The Seven Chinese Brothers: Margaret Mahy

 

Coolies

Author: Margaret Mahy
Illustrator: Mou-Sien Tseng
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publication Year: 1991
Brief Summary: Seven Chinese brothers used their different strengths to help each other and defeat the emperor.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Discuss folklores.  Define what it is, characteristics, etc.
  • Does this book reinforce old stereotypes?  i.e. the stereotypes that all “Asian” people look the same, etc.  Read with The Five Chinese Brothers…has the Seven Brothers book have improved in this area?

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

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Coolies: Yin

 

Coolies

Author: Yin
Illustrator: Chris Soentpiet
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publication Year: 2001
Brief Summary: A little boy listens to the story of his ancestors, who were part of the Chinese work force that helped build the transcontinental railroad.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library and/or brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core, etc.:

  • Social studies: history of how the transcontinental railroad is built.  Who were the other immigrants used for the railroad building project?  Why do you think immigrants were the ones used?
  • Discuss the term “coolies”…what does it mean?  Why do you think it might be a derogatory/racist term to use?  How do you think the Chinese workers felt when they were called that?
  • Discuss the unfair treatment of workers back then.  Why do you think Chinese workers were paid less to work more?  How did the Americans judge them? (by their small stature)
  • Discuss Chinese culture.
  • Discuss immigration.  Do you know which culture your family might have descended from (most Americans come from immigrant families)?  How might the immigrant experience today differ from that of a long time ago?

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.  

Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

Mei Li: Thomas Handforth

Mei Li

Author/Illustrator: Thomas Handforth
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Year: 1938
Brief Summary: Mei Li sneaks out of her home to join her brother at New Year’s fair.  Will she get home in time to meet the Kitchen God and receive her instructions for the new year?

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Randolph Caldecott Medal, 1939 Winner United States

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:
  • Introduction to multicultural literature.  What details in the book tell you about ways Chinese people celebrate New Years that might be different than ours?  Does your family have a special tradition for Christmas or New Years or another holiday?  Write about it.

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Text-to-self connections
  • Text-to-world connections
  • Social studies: China; multicultural awareness

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.
Accessed at:  Thrasher Elementary Library

Tikki Tikki Tembo: Arlene Mosel




Tikki Tikki Tembo

Author: Arlene Mosel
Illustrator: Blair Lent
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Year: 2007
Brief Summary: This retelling of the ancient Chinese folktale explains why sometimes it’s advantageous to have short names.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature, 1968 Winner Illustration United States

Best Books:

Children’s Catalog, Eighteenth Edition, 2001 ; H.W. Wilson
Educators’ Top 100 Children’s Books, 2007 ; NEA Survey
Notable Children’s Books, 1968 ; ALSC American Library Association
Recommended Literature: Kindergarten through Grade Twelve, 2002 ; California Department of Education

State Provisional Reading List: 
Flicker Tale Children’s Book Award, 1987; Nominee

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:

  • Discuss folktales and read alongside other Chinese folktales in the collection.
  • Read other books about unusual names — Chrysanthemum, My Name is Yoon, My Name is Not Isabella, etc. http://www.amazon.com/mostly-Pictures-Books-about-Celebrate/lm/R37FF2M85E42BJ

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.
Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library

Lon Po Po: Ed Young

Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China  

  • Author/Illustrator: Ed Young

  • Publisher: Philomel

  • Publication Year: 1989

  • Brief Summary: A Chinese retelling of the story Little Red Riding Hood.  Three sisters defend themselves against a wolf who disguises himself as their grandmother.

  • Awards (if any):

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Best Books:

State and Provincial Lists:

  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:

    • Unit on folktales/fairytales

    • Folktales vs. ethnic retelling of folktales vs. fractured fairy tales

    • Compare Lon Po Po to Little Red Riding Hood.  What similarities/differences between the stories can the students find?  Compare/contrast the story using a T-chart or Venn diagram.

    • Discuss how Yeh-Shen, another of Young’s books, is a retelling of Cinderella.  What other examples of different ethnic versions of a well-known story do the children know?

    • Discuss the story from the wolf’s point of view…how might he retell the story differently?

    • Use of colors in this story…what kind of mood do the illustrations create?

    • Talk about foreshadowing — do students see the wolf/woman image on the title information page?  How about on the first page of the story?  How does Young use these images to signal that all is not right?

  • Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

    • Text-to-text connections

  • Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.:

Accessed at: Personal Library