By: Dedie King
Illustrated by: Judith Inglese
Publisher: Satya House Publications
Publication Date: October 2010
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: October 13, 2010
A little girl in China wakes up as the sunshine slips in through her window. She gets up, rouses her little brother, watches her grandfather do his Tai Chi and then rides the ferry to Shanghai to visit her aunt. The day is spent doing all sorts of exciting things from shopping at the Grand Mall to tea in the park, and walking on the “Bund” (a well-known pedestrian walkway in Shanghai). After a busy day, it’s off to bed to dream about all the wonderful things she did with her aunt.
I See The Sun In China is a sweet story for children 5 and up that introduces them to another culture, full of rich customs. They learn about China, its villages and cities and what people do for work and enjoyment. While some customs such as having tea in the park may seem unusual to young readers here in the US, there are other things that are universal such as doing homework and shopping at the mall. I’m glad the author included a variety of activities so that readers can see that while people living so far away may have different customs, many activities are shared experiences.
The English text is accompanied by the text in Mandarin Chinese so that children can get a taste of the writing style used in China. Tying the story together beautifully is the colorful collage style artwork. Blending cutouts, drawings, and photographs, the pictures help create an atmosphere of life in the world’s most populated country. There is a brief glossary in the back explaining the various terms used in the text, as well as a one-page overview of China.
As technology makes communication and business dealings between countries easier and more common, it becomes even more imperative to understand the culture and customs of other countries. One of the best ways to aid this understanding is to teach children at an early age the differences, and similarities, between their lives and those living far away. Seeing this need, Satya House Publications is launching a new series to introduce children to their peers in distant countries. I See The Sun In China is the first book in the series and it does a lovely job of opening the world of China to the eyes of young readers here in the States.
Quill says: Whether for the classroom or home setting, the first in the "I See The Sun" series provides an excellent introduction to life in China for young children.