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About The Book

A young Chinese American girl uses creative STEAM-powered problem-solving to master chopsticks so she can pick up her dumplings and eat them, too, in this charming and laugh-out-loud picture book perfect for fans of the Amy Wu series.

Jenny Chow struggles with chopsticks—aiya, those slippery, oh-so-tricky chopsticks! But cousin Victor’s birthday party is just around the corner, along with her family’s annual chopsticks challenge. Jenny doesn’t want to be the only Chow who never learns how to use the utensils. She’ll do whatever it takes to prove she can hold her own in her family’s long-held tradition—no matter how many experiments she wobbles and fumbles through.

About The Author

Sylvia Chen

Sylvia Chen remembers transferring slippery wet marbles from rice bowl to rice bowl to quicken her chopsticks skills at her childhood home in Queens, New York. She much prefers picking up dim sum and other yummy food with chopsticks—even fried chicken! She loves figuring out tricky challenges with a bit of STEAM-based trial and error, which includes making DIY costumes for her kids, often with duct tape, dollar-store finds, and LED lights. Visit her online at

About The Illustrator

Fanny Liem was born and raised in Indonesia, and she has loved to draw since she was a little kid. Her passion for storytelling and illustration was ignited at a young age by the picture books given to her by her uncle. When she is not drawing, she enjoys watching movies and listening to country music. Because of her love of noodles, Fanny was determined to learn to use chopsticks (even though it took a lot of practice!). Visit her online at

Why We Love It

“This picture book had me laughing out loud and cracking up. Jenny’s experience of struggling to do something and feeling behind others her age is so relatable, and the way she uses creativity and trial-and-error to solve her problem is inspiring and empowering, showing kids that it’s okay to fail as you learn and grow. I also love that this is a celebratory and fun picture book with incidental diversity where identity is not the focus or an issue.”

—Kristie C., Assistant Editor, on Tricky Chopsticks

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (May 15, 2024)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665921497
  • Ages: 4 - 8

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Raves and Reviews

"Chen’s use of onomatopoeia (represented in both English and Mandarin characters) perfectly conveys Jenny’s frustrations, while Liem’s appealing cartoon illustrations capture Jenny’s experiments in chopstick re-engineering with slapstick humor and cleverness. Young chopstick users will find comfort in this story about a common rite of passage, but all readers will be delighted by Jenny’s problem-solving prowess. . . A funny, relatable tale about the value of creative thinking and persistence."

Kirkus Reviews

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