agiftA Gift
A story about home, family, hope, and love.
News and Press
The October 1, 2009 issue of School Library Journal features a review of Yong Chen's "A Gift".
October 1, 2009

This simple story begins with a young Chinese-American girl, Amy, receiving a gift from her mother's sister, who lives in China. As her family prepares to celebrate Chinese New Year, a package arrives for Amy. It is a beautiful necklace made from a green stone her uncle found while plowing his fields. He took it to a carver who saw a dragon hidden inside and brought it out. The dragon was strung on a traditional red cord and sent to Amy on the other side of the world. Chen's text is spare but, combined with her luscious watercolors, evokes a vivid portrait of rural Chinese culture. Children will find much to notice and discuss in the illustrations, both in the pictures of Amy's home (with a tabletop orange tree in a pot, a Buddha statue in the garden, red gift envelopes on the table) and those of China (a water buffalo pulling a hand plow, Chinese boats, colorful paper lanterns, people walking with parasols to protect them from the sun). This is an uncomplicated introduction to the holiday and a lovely addition to most collections.—Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME