Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
What did you like about the book? This Chinese book brings the culture of Beijing into the story of an old man selling candied hawberries during the winter. An old man needs to sell these candied treats on a stick in order to buy medicine for his wife. When children wearing their padded coats and winter masks come to buy the treats from him, he notices that there are tails sticking out of the backs of their coats. They pay the old man and his pockets are filled with enough money to buy the medicine. The surprise at the end of the book is that cats were the ones buying the treats. I especially liked the page at the end of the book that explained about the hawberries, and about the area in Beijing where these are sold. It also talks about the small alleyways (hutong) which are living museums to Beijing’s culture. This Chinese book has the English pronunciation written above the Chinese characters and a reference page for further learning at the back. This is a wonderful book for children to learn about Chinese culture along with the Chinese language.
Anything you didn’t like about it? I liked everything about the book.
To whom would you recommend this book? Children ages 2-5. It is also certified appropriated for novice learners of Chinese by the ACTFL Proficiency guidelines.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries, elementary school libraries, Chinese immersion classes, any Chinese language learner
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Sandra Pacheco, ESL teacher Washington, DC.
Date of review: July 31, 2017