Tea With Milk


With elegant watercolors, Allen Say's beautiful picture book is a moving tribute to his parents and their path to discovering where home really is.

At home in San Francisco, May speaks Japanese, and the family eats rice and miso soup and drinks green tea. When she visits her friends' homes, she eats fried chicken and spaghetti.

May plans someday to go to college and live in an apartment of her own. But when her family moves back to Japan, she soon feels lost and homesick for America.

In Japan, everyone calls her by her Japanese name, Masako. She has to wear kimonos and sit on the floor. Poor May is sure that she will never feel at home in this country. Eventually, May is expected to marry, and a matchmaker is hired.


Outraged at the thought, May sets out to find her own way in the big city of Osaka. The accompanying story of his mother and her journey as a young woman is heartfelt. Tea with Milk vividly portrays the graceful formality of Japan and captures the struggle between two cultures as May strives to live out her own life.

Alongside his Caldecott Medal-winning Grandfather's Journey, in Tea with Milk, master storyteller Allen Say continues to chronicle his family's history between Japan and California.