The first in the I See the Sun Series, readers follow a young girl as she travels from a small town in China to the city of Shanghai to spend time with her aunt. The unspoken message of this book is the movement from the old to the new, while still maintaining some connections with the past. It depicts some of the many choices available in China today, and the drive to be successful in a modern world. The story provides a unique introduction to the culture, family life and language of China in a way that is ...
The first in the I See the Sun Series, readers follow a young girl as she travels from a small town in China to the city of Shanghai to spend time with her aunt. The unspoken message of this book is the movement from the old to the new, while still maintaining some connections with the past. It depicts some of the many choices available in China today, and the drive to be successful in a modern world. The story provides a unique introduction to the culture, family life and language of China in a way that is age-appropriate and sensitive to the true environment. Children will be able to recognize the similarities as well as the differences between their own culture and the culture of modern China. Written in both English and Mandarin Chinese, I See the Sun in China is beautifully illustrated with warm, engaging collages made from photographs, colorful paper cut-outs, and drawings. Includes country overview and glossary of unfamiliar terms. For ages 5 and up.
Readers get to see different aspects of China in this picture book, which follows a young girl as she journeys from her rural home on the Island of Putuo Shan to Shanghai to visit her aunt. Traditional aspects of Chinese culture, such as tai chi (an internal martial art), mah jong (a game of strategy), and Kwan Yin (the female aspect of the Buddha), are touched on, yet King and Inglese also showcase examples of modern China—including its towering skyscrapers, cosmopolitan department stores, and global business practices (at one point the girl's aunt calls an American business partner to discuss work). Presented in both English and Mandarin Chinese, the picture book effectively showcases the many opportunities that exist in China's growing economy for people like the girl, who wonders how she will fit in among all the people and places she sees. Readers will also appreciate Inglese's artwork—a series of collages made from photographs, colored paper, and hand-drawn pictures—that are reminiscent of the award-winning art of Chinese illustrator Ed Young. Overall, the picture book offers an excellent way of introducing young children to aspects of modern Chinese culture, in striking contrast to many other American children's books about China, which tend to focus on ancient China or the Communist Revolution. Reviewer: Michael Jung, PhD
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Early one morning, a woman and her daughter catch a ferry from their small town on the island of Putuo Shan to Shanghai where the unnamed child will spend the weekend with her aunt. After eating lunch at Auntie's apartment, the two visit a mall and a park. In the evening they have dinner with Auntie's friends at a restaurant, walk along the Bund, and enjoy a foot massage. Back at the apartment, the youngster does her schoolwork while Auntie talks on the phone with her business partner in the U.S. At the end of the day, the child reflects on the choices she will have as she grows up. This bilingual book is one of a series of titles that looks at the cultures of various countries around the world. The glossary and notes give a bit more information about China and define specific items mentioned in the story. The Mandarin is an accurate translation of the English, which is awkward toward the end of the story in part because the use of commas is erratic. The illustrations are done in collage, a combination of cut paper, photographs, and line drawings. The quality of the photographs is uneven, and the overall design of the artwork lacks vigor. While the simple story is pleasing, the book has limited appeal.—Barbara Scotto, Children's Literature New England, Brookline, MA
Author, Dedie King, a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, also taught school there. She travels extensively and spends a considerable amount of time, not as a tourist, but immersed in many cultures, living with families who open their homes to her. She holds a MEd and has taught elementary school and children with learning disabilities. Her interest in writing books about different cultures is to bring awareness to young children of both the sameness and the differences of cultures around the world.
Judith Inglese has been designing and fabricating ceramic tile murals for public environments for more than thirty years. Her commissions include libraries, schools, hospitals and municipal and institutional buildings like the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Her murals often focus on the play and imagination of children as well as cross-cultural exchange and community. Illustrator of the "I See the Sun in ..." series, this is the first book she has written and illustrated.