Archive for the ‘Middle Grade Books’ Category

Week-end Book Review: Grandpa’s Indian Summer by Jamila Gavin, illustrated by Peter Bailey

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

BookCoverJamila Gavin, illustrated by Peter Bailey,
Grandpa Chatterji
Grandpa’s Indian Summer
Grandpa Chatterji’s Third Eye
Egmont, 2006.

Ages 7-11

Neetu and Sanjay, sister and brother, have two grandfathers – one nearby in England, Grandpa Leicester, who is very particular about how his grandchildren should behave; and Grandpa Chatterji whom they have never met until he comes from India to visit them. He couldn’t be more different to Grandpa Leicester, and much to the children’s surprise, even he is drawn under Grandpa Chatterji’s spell, despite himself. Grandpa Chatterji, in fact, possesses many qualities which make him an admirable role model for the children. His gentleness and simplicity belie his inner strength and he always has a twinkle in his eye. Life is never dull around Grandpa Chatterji, though some might call his behavior eccentric at times, which leads to some funny and unexpected adventures. He eschews anything which makes life unnecessarily complicated and is never in a hurry: but at the same time pursues a goal with charming if stubborn determination – whether it be a field of poppies on a chilly April day in England; floral garlands to welcome his family to India; or bringing back Sanjay’s lost kite using the power of his third eye.

Grandpa Chatterji (shortlisted for the Smarties Prize) and Grandpa’s Indian Summer were first published in the early ’90s. Now they have been reprinted with new illustrations by Peter Bailey, which are an added attraction – they compliment the text beautifully and will often raise a chuckle. And the real bonus for today’s generation of young readers is Grandpa Chatterji’s Third Eye: a whole new book in which Grandpa Chatterji comes back to England to bring more gentle magic and fun into his grandchildren’s lives. Gavin conveys so well the sometimes infuriating but always enchanting mixture of calm, single-mindedness and energy Grandpa Chatterji brings to everything he does. He is not concerned with the stereotypes of age and so is quite prepared to accompany Sanjay on the giant Rocket Ride at the funfair, although once is probably enough. He can’t resist joining in the children’s cricket game, with unforeseen results. He introduces the children to meditation and the notion of the third, inner eye – and each time they see him, they pick up where they have left off: within minutes of Neetu and Sanjay arriving home from school to greet a jet-lagged Grandpa Chatterjee, they are all three standing on their heads on his special rug.

Indian food and spices fill the senses: Grandpa Chatterji turns his daughter’s kitchen upside down more than once to produce the most delicious pakora (recipe supplied); Grandma Chatterji’s cakes are not only too temptingly good but provide a lesson in life when Sanjay is stranded on a tin box surrounded by ants, which have homed in surprisingly quickly on the crumbs he’s dropped; Grandpa Chatterji follows his third eye (and his umbrella!?!) in a satisfying tale in which, much to everyone’s astonishment, he discovers what could be the last remaining jar of Mrs Fernandez’ Green Chilli Pickle in the whole of England. Again, we don’t have to worry about that as the recipe is thoughtfully provided at the end of the book. However, the children are well ensconced in their Anglo-Indian culture and would opt for pizza and chips over ‘vegetable curry, runny spinach with eggs, and horrible stuff like that’ any day!

Gavin writes with great affection for her characters (even scary Grandpa Leicester is not so bad) and even characters who only appear in a brief cameo role are deftly brought to life. Neetu is definitely the older sister, reminding Sanjay of how he should behave, but she is not a goody-goody (she is not beyond disappearing under a table at a party with a plate full of Indian sweets); Sanjay, meanwhile, is the one we see growing through the three books. He is not entirely convinced at first about being in India and far away from home in Indian Summerand I love the way he plays with words in Third Eye: his excitement about Grandpa Chatterji coming to stay could not be better expressed than by his nonsensical chanting of ‘Grandpa Chatterji/ Matterji /Batterji/ Hatterji / Fatterji’. Grandpa Chatterji’s crooning to the inevitable crying baby on the flight home is not the Bengali lullaby it was on the way to England but a continuation on the theme of Sanjay’s rhymes. Flying away with Grandpa Chatterji not only brings the book full-circle but eases the wrench of having to say good-bye to characters who have worked their way under your skin at the end of a good read.

