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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Word repetition is great for sight readers, and the process of preparing the ramen shows a simple recipe. An author's note offers a short history of ramen.
You don't have to be different to be liked. Who you are is enough. Celebrate who you are and be grateful for what makes you unique.
Positive Role Models
Ramen initially wants to try to become spaghetti, thinking those noodles are the best. But as Ramen is selected, brought home from the store, and lovingly prepared, they realize it's ok, even cozy, comfy, and good, to be Ramen. Ramen tells all the parts of the meal what they love about each ingredient and what they contribute to making a bowl of ramen special and amazing.
Ramen, a Japanese noodle soup, is a staple food throughout Asian countries and wherever Asian communities have immigrated. Of the book, author Kiera Wright-Ruiz said, "This is a personal story about race, self-love and the beauty in diversity."
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Keira Wright-Ruiz's I Want to Be Spaghetti! is a delightfully illustrated picture book with a lovely message about celebrating who you are and not changing to be part of the crowd. Ramen feels inferior when they're sitting on the shelf and looking at spaghetti that has sauces and meatballs and ads about how special they are, but when some warm broth and friendly ingredients join ramen in a bowl, things change. This is a great premise for all ages to see how their environment impacts what we think of ourselves and how important it is to be grateful for what makes each of us unique. The author's message will resonate with anyone who has been told that they are too different to be accepted.
Is It Any Good?
Playful illustrations with faces on foods and colorful settings give a bright setting for an important message of self-acceptance and embracing what makes us each unique. I Want to Be Spaghetti! is fun to read aloud because it works on several levels. It's a charming story about how Ramen finds its place in the kitchen and a deeper lesson about cultural identity and self-love. The subtle contrast of ramen and spaghetti is a gentle introduction to cultural differences for the youngest readers and could prompt conversations about guarding against the idea that one culture is better or more desirable than others. Readers new to the world of instant noodles can learn about other ingredients to add, and everyone can delight in the silly facial expressions the food makes.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.