Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Ming's Christmas Wishes by Susan L. Gong {Review}

Ming's Christmas Wishes by Susan L. Gong, Illustrated by Masahira Tateishi

Unknown Binding, 48 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Shadow Mountain 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
Inspired by family stories.

Ming wishes for three things at Christmas. First, to sing in the school Christmas choir. Second, to have a Christmas tree like the one in the department store window. And third, to feel she belongs somewhere.

As a daughter of immigrants in 1930s California, Ming is often treated differently than other children at school. She’s pointedly not invited to sing in the Christmas choir. At home, when Ming lobbies her parents for a Christmas tree, her mother scolds her for trying to be American. Ming doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere: she’s not quite American enough at school, not quite Chinese enough at home.

Seeing his daughter’s unhappiness, Pop takes her into the mountains to visit a wise old friend. Always happy for an adventure with her kind father, Ming hopes to persuade Pop to bring home a mountain pine to be their Christmas tree. But he has something else in mind, something that will help Ming draw strength from nature, from their Chinese heritage, and from deep and enduring family ties.

My Review: 5 Stars

This sweet Christmas story warmed my heart and soul. Ming has wishes that seem unlikely, given her mother's stanch beliefs in their family's Chinese heritage and traditions. This book is inspired by a true story and although it took place many years ago, I feel it's still relevant today, as there are many who still immigrate to America. I think most people want to fit in and belong, yet still stay true to their legacy, and finding a way to merge those desires is very important to satisfy an inner longing. It's important to stay true to ones self, but it's equally important to grow and discover new ways of honoring those traditions. 
I loved being transported back in time and journeying along with Ming and her father to discover a way to belong. With its beautiful illustrations and message, Ming's Christmas Wishes is sure to bring the spirit of Christmas to any family.

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