Dumplings & Spaghetti

Dumplings and Spaghetti is an autobiographical illustration book that depicts memories from the author’s childhood. The title associates two food items from different cultures, Chinese Dumplings, and Italian Spaghetti. Dumplings and Spaghetti are symbols that identify the author’s experience as an Italian-born Chinese child that grew up in the small Italian city of Florence. Being part of the only Chinese family in the neighborhood, her childhood was often marked by a feeling of alienation and loneliness. These memories are organized into short chapters, each of which is representative of an important event in the young life of the author and her family. Each chapter is introduced by an illustration made with black ink and a splash of deep blue watercolor. The color blue is associated with the name “Paesaggio Marino“ (Marine Landscape), which was the name of the family Chinese restaurant that the author’s parents ran for almost a decade in Florence. The color blue has a symbolic value that represents inner transition, movement, and change, like the myriad of shades of blue that are reflected by the waves at different times of the day.