Reading level: Ages 3-8
Pages: 32 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (June 11, 2002)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 10.3 x 0.3 inches
• Starred School Library Journal Review
• Bank Street College Best Books of the Year
• Outstanding Achievement in Picture Books 2002, by the Parent's Guide to Children's Media Inc. Board of Directors
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3-The parents and three daughters who were introduced in Dim Sum for Everyone! (Knopf, 2001) return this time to shop for supplies and make a dragon kite, which they fly on a windy day. The brief sentence on every spread describes what each family member is doing: "Ba-Ba glues the paper." "Mei-Mei cuts whiskers." Young Mei-Mei's protruding tongue is evidence of her complete absorption in and enjoyment of her task. Patterns in the wallpaper and floor that form the background for the brilliantly colored, flat paintings of family members add visual interest. More patterns appear on Chinese-style jackets and slippers and on the bright-red dragon as well. Lin's signature swirls in the sky along with diagonals of kite string, grassy hill, and kite ribbons; and blowing hair, clothing, and leaves combine to suggest the ideal blustery day for this activity. Front endpapers contain supplies needed to build a kite while the back pages depict different kite creatures and the attributes they symbolize. An author's note offers a brief history of kite flying. Demi's Kites: Magic Wishes That Fly up to the Sky (Knopf, 2000) provides even more information about Chinese kites and their meanings.
A Chinese girl describes how the members of her family come together to make and fly a dragon kite. Even the girl's two younger sisters help: Mei Mei cuts the whiskers and Jie Jie paints a laughing mouth. The overall simplicity is effective and appealing, and the spare text is accentuated by bright gouache illustrations, in colorful shapes and painted fabric patterns that call up the same strong style Lin used in Dim Sum for Everyone! (2001). The close-up perspective will draw little ones right into the project; the finished dragon kite flies as if "talking to the wind. What do you think he's saying?" Two pages of endnotes provide historical and cultural context for this favorite pastime, and clever endpapers display craft supplies and kite shapes.
A young girl describes very simply, in just a few words, how her family builds a dragon kite together. They paint and decorate it, then take it out to talk to the wind. The front end-papers depict the materials used, while the back papers present ten very attractive animal-shaped kites. Beginning with the title page, the double pages show the family in action in a flat, decorative style that emphasizes the patterns on the clothes, wall paper, and kite, designed to show the unity of the family as they work together. There are added notes on kite-flying in history and today.
A windy day offers the family from Dim Sum for Everyone! (2002) the perfect opportunity to build and fly a kite. Beginning from raw materials, each member takes part in the creation of the flying paper dragon. "Ma-Ma joins sticks together. Ba-Ba glues the paper." The children take turns cutting the whiskers, painting a mouth, and adding colorful eyes. Finally the family attaches a noisemaker and some string. Heading out to a windy field, they send the dragon into the air, watching as it dances across the sky, joining dozens of other kites in flight. Painted illustrations that seem to be cut from brightly colored origami paper fill each page. The bold artwork and simple text with the obvious accompanying activity will interest young readers as they are introduced to this wonderful Chinese tradition. An author's note following the text summarizes the history and significance of kite-flying in the Chinese culture. Endpapers feature illustrations of the materials needed for building a kite and the symbolic meaning of some kite shapes. As cheerful as a breezy summer day.
The wind is blowing. It is a good day for kites." And so a family of Asian heritage gets busy making a kite. "Ma- Ma joins sticks together." An older child and her father glue paper and paint. Little Mei-Mei uses preschooler's scissors to do some cutting. The young narrator adds dragon eyes, and everyone works to attach a noisemaker. A good wind completes the project. The author/artist's two-page ending note contains information about historic kite flying in China and elsewhere, and kites everywhere today. Lin used bright colors and bold images to illustrate her brief text and to show 10 kinds of Chinese kites on the end papers
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