- Age Range: 4 - 7 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Paperback: 32 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 27, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618495371
- ISBN-13: 978-0618495375
- Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 0.1 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,747,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Allison Paperback – September 27, 2004
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About the Author
Allen Say was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1937. He dreamed of becoming a cartoonist from the age of six, and, at age twelve, apprenticed himself to his favorite cartoonist, Noro Shinpei. For the next four years, Say learned to draw and paint under the direction of Noro, who has remained Say's mentor. Say illustrated his first children's book -- published in 1972 -- in a photo studio between shooting assignments. For years, Say continued writing and illustrating children's books on a part-time basis. But in 1987, while illustrating THE BOY OF THE THREE-YEAR NAP (Caldecott Honor Medal), he recaptured the joy he had known as a boy working in his master's studio. It was then that Say decided to make a full commitment to doing what he loves best: writing and illustrating children's books. Since then, he has written and illustrated many books, including TREE OF CRANES and GRANDFATHER'S JOURNEY, winner of the 1994 Caldecott Medal. He is a full-time writer and illustrator living in Portland, Oregon.
Top customer reviews
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The Allison featured in this story is a young child who is attached to a beautiful doll named Mei Mei that she has had since she was a baby. But when she discovers she was adopted (she is Chinese and her adoptive parents are Caucasian), she acts completely out of character. She vents her anger on her adoptive parents, destroying some of their precious childhood possessions but then does an about turn with the appearance of a stray cat. Though I feel the author meant well, some of the narrative threads just don't mesh well. For example, Mei Mei the doll is supposed to be Chinese (I'm assuming this because the name generally means little sister in Chinese) but is dressed in kimono, the traditional Japanese dress. The way Allison reacts against her adoptive parents seems out of place in a child that young. I'd think it more suited to a teenager. When the family eventually reunites, it appears abrupt and very artificial. These flaws made the story appear less than credible, although the issues presented are very real, and could have been fixed with some critical editing.
I gave the book three stars because I loved the illustrations but I think there are books out there that do a better job of addressing this sensitive issue.
The illustrations are marvelous and almost make up for the text, but please read this book with a healthy amount of skepticism. For a more accurate representation of a child's experience of adoption, check out Ying Ying Fry's _Kids Like Me in China_.