School Library Journal, August, 2005
PARK, Frances & Ginger Park. The Have a Good Day Cafe. illus. by Katherine Potter. Gr 1-3-
Mike loves his grandma dearly, but he’s saddened by her constant yearning for her homeland of Korea. Having only arrived in America recently, she is also tired of sitting alone in the apartment all day. Despite the protests of her son, she joins the family as they set up a food cart on a busy park corner. Business starts slowing down when competition arrives also selling pizza and hot dogs, so quick-witted Mike comes up with a plan to serve Korean dishes instead of the usual American fare. He employs Grandma as his partner in this new venture, and by the end of the next day, their newly dubbed “Have a Good Day Cafe” cart proves a success. Allowing readers an understanding of the world of elderly immigrants, the Parks tell a gentle tale of how people can feel at home when they are able to contribute something to their family. Children will also readily recognize the loving and realistic relationship between a grandmother and her grandson. Soft pastel illustrations nicely complement this simple story. A useful glossary of Korean foods is included. An intelligent, thoughtful tale.
-Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library
Kirkus Reviews of THE HAVE A GOOD DAY CAFE will appear in the Sept. 1 issue.
An immigrant family adapts to life in America in this engaging look at their experience. The story stars a young boy named Mike and his grandmother, who has recently come from Korea to live with her son’s family. She is always thinking about life back home, Mike observes, as they pass the time at his parent’s food cart in the city. Potter’s delicate illustrations, which appear to be in pastel, reflect the hazy light of summer, and the family’s dismay as they contemplate closure: Competitors have crowded their corner. However, before long, Mike and his grandmother hatch a plan that not only reinvents the business, but also helps her connect with the past while forging a new identity in America. A sensitive and inspiring portrait of a family’s triumph in the face of adversity.