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Ruby's Wish Hardcover – September, 2002
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Idiosyncratic young Ruby lives in a large (and wealthy!) Chinese family, in a gigantic "house filled with the shrieks and laughter of over one hundred children." She stands out because she insists on always wearing red, the color of celebration ("Even when her mother made her wear somber colors like her other cousins, Ruby would tie up her jet-black hair with red ribbons") but even more so because of her quiet dissatisfaction with the family's traditional gender inequity. Determined to study reading and writing--even when it means long hours catching up on more wifely training--Ruby eventually comes to the attention of her grandfather, the wise house patriarch, who springs a surprise as the time for her to wed approaches.
Graceful Aussie illustrator Sophie Blackall captures the culture--contrasted by Ruby's bright red defiance--expertly, with elegant calligraphy, muted period clothing, and countless nice details (from a porcelain bowl full of terrapins to ink smudges on Ruby's cousins' faces). And what's better, Bridges's well-structured story is true--with a fun surprise ending! (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
On the last page we learn that this is a true story, based on the author�s grandmother. We also get to see a photograph of this grandmother, one of the first women university students in China. And we learn that �every day, she still wears a little red.�
This is a gem of a book, with simple yet evocative writing and beautiful illustrations which capture emotions wonderfully and provide a wealth of detail on Chinese dress and décor of the time.
This story "works" on many levels. The bright palette of the book makes Ruby pop off the page. The illustrator does a good job of showing Ruby progress from quietly curious to defiant yet resigned. The restraint of the illustrator is as evident as the skill. The point of the story is of course powerful and poignant: most girls in Old China as well as many places in the modern world are trained to be only wives and mothers at the expense of opening the world to them through reading and writing. While her grandfather's benevolence shields her from that fate, the author still shows the subtle ways in which a young child would understand what her expected role was. However, she manages to do it without beating the point with an age-inappropriate hammer.
This is a great story that ages five and older will be touched by.
If you want to read reviews of 35 children's books having to do with China, visit the 7/2/2012 post on myoverthinking(dot)com
This story is simple and sweet. The kids are so cute, and you get a bit of Chinese culture by understanding gender roles and holiday customs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is such an amazing book. I love stories that are based on true events. My students always love hearing this story when we learn about Chinese New Year.Published 2 months ago by Danielle Futrell
We enjoyed reading this story. I wish I would have heard of it sooner. I really enjoyed reading the story. Great story.Published 6 months ago by Alicia Lorenzo
It is an interesting story to inspire young girls to follow their dreams. It teaches that if you work hard, your dreams can come true. Beautiful illustrationsPublished 15 months ago by Bella Akpan
This was a nice book but I dont find it exiting! I love exiting books! Tia Deliperi 😀😙Published 18 months ago by Tia Deliperi
Gave to my Mom for Chirstmas- she is the ultimate feminist- inspiring tale about a Chinese girl who worked double-time doing 'girls' and 'boys' work and who was one of the first in... Read morePublished on January 13, 2014 by EC
I liked this book, it gave my 4 yo a new story to read with a message about women being able to do some other than be a princess, wife, animal lover. Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by keightpea
Great depiction of Chinese culture. The story as well as the illustrations were outstanding. This book could be used to teach children abou multicultural issues.Published on October 31, 2013 by Merranda Marin
We love this book at our house. The level is just right for my 6 year old daughter to read to me, and the message is SO GREAT. Read morePublished on December 7, 2012 by Corinne Brzeski