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Cora Cooks Pancit

By Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore
Illustrated by Kristi Valiant
$17.95, Hardcover, 32 pages
English Text
Ages 4-8
ISBN-10: 188500835x
ISBN-13: 9781885008350

Cora loves being in the kitchen, but she always gets stuck doing the kid jobs like licking the spoon. One day, however, when her older sisters and brother head out, Cora finally gets the chance to be Mama's assistant chef. And of all the delicious Filipino dishes that dance through Cora's head, she and Mama decide to make pancit, her favorite noodle dish.

With Mama's help, Cora does the grown-up jobs like shredding the chicken and soaking the noodles (perhaps Mama won't notice if she takes a nibble of chicken or sloshes a little water on the floor). Cora even gets to stir the noodles in the pot—carefully-- while Mama supervises. When dinner is finally served, her siblings find out that Cora did all their grown-up tasks, and Cora waits anxiously to see what everyone thinks of her cooking.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore's text delightfully captures the warmth between mother and daughter as they share a piece of their Filipino heritage. With bright and charming illustrations by Kristi Valiant, Cora's family comes alive as Cora herself becomes the family's newest little chef.

Philippines 2-Book Set

Abadeha: The Philippine Cinderella
Cora Cooks Pancit

Total Value of $35.90
Now Only $28.75!
20% Off!

News and Thoughts
filipinobookfest.jpgThis sounds like an amazing event! The Filipino American International Book Festival will be held in San Francisco on October 1 and 2, 2011. Author Dorina Lazo Gilmore will be on hand both days reading Cora Cooks Pancit in the Children's Area at 1:30 both days. She will sign immediately after each reading at the Philippine Expressions Bookshop booth.

"FILBOOKFEST celebrates the richness and fusion of Philippine and Filipino American culture through literature, visual arts and music.
FILBOOKFEST is the largest gathering of authors of Filipino heritage from around the world. FILBOOKFEST invites all book lovers in the San Francisco Bay Area to spend a weekend of fun literary events, performances and good food."

Filipino American International Book Festival
October 1-2, 2011
Fulton Street, Civic Center, San Francisco
Free Admission
Dorina Lazo Gilmore reading at 1:30pm both days
screenshot-home.jpgThe end of summer is upon us (I have always considered Labor Day to be MY official end-of-summer, despite what the calendar says), and with it the bittersweet end to our long and lazy days. Of course, fall brings with it new excitements: new school year, crisp cool days, football season. Not to mention new starts for me too. We will be moving into our new house in a few weeks, and baby J will turn a year old at the beginning of October. How time flies!

Anyway, let's give away some free apps to mourn the end of one season and celebrate the start of another! And let's not be stingy-- how about 15 free apps? Fifteen lucky winners will get their choice of the iOS or Android version of the Cora Cooks Pancit app.

There are THREE WAYS TO WIN. Here they are:

-Website sign-up. Fill out the form here. On Friday, September 2, FIVE winners will be chosen from those signed up.

-Facebook. "Like" us on Facebook here. When we hit 500 Likes, we will pick FIVE winners from everyone who likes us. There's no set date for this drawing. We'll do it whenever we hit 500 Likes.

-Twitter. We will pick ONE WINNER A DAY from August 29 - September 2 from those who follow @ReneeatShens and tweet the following:

Win a free CORA COOKS PANCIT ebook app. 3 Ways to win! #coracookspancit

Tweet this message once each day to be entered for that day's drawing.

Good luck!

Ta Da! Introducing the Cora Cooks Pancit App!

Do you absolutely love Cora Cooks Pancit? Or have you not read it yet? Either way, now's your chance to get this wonderful book on your mobile devices and tablets. Introducing the Cora Cooks Pancit app for both iOS and Android!

The app features the entire book, including its beautiful illustrations, glossary, and pancit recipe. In addition, it has a "read to me" option that features author Dorina Lazo Gilmore herself reading the book. All this for only $3.99, a fraction of the hardcover price. Get yours now:

Click here for iTunes Store
Click here for Android Marketplace


Visions: Dorina and Kristi at the APALA Award Banquet

As part of the American Library Association's conference, the Asian/Pacific American Librarian's Association held their annual banquet and award dinner on June 27. This year, Dorina Lazo Gilmore and Kristi Valiant were honored for their book, Cora Cooks Pancit. Here they are, meeting for the first time at the dinner!


CCBC Choices 2010

ccbc.jpgMore good news for Cora Cooks Pancit: The Cooperative Children's Book Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has chosen Cora for its list of top children's book picks for 2010!

The 2010 edition of CCBC Choices features annotated entries for 235 books for children and young adults published in 2009 and recommended by the CCBC staff. CCBC Choices 2010 includes author/title and subject indexes. CCBC Choices 2010 also includes an essay about the 2009 publishing year.

CCBC Choices is created annually by the librarians of the Cooperative Children's Book Center and published by the Friends of the CCBC, Inc.

