What's That?


Jax loves the food his family cooks. But when his grandmother packs his favorite Chinese dishes for his first day of school, Jax discovers his lunch looks very different from what the rest of his classmates are eating. Embarrassed to eat his food, Jax finds himself sitting alone. When Meena sits next to him, the two strike an unexpected friendship over their lunches, sharing a mutual joy of time spent in the kitchen and the delicious meals they eat with their families. What’s That? is a heartwarming story about the foods that make up who we are and how the meals we eat can bring us together.

For ages 3+
40 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781737240402
Hardcover, 9” x 11”, full color illustrations, 40 pages
Printed on FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper


"Ultimately <i>What's That?</i> demonstrates the vital role food plays in how we connect to our families and our cultures— as well as how we come to know and leave each other and our selves."

<br> - Publishers Weekly

"This children’s book promotes inclusivity and compassion by celebrating what makes us all unique and embracing family heritage and traditions. It follows the story of Jax, whose lunchbox doesn’t look like the other kids’, but is packed of love."

<br> - Forbes

Author & Illustrator

Karen Chan is a mom, entrepreneur and attorney who lives in Los Angeles. What’s That? is her debut children’s book and she is the founder of Gloo Books. She loves cooking and eating and is always thumbing through a new cookbook or children’s book.

Basia Tran is a Polish-Vietnamese children's book illustrator currently based in Jersey City, where she lives with her husband. She hopes that she can share her love of laughter and learning with the world through her art.

Customer Reviews

Based on 26 reviews
Perfect for Teachers AND Parents

I teach at an elementary school, and one day when I commented on how delicious one of the Indian students naan breads looked, he quickly told me that it was Pizza. We got into a discussion that day that revealed how uncomfortable he felt bringing Indian food to school. I loved it. In the end. He was sitting with a Korean girl and a Mexican girl. And we had an awesome conversation about all the unique food they eat, and how much I love all of those unique foods!!!! So, when I stumbled upon this book, I made sure to read it in his classroom and to ALL the second graders! The theme of the book is so timely and meaningful to kids who really do feel this way! Highly recommend this book!

Koryn Wyman

It was a very good book and we hope you make more books like it.

Breann Turner

The story is so beautiful and the illustrations are absolutely breathtaking. This story is exactly what kids need to read plus it is such a fun book. I adore the illustrations so much.

What's That? Customer Service

Great customer service they helped me with all the issues!

Alyse Munishamaiah

What's That?