Please welcome Kat Zhang today! You might remember her from her middle grade mystery, The Emperor’s Riddle!
The Emperor’s Riddle by Kat Zhang
I really liked this clue-solving adventure set in modern-day China. It’s a “Pirate
Treasure Map Meets Ancient Chinese Hidden Treasure” epic quest that Mia Chen and her older brother must solve in order to find their missing Aunt Ling. Time is running out as her Aunt’s nemesis, Ying, is on the trail too. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Today, I am thrilled to reveal the cover for Kat Zhang’s debut picture book, Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao. We are also doing a giveaway of both her books! We are giving away 1 signed copy of her Middle Grade book, The Emperor’s Riddle and one signed F&G of Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
As a child, bao-making was one of my favorite things to do with my parents. I loved the gloopy
mess of the flour and water before it properly combined. I loved the sight of my father
kneading the dough on the kitchen counter, flour poofing into the air every time he slapped the
dough down. I loved getting my own piece to play with, which I inevitably shaped into a rough
My parents would put him in the steamer along with the other bao if there was room, and he
would emerge swollen and misshapen—which wouldn't matter much as I gleefully ate him one limb at a time.
We made bao less and less as a family as I got older, but in the last few years, I began making
them again. It is no less fun (and delicious) than I remembered it to be. However, as a grown-
up, I was responsible for shaping my own bao, rather than simply regulated to making bao-
Quickly, I learned that pleating baos is not as easy as people make it look! As I persevered in my slow bao-pleating journey, a story idea began forming along with each imperfectly-formed bao. I’d always wanted to write a picture book, and this seemed like just the right story to tell: a little girl’s journey toward the World’s Most Perfect Bao.
And so, Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao began! Of course, words are only one half of a picture book and the story sat incomplete until the wonderful and uber-talented Charlene Chua gave
life to Amy and her family (and her various bao!) through her illustrations.
I am so excited to share the book with the world this fall and to share, by proxy of Amy and her family, a little of the joy I experienced as a child whenever I made bao with my family. Not only that, but the wonderful team at Aladdin agreed to let me include a bao recipe in the book so that hopefully other children will get to experience bao-making for themselves!
Fall is still months away, but today I am thrilled to reveal the cover for Amy Wu and the
Perfect Bao! It is the perfect cover for this book, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
To celebrate, I am going to give away 1 signed copy of my Middle Grade book, The Emperor’s
Riddle and one signed F&G of Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao!
And now … for the cover of Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao!
Kat Zhang Middle Grade and Picture Book GIVEAWAY!
We are giving away 1 signed copy of her Middle Grade book, The Emperor’s Riddle and one signed F&G of Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter. We can only mail to U.S. addresses.
Kat Zhang spent most of her childhood tramping through a world woven from her favorite stories and games. When she and her best friend weren’t riding magic horses or talking to trees, they were writing adaptations of plays for their stuffed animals (what would The Wizard of Oz have been like if the Cowardly Lion were replaced by a Loquacious Lamb?). This may or may not explain many of Kat’s quirks today.
By the age of twelve, Kat had started her first novel and begun plans for her life as a Real Live Author (she was rather more confident at twelve than she is even now). Said plans didn’t come into fruition until seven years later, when her agent sold her Young Adult trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, to HarperCollins. The series, about a parallel universe where everyone is born with two souls, concluded in 2014.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.