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The Jade Necklace Hardcover – January 1, 2002
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-This tender story about Chinese immigrants to Canada opens in their homeland, as Yenyee's fisherman father gives her a jade pendant carved like a fish. When a typhoon blows up while he's out at sea, she throws the necklace into the water to bargain for his life. Still, he drowns, leaving her family penniless. Reluctantly, the girl accepts a job as caregiver to May-jen, the village merchant's daughter, and accompanies them to the New World, where both girls are terribly homesick. When May-jen nearly drowns in the ocean and Yenyee rescues her, miraculously finding the lost jade pendant, it marks a turning point in the older girl's acceptance of their new home. Deliberately naive color illustrations, composed of strong, simple forms, subtly portray a range of emotions from sorrow and desperation to happiness. Dramatic, wordless spreads advance the narrative. The art conveys a clear sense of place but confuses readers' sense of time by showing the immigrants traveling by sailboat at the turn of the 19th-century to a country where little girls wear short skirts and socks. In a few sentences, Yee's phrasing becomes formal and stilted. Nevertheless, art and text combine into an engaging story with emotions that children will understand.
Margaret A. Chang, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"Family, faith and the immigrant experience get equal treatment in Yee's latest offering... Yee's narrative takes flight alongside Lin's accomplished illustration."
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