The Have a Good Day Cafe

by Frances Park

Other authorsKatherine Potter (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2008





Lee & Low Books (2008), 32 pages


Mike's grandmother, who has moved from Korea to live with Mike and his family in the United States, inspires him to suggest an idea to help their floundering food cart business.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Katieflu628
"The Have a Good Day Cafe" is a story that shows the life of a Grandmother that has come to America but still misses the aspects of Korea, her hometown. Mike (the grandson), and his family, Grandma included, all run a food cart downtown. When the food cart does not get enough business, the family decides to bring hometown food to the street corner. Once they serve Korean food, the business is fantastic. This is a courageous story that shows never giving up, and passion for your home culture. The Korean menu in the back gives wonderful multicultural aspects for someone to learn about.… (more)
LibraryThing member MelissaPatek
The Have a Good Day Café is a picture book about a young Korean-American boy whose family owns a food cart that runs into trouble because a lot of other food carts set up on their corner. The boy’s grandmother is homesick for her country and she and the boy come up with a way for her to be less homesick and to save their family’s food cart. The message of this story is the uniqueness of family heritage. I really enjoyed this book. One thing that I really enjoyed was the integration of Korean words into the story. For example, when the boy says “Have a Good Day,” his grandmother says that she loves that expression and that there is a similar one in Korean “Annyonghi Kasipision.” A second thing I loved about the story was how the family’s Korean heritage ended up saving their food cart. The young boy is frustrated in the beginning of the story because his grandmother is homesick. He wants her to realize that America is her home. However, later on in the story, the boy and grandmother work together to make Korean food for the family’s food cart. The boy and the grandmother both realize that they can keep their Korean heritage even though their home is in America.… (more)
LibraryThing member CassandraQuigley
The Have a Good Day Café was a great book. Something that I though enhanced this book was the glossary and recipes at the end of the book. For instance the glossary provided a definition of the Chajang Myun, which was noodles smothered in thick brown sauce, and pronunciation was also included, which was JAH-johng myong. Along with the definition and pronunciation the recipe for the Korean dish was also included. I think this feature allowed me as a reader to better understand traditional Korean dishes, and offered me insight into the culture. I also enjoyed this, because the pictures helped to tell the story. Such as when the grandmother was upset with the father for wanting her to stay in the house the pictures depicted an angry and dissatisfied facial expression on the grandmother.
I believe the main message of this book was that it is important to maintain a sense of your culture, because something different can be great. I thought this because at first the family sold Americanized food of their cart such as hotdogs, but once other carts came to the area and sold the same thing they lost business. When the grandmother and grandson began making traditional Korean dishes of the cart business began to boom again, and set them apart from other carts.
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LibraryThing member adge73
At first glance, I thought this book had way too much text, but then I started reading it and was hooked. This story follows how the grandmother in a family of Korean immigrants finally settles in to life in the U.S. It also features one of my favorite things in this world: food. It's a simple story, but it's one I think a lot of people who've had to go through major changes can relate to.… (more)
LibraryThing member sarabeck
In my opinion, this was a good book. It is about a Korean family who has a food cart where they sell food on the corner of a street. The Grandmother had recently moved to America and she was reluctant to accept her new surroundings. After other food carts moved closer to the corner, the family began to lose money. The grandson and grandmother had the idea of selling authentic Korean food. Once they started selling this, they began to prosper again. The language was descriptive and also had Korean terms dispersed throughout the book. I thought that this was very beneficial because the reader can learn about different parts of the Korean culture. The characters were well-developed; the grandmother showed reluctance, but once she felt more comfortable and had more of her Korean culture around her she began looking to the future. The illustrations enhanced the story and were appropriate. When the family started to lose business, the weather became very stormy and gloomy and, as a result, the illustrations were much darker. But as soon as they started selling the Korean food, and business began to prosper, the weather improved and the illustrations became brighter. Thus, the illustrations effectively reflected the mood of the story. The big idea of this book was that it is important to incorporate ones culture throughout different aspects of ones life.… (more)
LibraryThing member Toconn2
I enjoyed reading the different cultural experience Have a Good Day Café discussed. This book brings the reader through a Korean family’s lifestyle in America. The author does a great job of connecting the family to their Korean background. For example, when the grandmother misses her lifestyle back in Korea, the author takes the reader back to how the grandmother lived in Korea. Reading about different types of heritages can help readers think about all the different religions/cultures and even think about their own specific culture. When children read about different cultures, they then become accepting of different cultures. This book also displays an idea of how we can combine many different cultures in our lifestyles. In the book, the Korean family lives in America and has a food cart in the park. At the end of the book, the family combines their two different cultures by keeping their food cart but using it to sell their cultures favorite dishes. This example shows children that people can be apart of many different types of cultures in our society and everyone is different.… (more)
LibraryThing member LaurenVormack
I really liked this book for many reasons. First, I liked that the illustrations weren’t too overwhelming and were appropriate to the mood of the story. The illustrator used cool-toned colors throughout the book. When the main character and his mother drove into the city, the streets and buildings were easy to look at. Second, I liked how the book used many words and phrases in Korean and would then show what they meant in English. For example, the book showed me that “Have a good day” is “Annyonghi Kasipsio” in Korean. Along with the language, I liked how it was descriptive. Instead of the author saying “We put the umbrellas up”, he said “Umbrellas open like giant mushrooms.” Overall, I really liked the plot of the story. The author integrated Korean culture and heritage into the story by describing their food and showing it to America. I believe the main message in this book is to tell its readers to never forget where you came from and with that you can do anything.… (more)
LibraryThing member KristyPratt
I enjoyed this book for the most part. The story is about a Korean boy named Mike who helps his family run a snack cart in Central Park. Business is good until other carts start selling similar foods around them which causes their customers to dwindle. Mike's grandmother, who longs to be back in Korea, comes up with the idea of making and selling Korean food instead of the American food as the other vendors are doing. This proves to be a success and also helps Mike's grandmother finally feel at home in America.
I like the story of how the family stuck together, works together and cares about one another so deeply. I also liked the vivid illustrations and the way Grandma was portrayed. The reader was made to sympathize with her and then feel happy for her in the end when she found happiness sharing her Korean culture with Americans. I also liked the use of Korean words in italics throughout the story and the glossary explaining them in the back. My favorite thing about the book is the title. Grandma was not happy about being in America, but one thing she did like was the American expression, "Have a good day!" When she made the Korean food to sell, she named their cart, "Have a Good Day Cafe".
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LibraryThing member sarahetuemmler
This book is written in Spanish and in English and is about a boy expressing what he is thankful for. He expresses greatfullness for his bed to sleep in and his family who takes care of him no matter what. He is thankful for his siblings and the food his parents give him. The main focus on the book is thankfulness. This book would be an example of modern fantasy.… (more)
LibraryThing member jcuttitta
I really enjoyed this book because of the incorporation of food culture into a children's book. I like how the author took into consideration how big of a role food plays into cultural identity and included descriptions of each traditional Korean dish so that someone who has never had it could know what it is made out of. I did not like how the Grandmother was negative about coming to America in the beginning because it made the child in the book upset and seemed like an unnecessarily negative aspect of the book. The big picture was to be proud of your heritage and even to share it with others as they did with their food!… (more)


Original language


Physical description

32 p.; 8.5 inches


1600603580 / 9781600603587


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