Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Shanghai Messenger

Shanghai Messenger

Fall 2005 Fiction
Ages: 8 - 12 yrs.
Author: Andrea Cheng
Illustrator: Ed Young
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
ISBN: 1-58430-238-0
Hardcover Price: $17.95
Review:
The text of this picture book for older readers is as delicately detailed as the simple vignettes which accompany it. Eleven-year-old Xiao Mei—journeying to China for the first time to meet her extended family—is overcome by longing at both ends of the journey. The dilemma of belonging to two cultures is beautifully—and movingly—explored in each free verse chapter and the perspective of the child narrator is carefully and consistently maintained. Young uses designs reminiscent of Oriental screens to border each page and sprinkles tiny, delicately colored pastels throughout. A lovingly created book that will both resonate with those whose heritage is mixed and enrich the understanding of those who do not know what it is like to live in—and love—two very different ways of life.
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2005 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.


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