Maggie’s Chopsticks

Alan Woo’s Maggie’s Chopsticks is a delightful children’s book that seamlessly weaves together themes of determination, family, and cultural heritage. The story follows young Maggie as she embarks on a journey to master the art of using chopsticks.

Alan Woo | Vancouver Public Library

From the outset, Woo’s storytelling captivates both young readers and adults alike. The vivid illustrations by Isabelle Malenfant brings Maggie’s world to life, immersing readers in the vibrant sights and sounds of her surroundings. Each page turn is a visual treat, filled with well intentioned relatives and cultural influences. 

Isabelle Malenfant - Bayard livres

At the heart of the tale is Maggie, a determined young girl eager to follow in her family’s tradition of using chopsticks skillfully. Despite facing initial challenges and frustration, Maggie’s unwavering determination and support from her father leads her on a heartwarming journey of self-discovery.

The book beautifully explores the universal theme of perseverance in the face of challenges. Maggie’s determination to master the art of chopsticks serves as an inspiring metaphor for overcoming obstacles and the importance of resilience, making it a valuable lesson for young readers navigating their own hurdles.

Maggie's Chopsticks | Literacy Lab Read Aloud - YouTube

Maggie’s Chopsticks celebrates cultural heritage and familial bonds. Through Maggie’s interactions with her family members and the authentic portrayal of Chinese traditions, readers are exposed to the richness of cultural diversity, fostering an appreciation for different customs and familial connections.

Woo’s writing is both engaging and accessible, making it a perfect read-aloud choice for families and classrooms. The story’s pacing keeps readers engaged, and the expressive language encourages empathy and understanding, making it an ideal educational tool for introducing cultural diversity and the value of persistence.

Chinese Sausage Croquetas - Taste Canada

To help you understand Maggie’s struggles, we thought you’d like to try Chinese Sausage Croquetas in our Recipe section. Thanks to Chef Trevor Lui for providing us this delectable chopstick-friendly delight.  Check out our review of Trevor’s cookbook, Double Happiness at Get your chopsticks out and enjoy an authentic Chinese New Year!

Maggie’s Chopsticks is a charming and culturally enriching tale that entertains, educates, and inspires. Alan Woo’s narrative, coupled with Isabelle Malenfant’s captivating illustrations, creates an immersive reading experience that leaves a lasting impression on readers of all ages. This book is a valuable addition to any library, promoting important values of perseverance, family, and cultural appreciation so go to and purchase a copy or check out our Giveaway section to win this delightful children’s book!

Contents and images used with permission by Kids Can Press.