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Double Happiness Hardcover – August 4, 2015
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—This beautifully illustrated story in verse details the difficulties and discoveries involved in moving, as told through the experiences of a Chinese American family. Gracie and Jake are moving away from San Francisco and from their grandmother, aunt, and uncle. To help her grandchildren come to grips with this change, Nai Nai gives them each a happiness box to fill with four objects to help them go from their old to the new home. Each poem focuses on something small, like a stuffed panda, a eucalyptus leaf, or a new room, that adds new layers to Grace and Jake's stories. The poems, which are also titled in Chinese characters, detail the kids' physical and emotional journeys in simple but vivid language. The watercolor illustrations are soft but intensely colored, with eye-catching details. VERDICT This is a relatable book about coping with a move that would make a great recommendation for relocating families with young children.—Marian McLeod, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, CT
"A great recommendation for relocating families with young children."--School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of the Year
Kirkus Best Picture Books of the Year Featuring Minority Characters
Kirkus Best Picture Books of The Year About Family
"Enchanting."-School Library Connection
"A thoughtful and moving story of memory and change."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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Top customer reviews
Nai Nai gives each child an empty box and tells them to gather four items along the way. Immediately, Gracie sees something of Nai Nai's that she will miss. Nai Nai places it in the box. Gracie's next item drifts into her box as she leaves the house. Jake picks up his first treasure at the airport, and then a second, and a third on the plane. They fall asleep and when they awaken they are at their new home. Jake finds something appealing, and now has his 4th treasure. Gracie is unhappy; already missing her loved ones who live by the golden bridge. She adds a drawing to her box, but she needs one more item.
At her new home, she digs in a box and finds something satisfying. She brings it to the dinner table for the whole family to enjoy. At bedtime, Gracie unpacks her suitcase and finds a scarf belonging to Nai Nai, still carrying her scent, jasmine. Then the siblings each paint their Treasure Boxes with pictures of things that are happy reminders of the home and people they left behind.
Nai Nai's lesson to her grandchildren is to treasure the past and present and embrace the future.
If you were given an empty box right now, what treasures would you put in it, and how would you decorate the outside of the box?