Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Ming's Christmas Wishes by Susan L. Gong


Ming's Christmas WishesMing's Christmas Wishes by Susan L. Gong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley (to review)
Genre: Children's Christmas Picture Book

Book Description Inspired by family stories.

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.

The illustrations are beautiful.  I could easily see myself looking at the details with a small child.  It's a great book for talking to children about strength, resilience, taking pride in your ancestry, and even talking about tolerance for someone who has different beliefs or customs.

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About the Author:  Susan L. Gong is a former teacher of Mandarin Chinese. She holds a BA in English literature and an MA in creative writing. She and her family have lived in Asia, Europe, and North America.

1 comment:

  1. This is a book that some of my grandchildren would enjoy. This looks like a great book.


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