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asianaccentCooking with an Asian Accent 

HMH January 2014


Featured on NPR's Morning Edition, The Boston Globe, Mercury News, Epicurious, and Jenn-Air's blog.


Interviews on Wisconsin Public Radio, Business Talk (6 minute mark) and Connecticut Public Radio (38 minute mark).

Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier terracotta_cover

Abrams, January 2014

Click to view the book trailer!


Listed as one of the Top 3 Books by The Morning Call

"An excellent adventure with many facts about ancient China"
The Morning Call

"Historical photos and Indiana Jones–style adventure enrich this tale of an unusual meeting between the Qin Dynasty and the 20th century."
Kirkus Reviews

"Despite the hardships, both courageous characters work to uphold their respective duties: Shi to protect the tomb and Ming to protect the cultural legacy of China's people. With archival art, recipes, and end notes, this title is sure to be a hit in the classroom."

ybomd-lightYing's Best One Dish Meals

Sellers Publishing, September 2011


Read what the press has to say.


"The One Cookbook You Need This Fall! Ying's simple, thoughtful approach to wholesome food is refreshing."
 — Martha Stewart's Whole Living


"A palate-expanding collection of flavor-packed meals that come together in a hurry.
Publisher's Weekly


"Simple, quick familiar dishes with a global spin."


"A selection of tasty and simple one-dish recipes that minimize time and effort and maximize taste and value."
ForeWord Reviews


"It's healthy food that  tastes good too."
San Jose Mercury News/
Oakland Tribune


"Effervescent, one-of-a-kind recipes that celebrate flavor and fresh ingredients."


"Designed for working families who want to eat nutritious, home-cooked meals with fast-food timelines."
Contra Costa Times


Linguine and Tuna With Spicy Orange Sauce featured in
—  Washington Post


Cooking with Green Tea
Avery/Penguin Putnam, 2000
(194 pages, ISBN: 1-58333-065-8)


"…well written, colorful, and filled with delicious and easy-to-follow recipes that are right for every kitchen. They are certainly right for mine, and I wouldn't trade them for anything…not even for all the tea in China."
Chef Martin Yan, Yan Can Cook


"…a complete guide to cooking with this healthy beverage. Vegetarians will find satisfying recipes, and even meat eaters may be interested in the three-day diet and cleansing program."
Taste for Life


Secrets from a Healthy Asian Kitchen
Avery/Penguin Putnam, 2002
(307 pages, ISBN: 1-58333-127-1)


"Compestine (Cooking with Green Tea) delivers another health-oriented book specializing in Asian cuisine and culture. Filled with tips, variations, cultural notes and anecdotes the book is well-thought-out, accentuating health and applying it to a popular cuisine."
— Publishers Weekly

Secrets of Fat-Free Chinese Cooking
Avery/ Penguin Putnam, 1997
(153 pages, ISBN:0895297353)


"Whether you have heart disease, hypertension, or are healthy and want to stay that way, I trust you will agree that this book provides a new chance to eat the Chinese dishes you love without sacrificing great taste. Give it a try and your heart will be happy."
Ronald B. Jenkins, M.D., Director, Boulder Heart Institute Boulder, Colorado


"Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will find plenty of pleasing fare…" – Women's Magazine


ct-light copyCrouching Tiger (Picture Book)
Candlewick, September 2011


Shortlisted for the Panda Book Award in China

Winner of The Morning Calm Award in South Korea


The Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book of 2011


CCBC Choices for 2012

"Poignant but not treacly in dealing with an immigrant child's conflicting emotions toward a grandparent from the old country."
New York Times Sunday Book Review


"A story that can be enjoyed by all kids (and their parents)."
  — The Washington Post


...universal appeal... handles the complexity of those feelings with subtlety and grace... best new children's book.
Huffington Post


"Quietly brilliant" 
Chicago Tribunes, Books


"...a nuanced story that kids of all cultures will enjoy"

—  San Francisco Chronicle


"Readers will warm to the duo's growing friendship and the gifts that come as Ming Da allows himself to enter Grandpa's world."
Publisher's Weekly Star Review


"A celebration of family and Chinese New Year along with a simple introduction to Wudang martial arts, especially tai chi—and to the idea that strength can be gentle."
 — Kirkus Reviews

"This text will prove to be of value to your collection because there are a limited number of fictional books for young readers about Chinese New Year."
 — Library Media Connection


"An attraction for martial arts fans... ideal for Chinese New Year and multicultural units." — Booklist


"one generation to understand another... wisdom that comes from such understanding"
 Bookin' with Sunny



runaway-wok-simple copyThe Runaway Wok (Picture Book)
Penguin Dutton, Spring 2011


Now available in Scholastic paperback!


Featured title at the Asian Festival of Children's Content in Singapore


2013 Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award (WCCPBA) Nominee


2012 Storytelling World Resource Award


2012 California Collections List, for school libraries


Scholastic Book Club Choice


2011 Lasting Connections Top 30 Titles

— Booklist



"A captivating story capped by a recipe"

  — San Francisco Chronicle

"... a classic retelling for any holiday celebration."

  — Deseret News, Salt Lake City

"Delicious food, giggly humor, all wrapped up in colorful packaging."

   — BookDragon


The Real Story of Stone Soup
Dutton/Penguin Putnam Spring 2007
(32 pages ISBN: 0-525-47493-5)


A Junior Library Guild Selection!

