Children’s book author Grace Lin slated to appear at free event Sept. 16
Grace Lin’s latest picture book, “A Big Mooncake for Little Star,” is a warm, lovely bedtime story for little ones and their parents.
Children will have the chance to meet Lin at a free event Sept. 16 at the Five Forks Branch Library.
Lin is the Newberry Honor-winning author of “When the Mountain Meets the Moon,” as well as other children’s novels. Her latest book brings her favorite Asian holiday to life and was inspired by her own daughter, who is the model for Little Star.
“I grew up in New York being the only Asian in my elementary school,” Lin said. “Most of my life, I was trying to come to terms with my identity as Asian-American.”
Now, she is a mom.
“My husband is Caucasian and it has been a really interesting experience for me,” she said. “Sometimes she doesn’t look Asian to me. It’s been interesting. When I was younger, there were times when I didn’t want to be Asian. Over time, I came to embrace it and now I love that part of myself.”
Becoming a parent has allowed Lin to share that part of her life with her daughter in very special ways, including celebrating Asian holidays like the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
“I tell people it’s like Chinese Thanksgiving,” she said. “Since she was 2 years old, I’ve tried to have a little party for the Moon Festival.”
A traditional part of that celebration is eating mooncakes, which Lin had to special order for her child.
“Some of them are like little hockey pucks,” she said. “She loved them. They are really beautiful. She was eating it and I was telling her stories about the moon. While I was thinking of a story, she was finishing the mooncakes. When it dawned on her that there wouldn’t be any more until next year, she was devastated in the way only a 3-year-old can be.”
Lin pulled out her phone and showed her daughter pictures of mooncakes. Her daughter declared that the cakes were “just like the real moon,” and the seed was planted for Lin’s book. Now three years later, the story can be shared by parents everywhere.
“I really feel like this book is not about race,” she said. “It transcends those ideas. The heart of the story is about a mother and her daughter and how much we love our kids. I hope that’s what people get. I want the kids to feel love and parents to feel that bond.”
Grace Lin will hold a free book talk Sept. 16 at the Five Forks Branch Library. The event begins at 3 p.m. with the opportunity to buy books and have a snack. Lin will speak at 3:30 p.m. and will sign books beginning at 4 p.m. In order to join the signing line, each customer must purchase on-site at least one copy of “A Big Mooncake for Little Star.” Purchasing/pre-ordering your book from Fiction Addiction (www.fiction-addiction.com) will give you a ticket to the signing line, too. Lin will sign any additional books of hers that you own.