To request a copy be sent by U.S.mail:

Wisconsin residents: send $3.00 (to cover postage and handling) OR a self-addressed manila envelope with $2.75 postage to:
CCBC Choices
600 N. Park Street, Room 4290
Madison, WI 53706

Outside Wisconsin: Send $10 to:
CCBC Choices
Friends of the CCBC, Inc.
P.O. Box 5189
Madison, WI 53705

2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature

apala.jpgEvery year, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) gives awards to the best literature released the previous year. The awards "promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage, based on literary and artistic merit."

We are pleased to announce that Cora Cook Pancit, by Dorina Lazo Gilmore and illustrated by Kristi Valiant, has won the 2010 Award for Literature! Past winners in the picture book category have included Ed Young and Linda Sue Park, so we are very honored to be in such good company.

In addition, the honorable mention picture book this year was Tan to Tamarind, which was written by our very own Malathi Michelle Iyengar, author of Romina's Rangoli.

Multicultural Review

Cora Cooks Pancit, by Dorina Lazo Gilmore and illustrated by Kristi Valiant, was reviewed in the Winter 2009 edition of Multicultural Review:

Cora is the youngest child in a Filipino-American family. She longs to do things her older brother and three older sisters do. One day when her older siblings are all gone, she sees her chance. This is the day she helps her mother make pancit, a chicken, vegetable, noodle dish. As Mother and Cora cook together, Mother tells stories of Lolo, Cora's grandfather, who migrated from the Philippines to California. The pancit is served for the evening meal with five children, Mother, and Father all enjoying this special dish. As Cora observes the dinnertime scene, she replaces the doubt she had about her contributions with pride in her work.

Both story and illustrations capture the frustration of being the youngest, while it celebrates a close family with a loving and understanding mother. And the story not only tells of the immigrant experience, it provides the very pleasant way of experiencing culture through oral family stories and food. A glossary reviews the Tagalog words used, and the recipe for pancit is on the final page.

Dec. 5, 2009: Dorina Lazo Gilmore at Petunia's Place

Join us for a fun Christmas event at Petunia's Place bookstore, including signings by local authors. This is a great opportunity to do some Christmas shopping for all the little people on your list.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore (CORA COOKS PANCIT) will be signing from 11:00am until 1:00pm. Other authors, including Margarita Engle (THE POET SLAVE OF CUBA) and Doug Hansen (MOTHER GOOSE IN CALIFORNIA), will be signing books as well.

If you are outside the Fresno area, Dorina is offering signed copies of her book at a discount of $15 plus shipping. Delight a little person with this colorful children's book.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore at Petunia's Place
Saturday, December 5, 2009
11:00am - 1:00pm
2017 W Bullard Ave. Fresno, CA 93711

School Library Journal

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Cora Cooks Pancit (by Dorina Lazo Gilmore and illustrated by Kristi Valiant) is reviewed in the November, 2009 issue of School Library Journal!

LAZO GILMORE, Dorina K. Cora Cooks Pancit. illus. by Kristi Valiant. unpaged. glossary. CIP. Shen's. 2009. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-885008-35-0. LC 2008045836.

PreS-Gr 3--When Cora's Filipino family cooks together, she's always stuck doing the "kid jobs." Then one day when her older siblings are out and about, Cora gets her chance to bond with Mama in the kitchen. She even gets to choose her favorite dish, so the two of them make a large bowl of noodles, chicken, and vegetables called pancit. Clear expository prose explains how to perform kitchen tasks. For example, Mama tells Cora, "Open the package of rice noodles and put them in this bowl of water." Then she engages her daughter by asking her, "Do you know why we soak them?" These scenes effectively model how adults can introduce children to cooking. The simple, direct style also makes the book equally well suited as a read-aloud and for newly independent readers. The artwork nicely complements the text, as Valiant's warm hues of gold, red, and orange highlight the family's loving relationship. They also capture Cora's feelings through facial expressions. Wide eyes and smiles show the child's joy at cooking with her mother, while a downcast mouth and arched eyebrows illustrate her anxiety that her family won't like her pancit. Although this dish is unique to Cora's culture, children of all backgrounds will share her feelings at being allowed to help cook a meal for the first time. A solid choice for schools and public libraries, especially where family-based programming is popular.--Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY

Visions: Dorina Lazo Gilmore Reads at the Tamejavi Festival

Dorina Lazo Gilmore reading Cora Cooks Pancit at the Tamejavi Festival in Fresno, CA on Septebmer 19. 

Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore grew up in a Filipino-Italian family in the kitchen with her mama, aunties and grandmas. She loves to create healthy recipes and share stories in the kitchen with her friends and daughters. Dorina has a B.A. in English and Journalism and is completing an M.F.A. degree in Children’s Literature at Hollins University. She is also the author of two other children’s books, Children of the San Joaquin Valley and Stone Soup: A Hmong Girl’s Journey to the United States. Dorina is originally from Chicago and lives with her husband and two daughters in Fresno, California.

Kristi Valiant loves cooking, monkeys, penguins, and red walls, all of which are found in this book. Her husband loves hippos, so you may find hippos lurking here too. Kristi graduated magna cum laude from Columbus College of Art & Design with a major in Illustration. She has illustrated dozens of leveled readers, and her illustrations can be found in magazines and on Christmas cards. Kristi grew up in Wisconsin, studied in Ohio, moved to Texas, spent a summer in China, and now lives in Indiana. Visit her online at

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.