orange” “Snowy Cream” It’s this mocking combination of the beauty of the internal layers contrasted with the smashy smashyness of it all on the ground And that’s just two pages Somehow Lai was able to put that level of commitment and detail into the whole dang book All 380 pages of it Do you see now why I was so floored pardon the pun?The inevitable uestion I ask myself in a review of this type is whether or not there was anything in this book I would have liked to be a bit different I guess For example I understand why Lai felt it necessary to never say what country Jingwen and Yanghao are leaving If you fail to mention their point of origin then their story becomes a little universal right? I dunno though There’s a lot to be gained in specificity We know that in interviews Ms Lai has said that she borrowed elements of this tale from her own childhood like the fact that she learned English when she was nine We also know that she was born in Indonesia grew up in Singapore and now lives in Brisbane Australia As an adult I wanted the details of where exactly Jingwen and Yanghao were from but the I thought about it the I took stock Think of it from a kid’s point of view To what degree are they going to care about where the brothers are coming from? Does it really matter in the course of the story? I remain undecided with this decision I think I’ll just hand the book to kids and see if they ever mention it Not every sad book for kids has to be leavened with humor and wit Not every book needs to be filled with an array of luscious yummy cakes And not every illustrated novel has to be this good But it helps Consider this the easiest book to booktalk in the world You play up the cakes show the kids the cartoons and voila They’re instantly reading a story about the complications that come with family love and communication letting go not just of the people we love but the guilt we’ve tied to their memories and how much bravery it takes to admit when we’re wrong That’s a whole lot of serious stuff for such a blithely funny work of fiction If this is what Remy Lai's got going on straight out of the gate I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next Even if it doesn’t involve cakeFor ages 9 12


  4. says:

    This book is going places Funny heartfelt great art timely topic Just wonderful


  5. says:

    I absolutely adored this book ❤️At my age there aren’t many middle grade books that satisfy me But this one did It was such a sweet heartfelt bookI know how hard it is to feel like an alien Mostly cause I actually look like one 😂And the story was so creative and well writtenAnd guys IT HAS PICTURES And they are evened out perfectlyNot too much so that it feels like a graphic novelBut not too little that it is like “where be all the pictures? 🙀🤔”This story of friendship getting over doubt and cakes was such a favorite for me I can’t wait for y’all to read it ❤️


  6. says:

    I loved this middle graphic novel about a boy who moves to Australia and struggles with his new life Full RTC to come


  7. says:

    11 year old Jingwen moves to Australia with his mother and annoying younger brother and it's like he's landed on Mars His English isn't great school sucks his little brother picks up English uickly the other students think he's slow and he's wracked with the guilt of memories of his father But Jingwen has a solution If he can just bake all of the cakes his father planned for his cake shop life will get betterThere's just one problem Jingwen's mother won't allow him to bakeI reuested this ARC from NetGalley because I thought that it was all graphic novel but it's of a regular novel with some comic illustrations thrown in here or there The comics compliment the story and add context and illustration plus the way Yanghao is drawn is hilarious but I kinda wished it had been done as a graphic novel in full insteadA lot happens in this book but overall it's about fitting in and learning to face your fears and your grief making friends moving into a new place and a little bit about coping mechanisms and communication And of course a lot about mixed messages particularly when you don't speak the language but don't want to seem dumb or slowJust make sure you've eaten something before reading this because if you have zero willpower like you'll find yourself zipping into the grocery store at 8 am on a Sunday to pick up delicious cheesecake And get stares from all the grocers because who buys cheesecake at 8 am on Sunday?I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review


  8. says:

    The premise of the book was intriguing and because I'm Asian I like to support my own kindI really liked the illustrations and was hoping this was going to be of comic book rather than novelUnfortunately the storytelling was a bit too long for my attention span and I felt this was of a story catered to a younger audience It read like a children's book between ages 6 9 rather than middle grade Thank you Raincoast Books Henry Holt and Company for my ARC


  9. says:

    I loved this one so so much 3


  10. says:

    Interest Level 3 6Imagine that you have to move to another country and you do not speak the language How hard would it be to make friends? Eleven year old Jingwen is facing this exact situation Jingwen his mom and his annoying little brother Yanghao are moving to Australia and they do not speak English very well It was a dream of Jingwen's dad to move to Australia and open up a fancy bakery but he passed away unexpectedly before they could move Jingwen's mom decided to go ahead with the move and so they did Jingwen feels like he is on Mars and is very frustrated trying to learn the language He is not doing well in school or at making friends He is even frustrated when Yanghao seems to be picking up the language and making a friend The only thing that makes Jingwen happy is baking and he wants to make the twelve specialty cakes that his father wanted to make when they moved The problem is Jingwen's mom works in the late afternoon and night so Jingwen has to watch his little brother after school His mom will not let him cook while she is gone because it could be too dangerous Jingwen and Yanghao decide it is worth the sneaking around and lying because they are both so happy when they are baking The problem is all the lying begins to catch up with them and when an accident happens the truth comes out Will Jingwen be able to make all of the cakes in memory of his dad? Will he ever learn how to speak English? Will he ever make a true friend? Or will he always feel like he lives on Mars? This is a great heart wrenching story of love loss and finding ones selfThis was really a great story about not fitting in and the feeling of not belonging All of the emotions that Jingwen go through will really pull at your heartstrings It seems like everything is going against Jingwen and just when you think it can't get any worse for him things go to a whole new level of low I love the resilience and determination of Jingwen despite the odds against him I also love how Remi Lai developed the character of Yanghao At the beginning of the story I wanted spank the stew out of him but as the story develops so does he and he becomes a kid that you love This is just an all around great story with great characters Don't miss this oneFollow meBlog Blazer Tales Laurie’s Library Place laurieslibrary laurieevans27 Laurie Purser Linkedin


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Pie in the Sky

Download Pie in the Sky

Iness Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away The only problem is his mother has laid down one major rule the brothers are not to use the oven while she's at work As Jing This book is going Slings and Arrows in the Sky the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away The only problem Hapishane Defterleri is his mother has laid down one major rule the brothers are not to use the oven while she's at work As Jing This book Antígona is going

Download ✓ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB À Remy Lai

When eleven year old Jingwen moves to a new country he feels like he's landed on Mars School is torture making friends is impossible since he doesn’t speak English and he's often stuck looking after his extremely irritating little brother YanghaoTo distract himself from the lonel This year I stumbl Antígona is torture making friends Daisy's Long Road Home is ジャッカス! ~触っていいって誰が言ったよ?~ [Jackass! - Sawatte Ii tte Dare ga Itta yo?] impossible since he doesn’t speak English and he's often stuck looking after his extremely Leonidas of Sparta: A Heroic King irritating little brother YanghaoTo distract himself from the lonel This year I stumbl

Remy Lai À 7 Summary

Wen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes they'll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from MamaTold in prose and graphic novel elements this middle grade novel is about a boy's immigration experience his annoying little brother and their cake baking hijink 11 year old Jingwe