Shanghai Messenger

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $8.98   
  • Used (13) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cheng's (Marika) vivid writing and Young's (Beyond the Great Mountain, reviewed above) resonant illustrations mesh perfectly in this story about the close bonds of family. Xiao Mei, an 11-year-old Chinese-American girl, travels from Ohio to Shanghai to visit her Chinese relatives. The novel unspools in humorous, often poignant free-verse poems. The one called "Shanghai Messenger" describes the lone traveler's anxiety on the plane, until she discovers a note in her pocket, written by Nai Nai, her grandmother: "You are my messenger./ Look everything./ Remember." After Xiao Mei arrives in China, she is swept into the arms of her extended family. She makes wontons with her Auntie ("Pork, green onions,/ each wrapper gets a bit,/ then fold the thin dough/ and pinch tight," with spot illustrations that demonstrate the steps), visits Suzhou Gardens ("Great Grandfather walked here/ and Nai Nai/ and Auntie/ and my cousins/ and me") and stops for Tai Chi in the park: "I bend at the waist/ like the ladies/ and feel the dew/ on my fingers." A wordless spread depicts the group's graceful moves. The poem-like vignettes flow down vertically, framed by red interlinking lines that simulate Chinese screens. This border, alongside soft-edged pastels, gives the pages a feeling as intimate as this closely-knit family. Readers of any ethnic background will enjoy learning about China through Xiao Mei's curious eyes, but for those with far-flung families, the book will have special significance. Ages 8-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Eleven-year-old Xiao Mei is on her way to China to meet her extended family. She was initially reluctant to make the trip, wondering if she would be accepted because she is only half Chinese, but her grandmother, Nai Nai, tells stories of family members that pique her curiosity. Xiao Mei agrees to be Nai Nai's messenger, and to "Look everything./Remember." Once in Shanghai, the girl is warmly welcomed, and begins to learn about and appreciate her heritage. She makes wontons with Auntie, visits gardens where her great-grandfather's words are carved in the archways, and participates in morning Tai Chi exercises. When Xiao Mei returns home to Ohio after a week, she takes gifts, including a fan painted by an uncle that brings "a little bit of China" to America. Cheng does an admirable job of capturing this experience from the perspective of a child, and each free-verse chapter is brief but satisfying. With the exception of one spread illustrating the Tai Chi excercises, Young's illustrations delicately intertwine with the text, gently supporting each vignette. This is a superb book, capturing both the excitement and adventure of Xiao Mei's trip, as well as her realization that family ties can bridge great distances.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Half-Chinese Xiao Mei (May in English) is 11, going alone from Ohio to visit her extended family in Shanghai. In vivid poems, almost iridescent in their clarity of feeling, May wonders if people in China will stare at her green-flecked eyes; sees what her great-grandfather carved in stone in Suzhou Gardens; buys a live duck for lunch in the marketplace. The fear of being so far from the familiar and the ache of a loving but very different set of relatives are exquisitely delineated, no more so than in Young's beautiful illustrations. Each page is laid out with borders and centerpieces of a red Chinese grillwork pattern in perfect geometry; while soft-edged, brilliantly colored vignettes of May learning t'ai chi, riding on a moped to take laundry to dry, playing catch with a child and a red ball, illuminate every page. Some images catch at the heart-Auntie unwrapping a wonton to tuck the last speck of pork in before cooking, or May back in Ohio missing the shouting farmers outside her window in Shanghai. Wonderfully evocative. (Fiction/poetry. 8-14)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584302384
  • Publisher: Lee & Low Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,424,558
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)