Narrated by the the daughter of a Japanese mother and American father, this delightful portrait of diversity describes their courtship. An American sailor stationed in Japan falls in love with a Japanese girl, but he's embarrassed to take her out for dinner because he doesn't know how to use chopsticks. Meanwhile, she's just as shy about eating with him, not understanding a knife and fork.
Both overcome this obstacle, he taking lessons from a Japanese waiter, she from her British-trained grandfather. But the British use cutlery differently than Americans, so the results are charmingly humorous.
Filled with mutual respect for both cultures, How My Parents Learned to Eat demonstrates appreciation of others' differences and is one of the few children's books we know of that shows adults falling in love in a realistic way—no fairy tale, no love at first sight—a picture of love growing as two people learn more about each other. Those two qualities, along with its subtle humor, make this a gem.
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