- AACP, Inc.
Goldfish and Chrysanthemums
Home About Contact New Specials Browsing Ordering Conference Links Help
Search our site:
Check this out.

Goldfish and Chrysanthemums

By Andrea Cheng
Illustrated by Michelle Chang
2003, 29 pages, hardback.
Book Description From the Front Cover Flap
Reviews On the Book From the Publisher Lee and Low's Website
Background on the Author and Illustrator From the Back Cover Flap

More Information at the Publisher Lee and Low's Website

ORDER -- Item #3136, Price $16.95

Request More Information

Go to Browsing Page

Book Description From the Front Cover Flap

Nancy is helping Ni Ni (Grandma) in the kitchen when a letter arrives from China. Ni Ni grows sad when she reads that her childhood home is being torn down, along with the chrysanthemum-filled garden and fish pond she has always loved.

After Nancy wins two goldfish at the summer fair, she comes up with an idea to keep Ni Ni’s memories of the garden alive. Nancy gets to work the very next morning, and as the surprise takes shape, the familiar beauty of home brings the entire family together.

Goldfish and Chrysanthemums shows us all how one young girl can make a difference in the lives of the people she loves. This tender story is a testament to the special bonds that tie us together within families and across generations.

Back to the Top

Reviews On the Book From the Publisher Lee and Low's Website

"Nancy's Grandma Ni Ni receives a letter from her brother in China explaining that the city is tearing down their father's old house to make way for a new apartment building. Ni Ni shows Nancy and her brother photographs, sharing her fond memories of her old garden: 'Ba Ba had a fishpond in the middle...All day I follow him, help him pinch the buds and feed the fish.' It is clear to Nancy that Ni Ni mourns the loss of her father's house and garden, and later that day at the schoolyard fair she wins a cheer-up present for her grandmother —two goldfish. Nancy decides to dig a goldfish pond under the backyard honeysuckle bush, and, with the help of her brother and their neighbor, Mrs. Zalinsky, she does just that. A delighted Ni Ni christens the pond 'Ba Ba's Garden in America,' and they take pictures to send to China. The story is warmhearted...the obvious affection among the various family members make Nancy's efforts both touching and credible, and the not-so-far-fetched conclusion is quietly but solidly satisfying."

"After a trip to the summer fair to search for ideas, Nancy decides to build a miniature goldfish pond in the backyard, complete with the yellow flowers Ni Ni remembers from her father's garden. With help from a neighbor and brother Greg, Nancy completes her surprise. They take pictures to send to China, and Ni Ni finds a special way to say thank you. Cheng's story of intergenerational connection is a sweet one... a good choice for older storytime audiences or collections in need of culturally different stories."

"Cheng returns for another intergenerational tale after her tender Grandfather Counts. In spare evocative prose she again explores the relationship between a Chinese-born grandparent and a westernized granddaughter. This time, however, she focuses less on forging a relationship than on nurturing it with thoughtfulness. Debut artist Chang charts Nancy's progress as she creates, with the help of a gardener neighbor, a miniature pond in the backyard for the fish, complete with chrysanthemums, a stone path and bench. The posed photographs in the final spread make the most successful compositions, here the close up of Ni Ni smelling a mum and united with her grandchildren communicate the book's uplifting theme of the importance of familial ties and continuity."

Back to the Top

Background on the Author and Illustrator From the Back Cover Flap

Andrea Cheng is the author of Lee and Low's Grandfather Counts, selected as one of "50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Know" by the Cooperative Children's Book Center. Cheng was inspired to write Goldfish and Chrysanthemums after hearing her husband's mother talk about her family's garden in China. Cheng lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and their three children.

Michelle Chang is a full-time illustrator with a fine arts degree in illustration from the San Francisco Academy of Art. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines including The New Yorker, Time, Rolling Stone, and Forbes. Chang lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first picture book.

Back to the Top

AACP Home Page
About | Contact | New | Specials | Browsing | Ordering | Conference | Links | Help

Copyright © 2003 by AACP, Inc.
Most recent revision April 4, 2003