Marjorie Coughlan
July 2006

paw_sm3To read more book reviews from the PaperTigers team, click here

Grace Lin’s “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” has been adapted for the theatre!

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Exciting news from Grace Lin regarding her Newbery Honor Book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon!

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon at Wheelock Family Theater

Tickets on sale now!

As I mentioned last month, Wheelock Family Theater will be presenting Where the Mountain Meets the MoonWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin in the spring! It will be the New England premiere! The schedule has been set and you can now buy tickets. If you are a teacher, consider bringing your students for a field trip! They even have special 10am school matinees!

WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON

April 11 – May 11, 2014

Wheelock Family Theatre
200 The Riverway, Boston, MA, USA

Friday nights at 7:30; Saturday & Sunday matinees at 3:00
School vacation week matinees (Tue 4/22 – Fri 4/25) at 1:00
10am school matinees Wed 4/16, Thu 5/1, Tue 5/6, and Thu 5/8

Performances will be interpreted in American Sign Language on Thu 5/8 at 10am, Fri 5/9 at 7:30, & Sun 5/11 at 3:00.

Performances will be audio-described for folks with visual impairments on Thu 5/8 at 10am, Fri 5/9 at 7:30, & Sun 5/11 at 3:00.

A “Relaxed” performance for people with sensory sensitivities will be on Saturday May 3 at 10am

Tickets are $35 – $20 based on seating. Groups of 15 or more can take $5 off the regular ticket prices. Tickets can be purchased online at www.WheelockFamilyTheatre.org or over the telephone: 617-879-2300 (Tue – Fri; 10am to 6pm)

For additional information or for specific seating needs, please contact Charles Baldwin at 617-879-2300 or cbaldwin(at)wheelock(dot)edu.

NB: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was one of the books we selected to be included in our 2010 Spirit of PaperTigers Book Set.  Read our review of the book here and our interview with Grace here. We also have two galleries of Grace’s ilustration work here and here.

Since 2010 PaperTigers has sent carefully chosen books to particular schools and libraries in various parts of the world. The books chosen seek to provide “multicultural” or “trans-cultural” stories that promote awareness of, knowledge about, and positive acceptance of “the other” in ways children can learn and enjoy. We are convinced of the crucial role of literacy and reading in an education that fosters understanding and empathy. To learn more about our Outreach program click here and to read our announcement of the 2012 book set click here.

Congratulations Anu Kumar on your new middle grade book “A Chola Adventure” which is part of the Girls in India series being published by Penguin India!

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Anu KumarOne of the first people I met at the recent Asian Festival of Children’s Content held in Singapore was author Anu Kumar. Originally from India, Anu now lives in Singapore and writes for children as well as for older readers. Her short stories have appeared in various magazines and anthologies have been twice awarded by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and have been short-listed by The Little Magazine. Her third book for older readers  It Takes a Murder  was released last year following  Letters for Paul (Mapin 2006) and The Dollmakers’ Island (Gyaana, 2010) . You can learn more about her books for children and young adults here and do check out her website by clicking here.

Unfortunately Anu and I only had time for a brief chat at AFCC and our paths didn’t cross again. Although I would have loved to attended one of her sessions ( An Author’s Creative JourneyConceptualising and Writing Books for Series, and Writing Non-fiction for Early Teens) the times conflicted with the sessions that I was involved in. Hopefully we can meet again at the 2014 AFCC! In the meantime I will be tracking down a copy of her new book, A Chola Adventure,  which was just released last month. This book for for middle grade readers (9+) is published by Penguin Books India (Puffin imprint)  and is  part of their new Girls of India series which includes the books A Mauryan Adventure by  Subhadra Sen Gupta and A Harappan Adventure by Sunila Gupte.

