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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mei-Li and the Wise LaoShi

 Several months ago I received a copy of the children's adoption book Mei-Li and the Wise LaoShi by Kay Bratt.  I felt really excited because, like many of y'all, I loved her book Silent Tears.  I started to sketch out a review, but the Tongginator grew completely affronted when she found out and said, "Momma, shouldn't I write the review?  After all, isn't this book written for me?"

Well, there you go.

Someone knows the phrase "target audience" even if she doesn't know the phrase "target audience."

(And yes, this is why it took so long.)

It's a little disjointed, but welcome to the mind of an eight-year-old Chinese adoptee.  And here is what the Tongginator had to say about Kay Bratt's Mei-Li and the Wise LaoShi...

DISCLAIMER: Eight-year-olds are not exactly known for their tact. And they are also kinda random.  Just in case you haven't picked up on that yet.

I liked the book because I like the character's first name (it's Chinese and pretty) and because she gets to visit China.

My favorite part of the story was that it talked about bullying.   You should never, ever bully someone about something.  If someone bullies you, you can ignore them, or you can tell a grown-up you trust about it.  I remember when other kids bullied me like that.  It made me feel very bad.  I don't like it when people make "Chinese eyes" at me.

My least favorite part of the story was when the LaoShi came because he was an old man and I don't like old men.  My LaoShi is an elderly woman (Momma says I shouldn't say old) and she rocks.

The only part of the story I didn't get was when Mei-Li released the balloons in the air with messages written to her birthmother.  You know, I don't think that balloon thing will work.  First of all, China is a very far away, and a balloon just isn't gonna make it that far.  And also, how is the balloon gonna find my birthmother when there are, like, a billion people in China and I don't even know who she is.  How is the balloon gonna know if I don't know?  But doing this might help other kids feel better.  You just never know.  It makes Pocket and Posies feel better to do that balloon thing to their mom, who lives in heaven, so maybe it will make other kids who are adopted feel better, too.  But it just doesn't work for me.

Mostly I liked the book.  It kinda tells you what you can do if someone bullies you for being adopted, or for being Chinese-American.  And it also tells you that families can be forever.  The rhyming and stuff makes it sound a little babyish, though, and it's pretty short, too, so I think I might be too old for it.  It's probably good for kids in, like, preschool and kindergarten and maybe even the ones in first grade.  But definitely not for second graders.

Yeah.  Because second graders are so... so... elderly.

18 comments:

Aus said...

Oh my...TM you have your hands full!! ;) I.absolutely.love.this.child!!! The apple didn't fall far from the tree with this one - she has her mothers wit (and wisdom)!

Brilliant - simply brilliant!

hugs - aus and co.

Keating Mom said...

Great review! And my literal thinking guy would probably agree about the balloons! Well done!

Casa Bicicleta said...

I think she has a future in the book review world. For real. Two thumbs up.

Robin said...

Your daughter is awesome!!!

LucisMomma said...

That is a great review, Miss T. I have read the book also, and I agree with you on every point.

The Byrd's Nest said...

(hee hee) I love this girl:) I downloaded this on my Kindle and read it to Lottie. After the balloon part, she kept saying, "I don't get it". She is SO analytical and just didn't understand how a balloon would find her first mom, she became very frustrated with it all and left the room. (sigh)

Christina said...

Oh I love it! She should start her own blog- it would be a breath of fresh air- no blogging about unicorns and rainbows for her.

Patricia/NYC said...

She is just SO AWESOME!!!
Boy, I would love it if we were closer, something tells me our girls would be great friends!

Catherine said...

Awesome review Tongginator! I'm going to check and see if our library has it and then read it. Not sure if my 3yo is old enough yet but based on your review she will be soon!

Thanks for the great info you shared with us!

TM, Oye! She's going to give you a run for your money!!!

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

Adorable! I downloaded it when the ebook was free. My little one isn't ready for it yet, but I'm glad I have it for later, to help facilitate conversations.

Semi-feral Mama said...

Thank you for sharing.

planetnomad said...

I would like to thank TM for pointing out that the balloon thing isn't going to work. Because I love that level of realism. This was pretty much the best review ever! :)

Elaine said...

Excellent review. I'm pretty sure that my Kindergartner would not buy the whole balloon thing either. Plus she's not all that fond of old people either (grandparents excepted).
Writing a good kid's book is a tough thing, 'cause they are such a tough audience.

Kelley said...

Love this!!

The Gang's Momma! said...

Dying laughing here.... what a kid!!!! I am gonna stick around the blogosphere JUST to see what she's like as a tween and teen.... That is gonna be so.much.fun for us all to peek in on. And giggle about. :) LOVE it.

Andrea said...

I think she's gonna need her own blog soon! awesome! and thank you Tonnginator for your very honest review.

autumnesf said...

Amazing. Loved the review.

Beyond Normal Mom said...

Oh I love this and I love T. What a wonderful, practical child :)