‘My day with Gong Gong’ is the story of May, a little girl who has to spend a day with her Gong Gonga (maternal grandfather) She is not quite excited about the idea of spending time with him, her greatest fear being the language barrier. May can’t understand Chinese, while grandpa doesn’t speak much English.
Grandpa takes her for a walk, first to a shop and then a restaurant. She meets many of his friends and neighbors. They are friendly towards her, but May mistakes them to be laughing at her; because of her inability to understand the language. She is hungry, bored, frustrated and impatient. But she is in for a surprise when her grandpa understands her hunger and gives her favorite dim-sum and a toy monkey.
During the course of the day, May sheds her inhibitions, and develops a beautiful bond with her grandpa. She even greets his friends, and neighbors; responding to them in Chinese. She wraps her day with a warm hug to grandpa.
The illustrations by Elaine Chen are absolutely captivating, and a sure delight.
It’s a wonderful book for the lessons it teaches. It’s important to not forget one’s roots and ethnicity. And with patience, kindness and understanding one can bridge generation gap. End of the day, language need not be a barrier to forging relationships.
A delightful read, children will especially enjoy the book and learn valuable lessons.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Wordsopedia rating 5/5
|Title: My Day with Gong Gong||Author: Sennah Yee|
|Publisher: Annick Press Ltd||Publication date: September 8, 2020|
|Genre: Fiction – Children’s||Format: Hardcover|
|ISBN: 9781773214290||No. of Pages: 36|
Buy your copy here at Amazon
About the Author
Sennah Yee is from Toronto, where she writes poetry, prose, and film criticism. She is the author of the poetry collection How Do I Look? (Metatron Press), which dissects pop culture through personal anecdotes, and the children’s book My Day With Gong Gong (Annick Press), a love letter to her grandpa and Chinatown.
She is a co-founder and the managing editor of the pop culture journal In The Mood, launching in 2021. She is also a poetry editor at Peach Mag. She produced the feature film Withdrawn, which was released on Netflix. Her Cinema & Media Studies Masters thesis focused on gendered robot design in popular media.
Though named after a Formula 1 driver, she has yet to get behind the wheel.
Get in touch with the author on her website.
[…] Her relationship with her grandfather is adorable. He encourages her to explore, but I wonder why he never tells her even once to not touch the ducklings at all! It would have sent a stronger message if the adult in the story had guided the child. Also, the font size could have been slightly larger. […]