A Chola Adventure

Sub title: Girls of India

A Chola Adventure by Anu Kumar, Penguin IndiaAuthor: Anu Kumar

990 CE, Tanjore, India Twelve-year-old Raji is growing up during the reign of Rajaraja Chola in the south of India. Raji is a girl of spirit- brave, bright and bold. She is also a dancer, a warrior and a sculptor who models kingdoms in stone. Raji, however, is not happy: She misses her family. Her mother is in exile and her father has left home in grief. On a dark night as a storm rages, Raji rescues a Chinese sailor at sea. This sets off a chain of events with unforeseen consequences. A Shiva statue goes missing, a prince disappears and there is a murder inside a temple. As Raji and her friends, the prince Rajendra Chola and his cousin, Ananta, try to help the Chinese mariner, they realize that he may have some of the answers Raji has been looking for. Will the criminals be brought to justice? Will Rajis family be reunited once again? Will peace be restored to the mighty Chola Kingdom?

For more details click here.

 

Candy Gourlay’s video of the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

candy Gourlay Tall Story ShineOne of my highlights at the recent Asian Festival of Children’s Content was finally getting to meet author Candy Gourlay! Her award winning, debut novel, Tall Story, was one of my favorite reads last year and when I saw that she would be presenting at the 2013 AFCC I was stoked! As it turned out we also both served on the 2013 Singtel Asian Picture Book Award judging panel and it was an absolute pleasure working with her. Candy is a lady of many talents with an infectious sense of humour. When you are around Candy make sure you have some kleenex to wipe the tears of laughter away! In addition to keeping us entertained about her life as author, Candy also shared with us about her obsessions with graphic design, the internet and social media, as well as her experiments with blogging, video and podcasting. Do check out her recently released video of the 2013 Asian Festival of Children’s Content and head over here to visit her website and here to visit her blog Notes from the Slushpile.

paw_sm3Photo of Candy with her new novel Shine taken during the 2013 AFCC in Singapore. Shine will be released this coming Fall. The 5-CD audiobook of Tall Story has just been released by Listening Library in the United States! You can also download it on Audible.com.

“The Garden of my Imaan” Blog Tour: Interview with Farhana Zia

Friday, April 19th, 2013

We are delighted to welcome Farhana Zia, author of the newly-released middle-grade novel The Garden of my Imaan (Peachtree Publishers, 2013), to the PaperTigers Blog on the final leg of the book’s Blog Tour this week.

The Book

The Garden of my Imaan by Farhana Zia (Peachtree Publishig, 2013)Fifth-grader Aliya is an American-born Muslim of Indian descent and she is the immensely likeable narrator of The Garden of my Imaan.  The novel begins with a scene that must be familiar in many young people’s lives of being in the car, running late on a Sunday morning – but this particular journey is marrred by a racist comment flung at Aliya’s mother by another driver.  In a way, this unsettling incident is a trigger for Aliya to explore more deeply how she lives her Muslim faith, coupled as it is with an assignment from her Sunday School teacher for Ramadan, for which Aliya writes a series of letters to Allah.  These letters are interspersed with the narrative throughout the book and their openness and honesty, as well as their increasing level of maturity, offer readers a chance to reflect on both Aliya’s but also their own reactions to what life throws up for Aliya: in particular the challenges of living what initially Aliya sees as two separate lives, framed by school and religion.

