Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Happy Book Birthday to Amah Faraway!

Amah Faraway, by Margaret Chiu Greanias/Illustrated by Tracy Subisak (Jan. 2022, Bloomsbury Children’s Books), $18.99, ISBN: 9781547607211

Ages 3-6

Intergenerational relationships, the Chinese diaspora, and childhood anxiety come together in a family story with a wonderful literary device. Kylie is a young girl living in San Francisco with her mom. Her Amah – Taiwanese for grandmother – lives in Taipei. The two connect over videochats, but when it’s time to visit Amah in Taipei, Kylie is worried. Videochats are fun, but in person? In a different country? That’s very different! Kylie is initially shy and hesitant, but a day at the hot springs changes everything, and Kylie joyfully embraces Amah and Taipei; so much that, when it’s time to go home, Kylie wants to turn right around and come back soon! Author Margaret Chiu Greanias shows the shift in Kylie’s thinking by using the same lines of the story from beginning to middle and middle to end, reversing them so that we can see how they touch differently, once Kylie has her “aha!” moment at the hot spring. It’s a wonderful literary device, brought to life with Tracy Subisak’s colorful mixed media illustration. Endpapers feature words in English and Chinese, with pronunciation and Hanzi. Illustrations move between picture book spreads and comic book word bubbles to capture dialogue. Amah Faraway beautifully captures the growing relationship between a child and a grandparent on two separate shores. Back matter includes notes from the author and illustrator and a note on Taipei.

 

Author:

I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading (http://whatchareading.com). I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (http://www.onwednesdays.net/), where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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