This review is done in conjunction with the author's tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Camille will be awarding an autographed Raggedy Chan bookmark to every commenter; a Chinese Heritage Tale illustration signed by the author and illustrator to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a grand prize of a Limited Edition Raggedy Chan Doll to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour via a Rafflecopter drawing at the end of this post. If you want more chances to win, visit the rest of her tour stops here.
I opted to read and review "Raggedy Chan".
Middle Grade Fairy Tale
Emma Chan-McDougal receives a special gift from her Auntie Gracie: a rag doll named Raggedy Chan. But Raggedy Chan is no ordinary doll. She is a beautiful Chinese princess who lives in a jasper palace on the enchanted isle of Kunlun. The peace of her island home is threatened when Drought Fury steals Winged Dragon, bringer of rain. Without Winged Dragon, Kunlun will wither and die.
To save her stricken homeland, Raggedy Chan sets forth alone. Her quest leads her to America, where she meets people who distrust her because she’s different. Can Raggedy Chan adapt to the strange ways of this new land and rescue her beloved dragon?
In this modern fairy tale, Chinese-American author Camille Picott draws on her heritage to weave a story of magic, adventure, and sacrifice.
My Review: This short chapter book grew out of the stories the author heard growing up from her family members--and offers quite a bit of depth so both children and their parents can enjoy the book. The legend of the princess is told with a richness of language and description--while the present day story that serves as the framework for it is told in simpler, more basic language.
Emma is half-Chinese, half-American, but clearly identifies mostly with her American heritage...that is until her mother's Auntie Gracie comes to stay with Emma while her mom goes back to work. She's on a one-woman mission to introduce Emma to the Chinese part of her heritage by teaching her to eat with chopsticks, play mahjong, create wontons and at the same time she shares with her a fable about the difficulties people have in coming to a new land.
I believe this book would be a good one for parents and children to read together--and can lead to some good discussions about how to treat people that are different. Though marketed as a middle grade book, I think it would be more enjoyed by 6-8 year olds--again, with their parents.
Now enjoy an excerpt:
“What do you have in there?” Emma eyed the large canvas bag hanging from Auntie Gracie’s shoulder.
Auntie Gracie smiled. “I show you. Come sit on couch.”
Emma scrambled up, pulling the red-haired rag doll into her lap. Auntie Gracie sat beside her, picking up the doll.
“This your favorite toy?”
“It’s from Grandma McDougal,” Emma said. “She had a raggedy doll just like this one when she was a little girl.”
Auntie Gracie pursed her lips and placed the doll on the coffee table. She reached into the canvas bag and pulled out a new rag doll. The yarn pigtails hung long and black. She wore a bright red dress and a white smock. Her black eyes, stitched of thread, had a distinct almond shape.
“She for you.” Auntie Gracie plopped the new doll into Emma’s lap. “Her name Raggedy Chan.”
“Raggedy Chan?” Emma burst into giggles, hugging the doll to her chest. “Wasn’t that Mommy’s last name before she married Daddy?”
Auntie Gracie nodded. “You like her?”
“I love her.”
“I tell you about Raggedy Chan. She from China, like me. You like to hear how she come to America?”
“Oh, yes, please.” Emma snuggled up next to Auntie Gracie, pulling a throw blanket over her legs. “I love stories.” She cuddled Raggedy Chan. Her other raggedy doll lay facedown and forgotten on the coffee table.
Auntie Gracie arranged part of the blanket over her own legs. “One time, far away, there mountain kingdom called Kunlun . . .”
Twitter: https://twitter.com/camillepicott or @camillepicott
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/camillepicott
a Rafflecopter giveaway