Review of the Week

Li-Quong, Yu. A New Year’s Reunion.  Zhu Cheng-Liang, Illus. Pic. Bk. Candlewick, 2011. [40]p. $15.99, 978-0-7636-5881-6.    OUTSTANDING      GRADES PRE-3.

First published in Taiwan in 2008, this poignant picture book describes a relatively common practice in China: parents who work so far from home they can only visit their families for a few days each New Year’s. A little girl, Maomao, describes the excitement of her Papa’s visit during Chinese New Year; at first she barely recognizes him but soon she joins Papa and Mama in making rice balls and other New Year’s traditions, until he has to leave again. The text, approximately one paragraph per opening, is too long for storytime but is great for one-on-one reading, or for a primary grade classroom read-aloud. The vivid gouache illustrations, dominated by red and brown, convey a realistic depiction of Maomao’s town. A note at the end states that there are over 100 million migrant workers in China, many with families just like the one portrayed in this culturally sensitive story. Penny Peck, San Jose State Univ, SLIS

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