Siu Lan and the Magic Cookbook is an animation show for children ages 5 to 9 that uses food to tell a story about family, friendship, and culture. Cynthia’s mom told her she can experience her culture through food since immigrating to Canada from China. The seed for the story comes from a recipe made by Cynthia’s gong gong (grandpa in Cantonese). He became a cook after immigrating and his recipe is a fusion dish called stir fry macaroni, which Cynthia finds to represent her biracial identity. The story is inspired by our human ability to find culture and belonging through the food we eat, what we cook and the recipes we share. Cynthia is the creator behind Siu Lan and the Magic Cookbook. Cynthia views storytelling as healing. She hopes kids see themselves in the characters and feel like they are capable of incredible things. Throughout her Sony Talent League journey, she was helped by her mentors and collaborated with artists Marina González and Laura Lofaro. She could not have done this without the support of the THU team, her fellow finalists, and her family.
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