In the Park by Huy Voun Lee, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
In the Park

In the Park

by Huy Voun Lee
     
 

Spring has arrived and Xiao Ming can't wait to spend the day in the park with his mother. All around them are signs of the season: insects flying, leaves on the trees, and flowers in bloom. Xiao Ming's mother teaches Xiao Ming how to write the words for these things in Chinese by first drawing pictures of them.

Following the highly acclaimed At the Beach <

Overview

Spring has arrived and Xiao Ming can't wait to spend the day in the park with his mother. All around them are signs of the season: insects flying, leaves on the trees, and flowers in bloom. Xiao Ming's mother teaches Xiao Ming how to write the words for these things in Chinese by first drawing pictures of them.

Following the highly acclaimed At the Beach and In the Snow, In the Park is Huy Voun Lee's third book on Chinese character writing. The instructional text, written as a simple story, is complemented by exuberant, cut-paper art. And the steps to writing the ten Chinese characters taught in the story are reinforced on the endpapers. After a day in the park with Xiao Ming and his mother, young readers will be eager to try their own hand at drawing Chinese characters.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Harmony is the effect Huy achieves in her playful collage cutouts of blooming park scenes. As in At the Beach and In the Snow, Huy fluidly weaves a lesson in drawing Chinese characters into a mother-son outing. Young Xiao Ming, sporting a baseball cap, pulls his pigtailed mother excitedly through an expansive urban refuge. Nature has erupted into the colors of spring and there's much to see: families strolling, singing groups and chirping birds, an army of ants loaded with cargo, Rollerbladers, bikers and painters. Huy gracefully depicts the American melting pot in these double-spread pages framed with borders of soft colors that integrate silhouettes of elements from the text (ducks, frogs, raindrops). The Chinese character that Xiao Ming's mother is teaching him to draw introduces each spread: for example, the character for insects ("It looks like three bugs flying," remarks Xiao Ming) accompanies three bees in flight; three flowing vertical lines connote a stream. Huy uses an organic approach, exploring each word as mother and son come upon it in their travels; a strategy especially well suited to a written language in which art and life meet so naturally in the composition of its characters (a glossary flanks the tale). The park scenes are wonderfully diverse, and in the few spreads where mother and son are not visible, their running dialogue keeps them ever present. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Susan Hepler
In bright bordered cut paper collage illustrations, readers meet Xiao Ming and his mother who go for a walk in the park. As they notice signs of spring, they use sticks to draw Chinese characters in the earth that represent words associated with the season: fruit, nest, stream, umbrella and others. The incredibly complex system of Chinese writing is hinted at as Xiao Ming's mother explains that the symbol for nest is three squiggly lines atop two other symbols, one which means field and another which means tree in the field which translates to "fruit tree". Endpapers are decorated with a kind of picture glossary: a literal picture, a character, its English meaning, and the Chinese word it represents, plus its pronunciation. This book joins two previous titles, At the Beach and In the Snow. While the story stands on its own as a gentle seasonal appreciation, its purpose is to make readers aware of the beauty of Chinese writing; it would be useful in social studies and art curriculum development as well.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4This concept book follows the format of the artist's At the Beach (1994) and In the Snow (1995, both Holt). An excursion to an urban park in springtime provides Xiao Ming's mother another opportunity to teach him 10 Chinese characters. Each character is written at the beginning of the paragraph in which Mother explains the elements of the ideograph and connects it to the natural objects nearby. The pages are handsomely composed tableaux of people enjoying activities in the park. The cast is multicultural and multigenerational. The illustrations, built of plain or patterned cut-paper collages, shift in point of view. Each scene is set within borders that often feature decorative motifs relating to the characters under discussion. The characters and a pronunciation guide in standard Chinese are listed on the first and last pages. Peggy Goldstein's Long Is a Dragon (Pacific View, 1992), intended for older children and not so visually appealing, shows how to write characters. It is a better choice for an organized, logical explanation of Chinese ideographs. Lee's title should awaken interest in Chinese writing, but could stand alone as an example of the art of collage, or as a celebration of spring.Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Kirkus Reviews
In her continuing series of books on writing Chinese characters (In the Snow, 1995), Lee beautifully executes paper-cut illustrations with a spring theme. Xiao Ming and his mother go to the park, where she teaches him some Chinese characters: The one for earth looks like a plant growing; chirp combines the characters for bird and for mouth; Xiao Ming describes the character for umbrella as looking like people under a big roof. The dialogue is fairly lifeless, but the pictures are rich with detail: Lee's use of pattern is masterly, and among the people she creates are a charming white-haired pair of elders, a couple expecting a child, and a person in a wheelchair. The written Chinese characters are clearly illustrated in the text and end papers, where pronunciation is provided. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805041286
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
03/15/1998
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 10.96(h) x 0.36(d)
Lexile:
AD370L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Huy Voun Lee is the author and illustrator of At the Beach and In the Snow. Originally from Cambodia, Ms. Lee now lives in New York City.

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