A Multicultural Author Event

Saturday November 10th, 11:00am

About the Book

Mahlee loves doing things with her mother. When Mommy suggests that she try fried grasshoppers, something she ate as a child growing up in Laos, Mahlee is not so sure.

Mommy knows it’s time to tell her daughter how different her life was in Laos.  She drank water from a coconut, wore shoes made from banana tree trunks, made dolls out of rags, did homework on a small blackboard, swam in a pond, and had a beetle and a fighting fish as pets. Not only that— she ate fried grasshoppers!

“They taste just like potato chips,” Mommy tells her, but Mahlee changes the subject. She lives in California, and Americans don’t eat fried grasshoppers.

Her mother suggests again that they have fried grasshoppers while they watch a movie. Mahlee thinks about it. She and Mommy always do things together, she realizes. Why should this be any different?

She takes a bite of one and—much to her surprise, it tastes just like a potato chip!

In Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers and through the closeness of a mother- daughter relationship, Vilayvanh Bender shows children that cultural differences are just that—differences.

About the Author

Vilayvanh Bender immigrated to America along with her family at the age of seven as a Vietnam War refugee. Entering the United States as completely non-English speaking, her first goal was to become fluent in English.

She believes in the importance of cultural preservation and acceptance. She enjoys volunteering at her daughters’ school and sharing her Lao culture with students through stories, activities and play, which have ultimately become the inspiration for her first book.

Vilayvanh lives in Corona, California, with her husband and two daughters. She is a private practice Registered Dietitian working with children and families. Vilayvanh is passionate about the health and wellness of all children.

In her spare time, you will find her outdoors gardening, walking or playing tennis. Sharing dishes and trying new foods are two of her favorite things. Most of all, she enjoys laughing and making memories with her family.