Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mah Jong All Day Long (2005) and Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic (2012) by Ginny Lo; illustrations by Beth Lo

From the copyright page:  "The illustrations were created by painting with ceramic underglazes on handmade porcelain plates."  That was the most amazing part of these books.  So cool!

I liked Mahjong All Day Long slightly better than Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic.    Soybean was a bit too long, although interesting.  Mahjong was very short.  Both are very culturally specific, I think, although I guess they could be used as introductory to Chinese American culture.  Certainly if I had young family members who were Chinese American, these would make nice read-alouds or gifts.

Mahjong looks like a fun game.  I wish I knew how to play.



Mahjong All Day LongMahjong All Day Long by Ginnie Lo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Short and very sweet.  Although at first glance this seems a bit culturally specific,I think the broader appeal lies in the warmth of a family gathering - many of us remember our parents and grandparents, their friends and relations, playing some sort of card game while younger children looked on longingly, waiting for the time when they were old enough to join.  The illustrations are unbelievably extraordinary - " created by painting with ceramic underglazes on handmade porcelain plates."  


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My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The amazing illustrations "created by painting with ceramic underglazes on handmade porcelain plates" make this book a special piece of art.  The storytelling is slightly flat though, almost but not quite didactic.  I wished the cousins had been a little more lively and felt as real in the story as they looked on the plates.  Still, it's interesting, and definitely a slice of time sort of work.  



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