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Share the Sky by Ting-Xing Ye
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Share the Sky

by Ting-Xing Ye

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Ting-xing Ye tells the story of a little girl, Fei-fei, who lives in China with her grandparents, loves kites, and is happy. But she must leave the life she knows to join her parents in far away America. It is a story of the courage it takes to face a strange new life, of the tolerance and understanding one needs to deal with different ways and customs, and of the love of family. Fei-fei loved to fly kites in China with her bigger cousin. The kites were made from rice paper and cloth, beautifully painted, and were so wonderful to watch. When she goes to America, she fears she will never fly a kite again, but her new teacher asks her to help her classmates make kites to fly. Fei-fei is thrilled and happy to feel welcome and useful in her new life in America. The illustrations, rendered in watercolors, are full page size, vibrant with color and very pleasing to the eye. The pictures of the village in China are full of minute detail, the kites bright with imaginative design. Author Ting-xing Ye, who was born in Shanghai and came to Toronto in 1987 as a visiting scholar at York University, is the author of two other books for children, Three Monks, No Water (1997) and Weighing the Elephant (1998). Illustrator Suzane Langlois is a freelance painter whose art has appeared in children's books, on book and record covers, and on posters. She also teaches drawing and painting classes. Recommended. Rating: *** /4. Kindergarten-grade 2. 1999, Annick Press, 32 pp., pbk. & cloth, $7.95 (pbk.) and $17.95 (cl.). Ages 5 to 7.
added by vaeyle | editCM Magazine, Vol. VI, No. 13, Luella Sumner (Mar 3, 2000)
 
On a windy Thanksgiving afternoon, my husband and I took our 5-year-old granddaughter to a hill near our home to watch kites floating, dipping and gliding through the sky. We were all fascinated with the colourful action, and learned that kites can have many names. When we got home, it was natural that Ceilidh and I would read Share the Sky, a beautiful new book written by Ting-xing Ye with glowing watercolour illustrations by Suzane Langlois. Yei-Yei is a young Chinese girl whose parents are in North America while she lives with her grandparents and extended family. Her grandfather is a kitemaker, and she has grown to love the excitement of watching the graceful kites dance through the sky. But nothing can make up for the loneliness she feels because of her parents' absence. One day, a letter arrives which changes her life. She is going to join her parents in North America! The story explores Yei-Yei's fears and thoughts as she experiences the move from safe, familiar surroundings to sharing a new life with her parents. Yei-Yei and her parents write many letters to her grandparents, reassuring them that she is happy and enjoying her new life. The latter part of the book provides a glimpse of Yei-Yei's first experiences in school, and the positive way in which a sensitive teacher helps a little girl find a place to be independent. The interesting story line and detailed, attractive illustrations are appealing to young children. Those who are welcoming children from other countries into their classroom might find it of special value. Teachers could choose Share the Sky as part of an exploration of the children's lives who are new to Canada, because it deals with the immigrant experience from the perspective of a young child. Robert Munsch's From Far Away would provide a worthwhile comparison for young readers exploring what it means to live and go to school in a new country. Older readers might find Ye's book a beginning point for exploring more about life in contemporary China, the history and art of kites, or as part of an inquiry dealing with classroom diversity. Ye and Langlois have conveyed the differences of life in two countries while helping readers recognize the similarities--family, friends, and in this case, kites! Thematic links include: Kites; Immigration. Resource Links Rating: E (Excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!), Grade Pre K-3+. 1999, Annick Press, Hdbk, $17.95. Ages 3 up.
added by vaeyle | editResource Links, Vol. 5, No. 2), Kathryn McNaughton (Nov 30, 1999)
 
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