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Charlesbridge Publishing 8/1/2004. New paperback. Anniversary Edition. Signed by author.
In this charming story about celebrating differences a Chinese-American girl wishes for a garden of bright flowers instead of one full of bumpy, ugly, vegetables. The neighbors' gardens look so much prettier and so much more inviting to the young gardener than the garden of "black-purple-green vines, fuzzy wrinkled leaves, prickly stems, and a few little yellow flowers" that she and her mother grow. Nevertheless, mother assures her that "these are better than flowers." Come harvest time, everyone agrees as those ugly Chinese vegetables become the tastiest, most aromatic soup they have ever known. As the neighborhood comes together to share flowers and ugly vegetable soup, the young gardener learns that regardless of appearances, everything has its own beauty and purpose.THE UGLY VEGETABLES springs forth with the bright and cheerful colors of blooming flowers and lumpy vegetables. Grace Lin's playful illustrations pour forth with abundant treasures. Complete with a guide to the Chinese pronunciation of the vegetables and the recipe for ugly vegetable soup Try it . . . you'll love it, too