Much of what Aliya experiences will be familiar to many of the book’s readers – the exciting school projects Aliya puts together with her best friend Winnie; dealing with peer dynamics – including the tyranny of both being bullied and seeking popularity; the challenge of standing for student council; and a happy, loving, at times annoying family.  In addition, the book is firmly rooted in Aliya’s Muslim faith and her growth within it.  The girls in Aliya’s Sunday School class share confidences and concerns about life, whether or not to wear the hijab, parties and boys.  Then there is the unsettling effect of another Muslim girl, Marwa, arriving at her school, exuding a quiet but compelling confidence – how come she doesn’t mind everyone seeing her wearing the hijab?  What does that mean for Aliya, who up till then has kept her faith completely separate from school?

The book is full of delightful, well-rounded characters from across the generations; and it probes readers to think about religious observances, both private and public, without restricting them to a specific set of answers.  Pre-teen girls will be able to empathise with Aliya in general, and for those readers growing up in the western world post-9/11 who also share her Muslim faith, The Garden of my Imaan will be a particularly riveting read.

The Author

Author Farhana ZiaFarhana Zia grew up in Hyderabad, India and immigrated to the US in 1967.  She is an elementary school teacher and is the author of acclaimed picture book Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji, illustrated by Ken Min (Lee & Low, 2011) – included by Jama Rattigan in her Top 10 Multicultural Picture Books about Food for PaperTigers’ 10th Anniversary.   You can read a great interview with Farhana about Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji here, a joint interview with Ken Min here, and a “Peek at Farhana’s Creative Space” here.

At previous stops from this week’s blog tour, you will find reviews of The Garden of my Imman at:

~ Monday (April 15)
Welcome to Our Wonderland by 3 Bookworms
Blue Owl

~ Tuesday (April 16)
Kid Lit Reviews~

~ Wednesday (April 17)
Ms. Yingling Reads
It’s About Time, MaMaw

~ Thursday (April 18)
The Streetlight Reader – review and interview

And so, without further ado…

Welcome to PaperTigers, Farhana!

We enter Aliya’s life at a time when she finds herself exploring her Muslim faith and grappling with questions of whether to fast for Ramadan or to wear the hijab. She is surrounded by role models offering different perspectives and ultimately it has to come down to her. Her first-person narrative offers frank insight into these dilemmas, as well as events such as wanting to go to a friend’s party; the way she and others react when Marwa, another Muslim girl, arrives at her school; and running for student council…

How would you describe Aliya and did you enjoy creating/following her journey?

Aliya is a typical American pre-teen, dealing with some typical and some a-typical issues. Unlike her friend, Winnie, who is pretty brash and fearless, Aliya is non confrontational and is somewhat tentative on the surface. But there is something inside her, a potential if you will, that is waiting to blossom. This presents itself time and again in the form of a self-questioning and a desire to be a little better and a little stronger than she is.

In Aliya, I see the nature and nurture theory at play. She is receptive to the influence of her role models mostly because of her own inner mettle. Her story is the story of the growth of one’s self-esteem, which is partly gifted to us and partly dependent on the proper conditions in our environment.

And yes, I very much enjoyed walking step with step with Aliya and peeking into her hopes and dreams along the way. I particularly enjoyed seeing her arrive at the place in her head where I’d like my own grandchildren to be when they are at that age, if not sooner.

Aliya’s story opens with an unsettling racist incident, and there are shadows of prejudice that emerge at different moments in the story. In counterpoint to that, there is a positive multicultural thread running throughout — Aliya’s and Marwa’s families share their Muslim faith but come from different countries; Aliya’s best friend Winnie is Korean American. Were you conscious of this balance?

I’ve always found the middle ground to be the most reasonable. Our world is all about balance isn’t it? Seemingly contrary forces are interdependent. Day balances night; one season balances the other… just to cite two easy examples.

But it’s also about the balance between good and evil, hope and despair. The scale tips from time to time but finds its equilibrium sooner or later. If there is hate and intolerance in the world, there is also understanding and goodwill. In The Garden of my Imaan, I showed both sides of the coin — frailty and strength; trust and suspicion, problems and resolutions; success and failure — because these forces co-exist in counterpoint to each other.

