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Orange Peel's Pocket Hardcover – April 1, 2010

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3—Following a classroom discussion about China, a Chinese-American adopted child, nicknamed Orange Peel by her parents, realizes that she knows little of her birthplace. After school, she and her mother set off in their neighborhood to discover her heritage. She visits the tailor, an antique store, a florist, a noodle shop, and an ice-cream place, all with Chinese proprietors. Each one gives her a tiny history lesson and, as she leaves, secretly drops a memento into the pocket of her dress. The next day she is ready to use her trinkets to tell her class about her homeland. Lewis again handles the subject of an adopted Chinese girl with tenderness, providing both a simple history lesson and a way for adoptive parents to discuss the search for their child's background. The story is equally accessible to preschool listeners and early readers; young audiences will enjoy guessing what each adult slips into the pocket. Zong's slightly abstract people, painted with realistic, warm-hued acrylics, depict a sunny cheerfulness that matches the tone of the story.—Angela J. Reynolds, Annapolis Valley Regional Library, Bridgetown, NS, Canada
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Following titles that include the best-selling I Love You like Crazy Cakes (2000), Lewis offers another book about adoptee experiences. When her kindergarten teacher introduces the subject of China, Chan Ming, lovingly nicknamed Orange Peel, is unsure of how to respond to her classmates’ typical questions, such as, “Does everybody eat with chopsticks?” So, she and her Caucasian mother set out to find answers from the many people in their neighborhood who, like Orange Peel, came to America from China. During their visits, depicted in joyful acrylic artwork, Orange Peel learns a great deal about Chinese traditions, and unbeknownst to her, a supportive adult slips something special into her pocket at each stop. After discovering the gifts, including a piece of silk and a secret noodle recipe, she realizes that these treasures will help her to tell “the story about where she was born.” Although Orange Peel’s interactions, and the text in general, have a pat feel, Lewis does provide reassurance and a sense of how important it is for many young adoptees to learn about their birth country’s culture. Preschool-Grade 2. --Andrew Medlar

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; 1st edition (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081098394X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810983946
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you've had a chance to read my newest book, Sweet Dreams, with illustrator Jen Corace. I am often asked, "What inspired you to write the book?" Sweet Dreams was definitely inspired by my amazing grandmother Mae who always told me wonderful bedtime stories whenever I had the special treat of a sleepover at my grandparents house. My grandmother's stories were always filled with warmth and wonderment. I hope I have conveyed this special feeling with Sweet Dreams.

May your dreams always be sweet! Good Night.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beth on April 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Rose Lewis has done it again. As with I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, Rose Lewis addresses the issue of international adoption with a straightforward approach. Clearly this is someone that has lived through this and understands the issues a child adopted internationally must deal with. I recommend this book for both adopted children (adopted internationally and domestically) and non-adopted children.

This book addresses with what elementary school children and maybe older children will go through in a multicultural adoption. My 7-year-old daughter liked the book and could identify with the main character. It shows how a child adopted from another country can maintain the identity of the country of his or her birth and still be an all American child. The book is easy to read and has wonderful pictures.

This book manages to get its point across in a light and happy manner. Even though it is a light and happy book it has an important message about belonging. A child adopted internationally can learn about his or her country of birth and be proud of his her country of birth and still be proud to be an American.

In America all families have traditions that originated somewhere - most not in America. Both adopted and non-adopted children who also may be interested in exploring their heritage will identify and like this book.

I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DAC VINE VOICE on April 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful story about a young girl learning about her birth country. Chan Ming and her mother visit many local Chinese business owners. The first person they visit is Mr. Fan the Tailor. Everyone tells Chan Ming something about China that is related to their craft.

"This is made from very special silk", he said. "The best silk comes from China because the silkworms there spin a special thread found nowhere else in the world"

When Chang Ming and her mother leave each shop, the shop owners slip a little suprise into her pocket.

Orange Peel gently felt the smooth silk and smiled. She thanked Mr. Fan, and as she was saying good bye, he secretly slipped something into Orange Peel's pocket.

Chang Ming eventually finds all of this wonderful gifts. They are perfect for show and tell, Chang Ming plans to tell her classmates everything she knows about her birth country.

Lewis has written a beautiful story, with a great natural flow. This is Grace Zong's first time illustrating a picture book. This will be the first of many. I loved the illustrations. Zong uses rich warm colors and captures everyone's facial expressions. I couldn't help but smile at everyone's happiness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Cohn on May 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
By now most everyone who enjoys Rose Lewis' work knows she is the mother of a daughter who was born in China and brought to this country by Rose. Orange Peel's Pocket is a continuation of her exploration of what life is like for Chinese children living in the United States. Orange Peel is a young Chinese girl who is asked by her kindergarten classmates to tell them about the country of her birth. But Orange Peel has grown up here, so like the other kids in the class, there's not much she really knows about China. With the help of her mom, she reaches out to Chinese people in her neighborhood to learn more. Rose has created a story that demonstrates a real sensitivity to kids like Orange Peel - kids who are very much a part of the culture of this country but aware that their roots also set them apart. It's these contradictions that give Orange Peel's Pocket its charm and depth. I can imagine the book having relevance, not just for adopted kids from foreign countries (and their parents), but for all kids who understand that what makes people different also makes them interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Adoptive Mother on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Rose Lewis has perfectly addressed the trransitional challenges of cross-cultural adoptions. She highlights the need to blend the child's heritage into his/her new life. Orange Peel's Pocket holds the past & the future - this is a charming psychologically sound story - bravo Ms. Lewis!
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