Synopsis from Lee and Low Books:
Nancy is helping Ni Ni (Grandma) in the kitchen when a letter arrives from China. Ni Ni grows sad when she reads that her childhood home is being torn down, along with the chrysanthemum-filled garden and fish pond she has always loved.
After Nancy wins two goldfish at the summer fair, she comes up with an idea to keep Ni Ni’s memories of the garden alive. Nancy gets to work the very next morning, and as the surprise takes shape, the familiar beauty of home brings the entire family together.
Goldfish and Chrysanthemums shows us all how one young girl can make a difference in the lives of the people she loves. This tender story is a testament to the special bonds that tie us together within families and across generations.
About: Goldfish and Chrysanthemums is a picture book written by Andrea Cheng and illustrated by Michelle Chang. It was published on 5/10/2003 by Lee & Low Books, an imprint of Tu Books, paperback, 32 pages. The genres are Asian American, grandparents, picture book, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 6 to 8. Lee & Low Books is the largest multicultural children’s book publisher in USA. Their mission is “to publish contemporary diverse stories that all children could enjoy”. Please see below for more information about the author and illustrator.
My Experience: I started reading Goldfish and Chrysanthemums for my daughter on 12/2/2019 and finished it on 12/3/2019. This book is fantastic for kids! I love the trial and error of building the fish pond, how the water absorbs into the ground until Nancy figures out what she did wrong. I like that Nancy asks her parents’ permission first before doing anything. It’s great that Nancy involves her brother to help doing something nice for someone else. The story brings Asian heritage out by mentioning the rice, the city in China, and how to call grandma in Chinese. I like the positive family and neighbors dynamic in this book!
In this book, readers will follow a girl named Nancy. She felt bad for her grandmother when a letter arrived notifying her Grandma that the fish pond at her great grandfather’s house back in China will be destroyed. There is a game at the fair where Nancy played and won a couple of goldfishes. She thought of an idea to build a fish pond in her parent’s backyard as a surprise for her grandmother.
Pro: family, neighbors, goldfish, Asian American, thoughtful
About the Author & Illustrator:
Andrea Cheng was the author of several critically-acclaimed books for young readers. Her works range from picture books to young adult novels, and her stories often draw on the experiences of her Hungarian relatives or her husband’s Chinese family. When not writing books, Cheng taught English as a Second Language at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. She passed away in late 2015. Learn more about her work at http://www.andreacheng.com (Photo obtained from the author’s website and info obtained from the publisher’s website).
Michelle Chang is a full-time illustrator who earned her BFA degree from the San Francisco Academy of Art. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines including The New Yorker, Time, Rolling Stone, GQ, Forbes, and The Atlantic Monthly. She is also a first place winner in the annual competition sponsored by RSVP: The Directory of Illustration. Chang currently lives in LA making jewelry in her sunny Southern California studio. This is her first picture book. To find out more about Michelle Chang, visit her Web site: http://www.michellechang.com (Photo obtained from the illustrator’s website and info obtained from the publisher’s website).
More Information about Lee & Low Books:
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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Lee & Low Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please assured that my opinions are honest.