Undesirable things happen to us from time to time, life being what it is. It’s pretty hard to let go of those negative experiences but the random acts of kindness shown to us are memorable too. It’s those kindnesses — genuine and unexpected — that keep our faith renewed in the humanity of all people.

As a people we naturally have differences in attitudes and outlooks simply because we have our own personal histories and experiences. It’s when these differences lead on to cause harm to others that we all must be wary. And I think the best long-term remedy in such instances is education and open dialogue.

A sense of intergenerational love and wisdom emanates from the book — as well a strand of resentment where visiting grandmother Choti Dahdi is concerned. You have created some strong women! How would you describe the different relationships that they represent?

The book is as much about familial bonds as it is about Aliya’s personal growth. It is a tribute to a multi-generational family system operating at its best. I lived in such a system for part of my youth and grew to appreciate the closeness of relationships as well as the seamless support systems that developed so naturally.

To me, Aliya’s home represents all of this. Amma and Badi Amma are more to her than grandmothers whom she visits on rare occasions. They are an integral part of her daily life. And as such, there is a lot of cross pollination going on between her and them. Amma and Badi Amma impart wisdoms, traditions, culture and values, while she keeps them informed about things like spas and such. Of the two, Amma has a more active role in Aliya’s life but Badi Amma also has a say in all important matters. It’s the village that raises the child, you see.

Choti Dahdi is a visiting relative. She is idiosyncratic, dogmatic and causes chagrin but she’s respected as a member of the extended family. There is no question of Aliya disrespecting her. Grumble, perhaps but disrespect? Never. Why? Because of the important lessons instilled into her by Badi Amma, Amma and Mom, of course!

The book is interspersed with Aliya’s letters to Allah for her Sunday School project. How important was this for the structure of the book?

The Allah letters were absent in the first draft. At that time, The Garden of my Imaan was still evolving. But once the story line began to take a firm shape, the letters became not only pertinent but almost essential. Aliya’s reflections mirror her growth. Her private confessions allow her to make better sense of the issues she is grappling with. The letters let the readers see this. In many ways, the letters are the glue that holds the threads of the story together.

Food is also an important theme in the book – did you know it would be so central when you started writing it?

Ramadan was always central to the story from the start and while eating and drinking between sunrise and sunset is forbidden during Ramadan, the truth is that food gets to be pretty important before and after the fast. The story of Thanksgiving coinciding with Ramadan was also there from the start. So there you have it. There was more than one reason to write about food. The foods mentioned in the story are examples of the foods one might typically have for suhur (before fasting) and iftar (breaking of the fast) on the Indian subcontinent. The sheer khorma is a traditional dessert in Indo/Pakistani Muslim households and definitely part of the Eid menu.

How did your own faith influence your writing?

I could only write this story with most honesty from a perspective I knew best, and my views are moderate. This book is not about Islam. It might give some information about some of the practices but only that. And it does not promote any particular view point either. But it does speak about the variations in the practice of the faith and it speaks about the variations in its adherents. It’s a simple social commentary, related in simple terms through a fictionalized telling. I am more at ease with Aliya’s family’s views pertaining to the hijab but at the same time, I wrote with an appreciation for those whose strength of conviction compels them to wear hijab and to stay faithful to the requirements of practice.

…And your experience as a teacher?

I suspect some issues in the book would not be as easily apparent to me had I not been a teacher. You get to witness the full gamut of human behaviors and interactions in a classroom with so many personalities, attitudes, and perspectives co-mingling or conflicting. A classroom is truly a slice of the bigger world and more so now when society is getting increasingly multicultural.

What do you hope readers will take away from the story?

Aliya’s story could be the story of any young person, anywhere in the world, navigating her way through some bumps in life. I hope readers will see this and be on her side as she tries to resolve her particular issues. I hope the story will leave readers feeling good because it is a story of faith in the human potential. I hope they will see that Muslims come in all skin tones, ethnicities and degrees of religious fervor and that they are no different in this from Christians, Jews or Hindus. But most of all, I hope the readers will see that it’s not what’s on our head that matters but what’s in it.

