An Mei's Strange and Wondrous Journey

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9780789424778: An Mei's Strange and Wondrous Journey
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A picture book illustrated by the award-winning artist of Lullaby Raft follows the life of a six-year-old orphaned girl born in China, who is adopted and brought to America, where she learns to adjust to her new, unfamiliar home.

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From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 2?Speaking in the first person, a six-year-old Chinese-born girl tells the story of her adoption by European-American parents. She recalls her birth and her mother's last loving gesture, painting a red dot on her forehead as she leaves her baby on the steps of the Wuhan Orphanage. Lying in her crib there, An Mei meets her adoptive father, "a man with a bushy black beard and skin the color of an oyster shell." They fly across the wide ocean in a plane, and are greeted at the end of their journey by "a woman with eyes as round and gray as pearls." Fearful and distant at first, An Mei settles into her new home and at long last calls the man and woman "Daddy" and "Mommy." An afterword explains, clearly and sensitively, the "special circumstances" that cause Chinese parents to offer their daughters for adoption. The poetic language uses repeating metaphors drawn from nature to mark important milestones in An Mei's physical and emotional journey toward safety, love, and belonging. The deliberately naive paintings, impressionistic and richly colored, are suffused with affection for their subjects and form a perfect counterpoint to the lyrical text. Touching gently and lovingly on deep feelings of abandonment and belonging, this story makes a good offering for any young child, especially one who has made An Mei's wondrous journey.?Margaret A. Chang, North Adams State College, MA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Molnar-Fenton has much to say about how the past can prey on the present, despite the loving attentions of others, in this story about his adopted Chinese daughter's journey from her birthplace to a new home in the US. An Mei, now six, narrates: ``I was born on a train as it passed through a long, dark tunnel . . . when the train broke into the light, I saw my mother's face for the first time.'' An Mei, evidently, has a preternatural memory. She remembers her mother leaving her on the steps of an orphanage, then stealing away into the windy night. Her adoptive father shuttles her to Massachusetts, where a whole new set of sensory experiences present themselves. While An Mei makes peace with her new family and surroundings, she can still hear ``the sound the wind had made against the buttons of my mother's coat when she left me on the steps.'' Children will wonder how An Mei can recall the events of her first days so clearly, while adults will only question why such a conceit was used to tell her story. Flesher's atmospheric illustrations are made of rubbed expanses of color; delicate white lines form the scratched outlines of people and things. The core of the story is very affecting, but the piece lumbers under the weight of the sentiments and the overripe imagery. (Picture book. 5-9) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Stephan Molnar-Fenton; illustrator Vivienne Flesher
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Stephan Molnar-Fenton, Vivienne Flesher,
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