Tofu Takes Time Overview

All good things–and foods–take time, as Lin learns in this beautifully illustrated story about patience, family, and a good home-cooked meal.

CLICK CLACK WHIRRRR . . . Lin and her grandma, NaiNai, are making tofu from scratch! When NaiNai goes through each step, from blending soybeans with water to molding curd into shape, Lin gradually becomes impatient. But she soon discovers that making tofu not only takes time but also takes the whole universe! It takes the seed from soil and sunshine, the cloth from thread and fiber, weight and space, and books of words and pictures. And most of all, it takes spending a lovely time with her beloved grandmother.

In this charming tale by Helen H. Wu, readers will marvel at how patience brings a whole universe together in a simple dish made by a modern Chinese American family.

About the Author

Helen H. Wu is a children’s book author, illustrator, and translator. She was born and raised in Hefei, China, and now lives in San Diego, California. As a proud first-generation immigrant, Helen loves sharing inspiring stories from her immigrant experience. Her proudest moments are when her two children listen patiently to her stories over and over again.

Julie Jarema is an illustrator, writer, and bookseller. She graduated from Bard College with a degree in Written Arts. You can find her going on backyard adventures, sending snail mail, or practicing her circus skills when she’s not making up stories.

Editorial Reviews

“There are quite a few things to enjoy about this read. First, it explains the process of making tofu from the soy beans to milk, and then, to the press. So, readers get to know exactly how tofu is made. But they learn more. As each step occurs, the next page shows where the ‘ingredients’ come from to make the tofu. For example, creating soy milk requires water…and this is shown with the little girl floating gleefully (with a touch of adventure) down a river. It presents the broader picture on everything, which goes into making something. . .The illustrations carry a gentle atmosphere, while holding details as well as a sense of imagination, too. These balance well with the words. While telling the story and repeating the grandmother’s one phrase again and again, the author has also built in sound words (such as Tik) to add a sense of playfulness. Young listeners will be able to repeat these as well as the book is picked up again and again.” – Tonja Drecker, Bookworm for Kids. Happy Book Birthday, Tofu Takes Time by Helen H. Wu! 19 April 2022

Books by Helen Wu