How different was the writing experience for you, compared with your first book, picture book Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji?

Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji was conceived, and written pretty quickly. The idea for the story fell into place by the end of my usual walk around the neighborhood. On the other hand, The Garden of my Imaan took much longer to complete. It underwent several major transformations. Originally, I wanted to write it as picture book but the theme grew larger and the original premise of the story changed entirely. What this book shares with Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji though, is the theme of family. It’s something I seem to keep coming back to in my work.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve submitted a manuscript recently. Besides that, I’ve been taking a second look at several picture book manuscripts I have in store already and I am also mulling some ideas for writing something new. I don’t have a clear vision yet but it will likely be a chapter book, adventure/myth mix with a male protagonist. There are a whole lot of questions at this point. I do my best thinking during my walks and now that the weather is improving I’m hoping that something’s going to start flowing soon.

Thank you for the opportunity to share some thoughts in your blog.

And thank you, Farhana, for being with us today — I’ve loved exploring The Garden of my Imaan more deeply with you.

Kite Flying in Kids’ Books by Pragmatic Mom

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

kite flying pragmatic momAfter a long and dreary winter it finally seems as though Spring has sprung in my neck of the woods. The sun is shining and although it’s been a wee bit windy, the smell of Spring is definitely in the air. It’s perfect weather to fly a kite so Pragmatic Mom‘s recent blog post Kite Flying in Kids Books definitely struck a chord with me. Check out her wonderful list which includes Chinese, Japanese and Korean themed kite picture book and chapter books for kids. She also has information on the Cherry Blossom Kite Festival which takes place later this month in Washington, DC. And if you need more kite book suggestions, do check out our archived article Boundless Sky: Kites and Kite-Flying in Children’s Books.

Week-end Book Review: The Secret Keepers by Paul Yee

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Reviewed by Abigail Sawyer:

Paul Yee,
The Secret Keepers
Tradewind Books, 2011.

Ages: 11+

It is 1906 in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and the world has just come to an end; the world of Jackson Leong and his family at least. After their father’s death several months earlier, Jack, his older brother Lincoln, his two younger sisters, and their mother relocated from a farm in the Sacramento area to be near family in the bustling city. Now 16-year-old Lincoln, who “was big and tall and had quickly learned everything the family needed to know about their new hometown” has been killed in the aftermath of the great earthquake, leaving Jack to keep the family together while trying to manage the nickelodeon business his brother had begun. On top of all this, Jack’s “yin-yang eyes” see ghosts everywhere: and they seem to be trying to tell him something…

Read the full review

Read our interview with Paul Yee, in which he talks about The Secret Keepers.

Week-end Book Review: Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Reviewed by Aline Pereira:

Grace Lin,
Starry River of the Sky
Little, Brown, 2012.

Ages: 8-12

Grace Lin’s new middle-grade fantasy, Starry River of the Sky, is a gem every bit as compelling as its companion, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and cut from the same bedrock too: it masterfully weaves Chinese folklore into a richly textured yarn about magic, unexpected connections and the power of stories to shape our lives.

When Rendi finds a job as a helper at an Inn after running away from home in anger, he finds the small, in-the-middle-of-nowhere village of Clear Sky and its inhabitants mysteriously odd and out of sorts. For starters, the moon seems to be missing…

Read the full review

Week-end Book Review: Fog A Dox by Bruce Pascoe

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Reviewed by Charlotte Richardson:

Bruce Pascoe,
Fog A Dox
Magabala Books, 2012.

