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Chili-Chili-Chin-Chin Hardcover – April 5, 1999


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (April 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152020063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152020064
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,589,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Yangs inaugural childrens book, the eponymous hero is a spunky purple donkey with a harness of bells that sings out his name. Though several people attempt to rein him in, Chili-Chili-Chin-Chin refuses to be ridden, owned or made to work in the fieldsuntil one special boy, the boy who gave me my name, comes calling. Then Chili-Chili-Chin-Chin is game for anything: I take him in the spring to find blossoms, in the summer to watch turtles swim, in autumn to pick persimmons, and in winter to make fresh tracks (the two even have matching tufts of hair on their heads). Although Yangs text occasionally teeters into heavyhandedness (He gives me room to be alone in my thoughts. He knows my dreams whether I say anything or not, says the donkey), her buoyant gouache illustrations keep the story lighthearted. She characterizes scenes of cart drivers aloft and children spinning in mid-air with witty folk-art stylings and an exuberant sense of color. The artwork conjures a magical Asian landscape for Chili-Chili-Chin-Chin and his friend to frolic ina world where star-like flowers dapple the ground and the sky glows like sapphires. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2Chili-Chili-Chin-Chin, a very independent purple donkey who wears a collar of golden bells and a fringed, pink saddlecloth, tells this story in simple poetic language. A free spirit, the animal kicks and runs away whenever people try to catch it and will only associate with the little boy who gave the creature its name. Together, they enjoy finding flowers in the spring, watching turtles swim in summer, picking persimmons in autumn, and making fresh tracks in the snow. The closest of friends, they respect one anothers freedom. The sophisticated folk art, in brilliantly colored gouache double-page spreads, is filled with action and whimsical decorative detail. A lively and charming tale about a special friendship.Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Debbie Daggett on January 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
While conducting library storytimes for children six times a week, featuring a new program each week, a cherished theme has been Chinese New Year. The children's very favorite book during these storytimes - every year - has been Chili Chili Chin Chin by Belle Yang. This book flies off our library shelves with a long reservation list for it at all times.
To read one-on-one with your favorite child, Chili Chili Chin Chin is a feast to the eyes with colorful illustrations, each one a work of art. You can't help falling in love with Chili Chili Chin Chin, a donkey with a mind of his own. I found it to be a pure, innocent, yet deep story of a loving friendship between a little boy and his donkey. Lessons of kindness and acceptance are just under the surface of this fun book that is a quick read and will definitely be a number one bedtime story choice of all kids who experience it. "Read it just one more time," should be expected by all parents.
As a book to read to a group of children, it is perfect. The story is fun (watch out, don't get on the wrong side of Chili Chili Chin Chin!); the children are gleeful when Chili sticks up for himself. The repetition is fabulous for youngsters. They learn the phrases quickly and feel good about themselves, participating happily with every page. The bright artwork captivates children in even the largest groups, and Chili is just adorable. We've used bells with this story and have used this book as a catalyst for introducing Chinese culture to even our youngest preschoolers. This book fits perfectly with a multitude of themes including friendship, pets, multicultural stories, animals, China, favorite books,etc. For anyone conducting storytimes of any sort, I highly recommend Chili Chili Chin Chin.
My babies are nearly grown now, but I bought this book for future grandchildren. It is one they will love and will remember. And it is one you will be happy to read again and agin. Enjoy.
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More About the Author

Belle Yang, subject of the PBS documentary, 'My Name is Belle,' is frequently asked whether she is primarily a writer or a painter. Answer: "When I'm writing, I'm a writer; when I'm painting, I'm a painter." She is also asked whether she is a children's author or of adult books. Answer: "I write for children, adults and everyone in between. Now I am also a graphic novelist."

Born in Taiwan, Belle Yang spent part of her childhood in Japan. At age seven she immigrated to the United States with her family. She attended Stirling University in Scotland, graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in biology but went on to study art at Pasadena Art Center College of Design and the Beijing Institute of Traditional Chinese Painting.

She worked and traveled in China for three years and returned to the United States late in 1989 after the Tiananmen Massacre.

She returned with gratitude in her heart for the freedom of expression given her in America, certain she would firmly grasp this gift with both hands.

Illustrated, adult nonfiction:

Baba: A Return to China Upon My Father's Shoulders, 1994 Harcourt Brace

The Odyssey of a Manchurian, 1996 Harcourt Brace


Picture books:

Hannah Is My Name, 2004 Candlewick Press

Always Come Home to Me, 2007 Candlewick Press. Awarded Chinese American Librarian Association Best Picture Book of 2008

Chili-Chili-Chin-Chin, 1999 Harcourt Brace
Upcoming Works

Upcoming works:

A graphic with WW Norton. "Forget Sorrow: A China Elegy"

"Foo the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond," Candlewick Press


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