Ming's Christmas Wishes by Susan L. Gong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ming wishes for three things at Christmas. First, to sing in the school Christmas choir. Second, to have a Christmas tree like the one in the department store window. And third, to feel she belongs somewhere.
As a daughter of immigrants in 1930s California, Ming is often treated differently than other children at school. She’s pointedly not invited to sing in the Christmas choir. At home, when Ming lobbies her parents for a Christmas tree, her mother scolds her for trying to be American. Ming doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere: she’s not quite American enough at school, not quite Chinese enough at home.
Seeing his daughter’s unhappiness, Pop takes her into the mountains to visit a wise old friend. Always happy for an adventure with her kind father, Ming hopes to persuade Pop to bring home a mountain pine to be their Christmas tree. But he has something else in mind, something that will help Ming draw strength from nature, from their Chinese heritage, and from deep and enduring family ties.
My thoughts: This is a children's picture book that tells the story through the eyes of Ming, a young Chinese girl living in America. It is hard for children to feel as if they are different from their peers. Ming struggles because she does not feel like she fully belongs to either culture.
This is a cute picture book. Ming learns a little more about her family and their struggles. In the end, Ming learns the power of compromise.