Hello, friend! It’s been a while, but I am finally back with one of the lovely review books I promised you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
by Margaret Chiu Greanias. Illustrated by Tracy Subisak
Review copy kindly sent by the publisher.
Amah Faraway by Margaret Chiu Greanias. Illustrated by Tracy Subisak Bloomsbury, 2022 ISBN 978-1547607211 Review copy kindly sent by the publisher.
Kylie is about to visit her grandmother, her Amah, for the first time. She mostly knows Amah from video chats, where Amah is animated and Kylie doesn’t know what to say. It takes a long time for Kylie to warm up to the unfamiliar sights, sounds, and foods of Taipei. Once she does, though, she’s reluctant to leave. Then, computer chats are much more fun – and she can’t wait for Amah to come and visit her.
The book has a lovely parallel structure, where Amah takes the lead in the first half and Kylie takes the lead in the second half. Tracy Subisak’s (Jenny Mei is Sad) brilliant watercolor illustrations show Kylie’s slow transformation as well as the sights of Taipei. Taiwanese is shown in characters and sometimes spelled out, translated only when Kylie understands it, which is very helpful in showing her point of view. Endpapers show paintings of significant things in the text, from slippers to soup dumplings, with English text in the beginning spread and Taiwanese characters plus spelled out in Western letters in the back.
The book is of course especially important for Taiwanese-American families, but any child with far-away family members will be able to relate. And I for one would now really love to visit Taipei! I’ll be putting my review copy in my daughter’s school media center, where I’m sure it will be well loved.