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The Wishing Tree Hardcover – March 21, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3-8–Ming and his grandmother have a tradition of visiting the Wishing Tree each Lunar New Year. Their wishes are written on special paper, tied to an orange, and tossed up into the branches of the tree. Ming's grandmother cautions him to wish thoughtfully, and following her advice, he realizes the fulfillment of all of his wishes except for one very important one: that his grandmother recover from a grave illness. Many years pass before Ming returns to the tree. He comes to forgive it when a friend points out that it has granted the wish his grandmother had made for him every year–that he be happy. Now the paper he offers to the tree is not a wish but rather a note of thanks. Thong's narrative voice has a gentle and musical quality that will lure readers into the book's pages, as well as into the landscape of this lovely little corner of China. Children will see in fastidious detail the beautiful wishing paper with its Chinese symbols and English translations. The rendering of the people is also superb. The exquisite art is done on watercolor paper with acrylics, which results in an unusual and vivid effect. A template for wishing paper is included in the back of the book. The lessons and observations in The Wishing Tree are ageless, and the book offers many opportunities for discussion.–Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PreS-Gr. 2. When Ming is five years old, his grandmother takes him to the Wishing Tree, where, like others in their Hong Kong village, they write wishes on pieces of paper weighted down by oranges and throw them into the branches of a giant banyan tree. Ming and Grandmother continue their annual visits to the tree until Grandmother grows ill. Bitter when his wish for Grandmother's recovery isn't granted, Ming avoids the tree until, years later, he returns to the village and acknowledges the happiness the tree brought. Although the simple, moving story is an excellent choice for Lunar New Year read-alouds and will work well to open class discussions about cultural traditions, it will also appeal throughout the year. Sentimental without being saccharine, it illustrates how traditions can help us voice our deepest wishes and emotions, and its vibrant acrylic paintings of the glorious tree abloom with wishes and fruit, which will show well to a crowd of young listeners, extend the tale's reassuring sense of hope. An author's note describes the true events that inspired the story. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
As if the story wasn't beautiful enough, the author took a lot of time explaining about wishing trees and how they are either banyan or camphor trees because these kinds of trees because they have aerial roots that curve & twist into unsual shapes that seem to look magical! She then goes on to tell her reader tells us that people come all though out the year to toss their wishes onto the wishing trees branches, but the majority of the people come during their Lunar New Year. She also speaks of the Ng Bo Dip which means "5 Treasures Piles" in Cantonese that the wishes are written. The brightly colored red & gold papers are then tied to a Mandarin Orange and thrown high into the branches of the wishing tree. I bet it's a beautiful sight! The author also includes a directions on how to make your very own Ng Bo Dip and also includes a black & white copy for the reader to photocopy, color and cut out!
A definate treasure to have in your home library!