My Day with Gong Gong by Sennah Yee, pictures by Elaine Chen


My Day with Gong Gong by Sennah Yee, pictures by Elaine Chen. Annick Press, (9781773214290), 2020

Format:  Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Picture Book

What did you like about the book?   A little girl named May spends the day with her maternal grandfather, Gong Gong.  May does not speak or understand Cantonese, but her Gong Gong always seems to know what she needs.  Gong Gong takes May through his vibrant neighborhood where they visit a gift shop, stop at a dim sum restaurant, buy groceries and join Going Gong’s friends at the park. There are a few instances where May feels misunderstood, “’Can we eat?’  I ask. He pats my head and smiles, but that’s not what I asked for!”  After a burst of tears when a pigeon poops on her, Gong Gong comes to the rescue.  In the end May has a wonderful day out with her Gong Gong.  The illustrations are filled with the sights and activity of a busy Chinatown area including a man playing the Chinese violin.  The author includes a page with “May and Gong Gong’s Cantonese” where readers can learn the various Cantonese terms in the story.  This is a sweet story of a loving intergenerational relationship.  

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommended for children interested in Cantonese culture and for anyone looking for a sweet grandfather/granddaughter story.  

Who should buy this book?  Public Libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles?  No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:          11/30/2020         

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