Ages: 10+

“A story of courage, acceptance and respect,” Magabala Books rightly claims of masterful storyteller Bruce Pascoe’s latest YA novel, Fog A Dox. Set in the Australian bush of southwest Victoria and written in Pascoe’s captivating bush vernacular, the story begins with Albert, an old woodsman (“tree feller”) who brings home three orphaned baby foxes, then coaxes his Dingo mix dog, Brim, to nurse them along with her own pups…

Read the full review

PaperTigers 10th Anniversary: Two Top-Ten picks of Chinese-themed Australian books by Chris Cheng

Monday, November 12th, 2012

In this final post in our 10th Anniversary Top-10 series, we present not one but two book lists from Australian author Chris Cheng, both with a Chinese theme.  The first focuses on picture books and the second on middle-grade/YA fiction.

Chris is the author of more than forty books for children of all ages, including two books in Scholastic’s My Australia series, The Melting Pot and New Gold Mountain, which explores racially-based conflicts on the New South Wales goldfields during the 1860s. Before becoming a full-time writer, Chris was a primary school teacher and then spent almost eight years teaching in the Education Centre of Taronga Zoo in Sydney, where he established Australia’s first Zoomobile.  He has written many non-fiction titles about animals and the environment, and do read this Personal View he wrote for us a few years ago, Drawing from eco-riches: Australia’s environment in children’s books.

Chris is just coming to the end of his stint as an ambassador for Australia’s National Year of Reading.  He is currently co-chair of the International Advisory Board for SCBWI and is Co-Regional Advisor for Australia and New Zealand.  As well as his website and author blog, do check out Chris’ New Kidz Books In Oz blog; and he reports on Asian, Australian and New Zealand books for Cynsations, where you can also read an interview.

 

(Current) Top-10 Australian Books with a Chinese theme X 2 by Chris Cheng

Far out… you want to limit this list to 10… that is night on soooooo difficult. We are a multicultural country with immigrants from many other places around the world coming to Australia and being integral to the foundation stones on which modern Australia is constructed.

So these are my ‘current’ top 10 favs of a multicultural nature – all by Australians and all have a Chinese theme … biased I know … and they don’t include my books!

Picture Books:

~ The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Lothian, 2006)

~ Big Dog by Libby Gleeson, illustrated by Armin Greder (Scholastic Australia, 2004)

~ The Boss by Allan Baillie, illustrated by Fiona O’Beirne (Scholastic, 1992)

~ Fang Fang’s Chinese New Year by Sally Rippin (Omnibus Books, 1996)

~ The Kinder Hat by Morag Loh, illustrated by Donna Rawlins (Ashton Scholastic, 1985)

~ Moon Bear Rescue by Kim Dale (Lothian, 2006)

~ The Peasant Prince by Li Cunxin, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas (Viking/Penguin Australia, 2007)

~ The Race for the Chinese Zodiac by Gabrielle Wang, illustrated by Sally Rippin (Walker Books Australia, 2010)

~ Rebel by Allan Baillie, illustrated by Di Wu (Phoenix Education, 2011)

~ The River by Libby Hathorn, illustrated by Stanley Wong (Asian Education Foundation/Curriculum Corporation (Australia), 2001)

Fiction:

~ The China Coin by Allan Baillie (Penguin Group Australia, 1992)

~ Dragonkeeper by Carole Wilkinson (Macmillan, 2003)

~ Foreign Devil by Christine Harris (Random House Australia, 1999)

~ The Garden of Empress Cassia by Gabrielle Wang (Puffin Australia, 2002/Kane Miller, 2011)

~ Garden of the Purple Dragon by Carole Wilkinson (Macmillan, 2005)

~ A Ghost in my Suitcase by Gabrielle Wang (Puffin Australia, 2009)

~ Hungry Ghosts by Sally Heinrich (Hachette Australia, 2007)

~ Just One Wish by Sally Rippin (Penguin Group Australia, 2009)

~ The Secret Life of Maeve Lee Kwong by Kirsty Murray (Paw Prints, 2008)

~ Year of the Tiger by Alison Lloyd (Penguin Group Australia, 2008)