I Want to Be Spaghetti! (Hardcover)
July/August 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“Funny mixed with gorgeous illustrations, this picture book takes loving who you are to another level. Sometimes, all it takes is being put in a bowl of people just like you that makes you realize your perfect just the way you are.”
— Armilene Cabreros, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID
A funny debut picture book about how one little ramen packet finds self-love and belonging in a spaghetti-obsessed world.
Even from Ramen's small shelf in the supermarket, they see spaghetti propaganda everywhere. They want to be celebrated, too. Maybe, Ramen misguidedly thinks, I have to change to be loved like that. "I want to be spaghetti!" they proclaim to the dismay of the rest of the instant noodle section.
But when Ramen's brought home and placed in a warm bowl of broth alongside new friends like Chashu, Narutomaki, and Nori, they realize they've always been perfect exactly the way they are. Colorfully illustrated by Claudia Lam (@theforestmori), this heartwarming story about identity and community from food writer Kiera Wright-Ruiz (@kierawrr) celebrates the beauty of being yourself --and being recognized for who you are.
About the Author
Kiera Wright-Ruiz is a writer and recipe developer. She has written for publications like The New York Times, Food52, Serious Eats and The Kitchn. Her work explores the diversity of food and amplifies underrepresented communities. Her debut recipe book, The Half-Latinx Cookbook, publishes in 2025 from Harvest. When not writing, she is probably eating onigiri with her husband and dog somewhere in Tokyo, where she is based. Find more about her work @kierawrr and kierawrightruiz.com.
Claudia Lam, also known as The Forest Mori, is an independent illustrator, designer, and ceramic artist. From painting and pottery to digital art and graphic design, Claudia works with various creative mediums to explore colours and art styles that convey a sense of relatability. It is her focus to bring joy to people through her artwork by selling it worldwide, curating creative content for brands, and becoming a children’s book illustrator. Find more about her work @theforestmori and theforestmori.com
Praise for I Want to Be Spaghetti!
Amazon Best Book of the Month
Good Housekeeping’s 2023 Kids’ Book Award
Brightly Best Picture Book of 2023
"Use your noodle and add this saucy tale to your collection!" --Kirkus Reviews
"Aerial perspectives, round vignettes, and repetition of ramen ingredients introduced in the kitchen (egg, chashu, narutomaki, nori), share how Ramen is special and perfect just the way they are."