In this delicious tale, Ying's latest offering sets the record straight on the origins of stone soup!



The Runaway Rice Cake
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2001
(40 pages, ISBN: 0-689-82972-8)


Now in its seventh printing!

"Compestine's engaging tale brims with intriguing details of the traditions that surround the holiday..."
Publishers Weekly


"...many libraries will want to add this, considering the depth of material about Chinese New Year." 


D Is for Dragon Dance
Holiday House, 2005
ISBN: 0-8234-1887-1


Recommended by ALSC for 2006 holidays!

A is for Acrobats. B is for Balls. C is for Calligraphy. D is for Dragon Dance. From firecrackers to noodles, from red envelopes to the zodiac, young readers are introduced to the exciting traditions of the Chinese New Year.


"Warm [and] charming.... The artwork ... is cheerful and bright, rather stylistic, with appealing repetitive details that will draw kids right in.... [It gives] a sense of both community and ordinary life during a special time of year."


Boy Dumplings
Holiday House, August 2009

  1. Begin with one hungry ghost
  2. Add a plump, delicious looking boy
  3. Mix them with an outrageous recipe!

This crowd-pleaser will make a delicious storytime alternative


Children will delight in the ghost's gullibility.... Compestine's haunting tale is an entertaining,not-too-scary offering.
Publisher's Weekly


...a classic trickster tale, developing both characters and premise with humor.
Kirkus Reviews


Exciting storytelling and Chinese culinary traditions create a delicious book for young readers.
— San Francisco Chronicle

See how to make dumplings!



Revolution is Not a Dinner Party
Henry Holt, August 2007
(256 pages ISBN-13: 978-0-8050-8207-4)


Inspired by a true story and described as "Anne Frank during China's Cultural Revolution," this powerful novel is for adults and young adults alike.

  • California Book Award for Young Adult Literature
  • 2008 ALA Best Books For Young Adults
  • 2008 ALA Notable Children's Books
  • 2007 Publishers Weekly Best Children's Fiction Book List
  • 2007 San Francisco Chronicle Best Children's Fiction Book List
  • 2008 Chinese American Librarian Association Best Book
  • 2007 New York Public Library 100 Best Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • 2007 Fall Book Sense Children's Picks
  • 2007 Parent's Choice Silver Honor
  • 2007 Cybils Award Nomination for Young Adult Fiction
  • 2008 Tayshas Reading List (Texas)
  • 2007 Chicago Public Library Best of the Best
  • 2007 Cleveland Public Library Celebrate With Books
  • 2007 Cuyahoga County Public Library Great Books for Kids
  • 2008 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People —
               CBC and the National Council for Social Studies
  • 2008 IRA Notable Books for a Global Society
  • 2008 NCTE Award
  • 2008 Capitol Choices — Best Books of the Year, Washington, D.C.
  • 2008 New York Public Library's Teen Age List
  • 2008 Cooperative Children's Book Center — Best of the Year
  • 2008 Bank Street College of Education — Best Children's Book
  • 2008 Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts
  • 2008 Book of the Year Award —
               Northern California Independent Booksellers Association
  • 2008 Women's National Book Association's Judy Lopez Memorial Awards Honor
  • 2008-09 Maine Student Book Award
  • 2008 Notable Children's Books in the English Language Arts
  • 2009 ATPE Book of the Month
  • 2009 Sakura Medal Book
  • 2008-2009 Nominated for the Maine Student Book Award

New! Revolution now available in Paperback!
Henry Holt, October 2009


  • A vivid account of one of the sad follies of history, made rich with details that only an impressionable young witness could supply — The Christian Science Monitor
  • In her spare, lyrical style, [she] vividly portrays a world turned upside down  — San Francisco Chronicle
  • A "gripping account of life during China's Cultural Revolution" Publisher's Weekly Starred review
  • "The Chinese Revolution is up close and personal in this touching historical novel" — Book Sense Picks for Autumn 2007
  • Lyrical yet gripping — Kirkus Reviews
  • "An excellent addition to historical fiction about this period in China's history." — School Library Journal
  • "Beautifully descriptive phrases allow this autobiographical fiction to come alive… Violence is highlighted in vivid detail — Voya
  • "Like her cookbooks and children's books, food plays an important role in her novel…" — Lamorinda Sun
  • "…a great book – there's no other way to put it." — Virginia Pilot
  • "[The] clipped, lyrical first person narrative sets a na´ve child's struggle to survive in the political panorama of spies and slogans." —  Booklist
  • Gut wrenching. Riveting... significant — Richie Partington
  • A vantage point rarely seen in books about this era... An inspiring story — Shelf Awareness


Discussion Guide


A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts
Henry Holt, October 2009


Selected as a Notable Book for 2010 by the Children's Literary Assembly

Selected by the AARP as a Grandparent's Book for Children.


According to Chinese tradition, those who die hungry or unjustly come back to haunt the living. Some are appeased with food. But not all ghosts are successfully mollified. In this chilling collection of stories, Ying takes readers on a journey through time and across different parts of China. From the building of the Great Wall in 200 BCE to the modern day of iPods, hungry ghosts continue to torment those who wronged them.

At once a window into the history and culture of China and an ode to Chinese cuisine, this assortment of frightening tales — complete with historical notes and delectable recipes — will both scare and satiate!


See the full jacket here


"Ghost Stories with a Chinese Twist"
  —The San Francisco Chronicle


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