Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ANGEL IN BEIJING by Belle Yang Kirkus Star


by Belle Yang ; illustrated by Belle Yang

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: July 10th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9270-4
Publisher: Candlewick

A Chinese girl in search of her lost kitty inadvertently takes readers on a tour of famous landmarks in Beijing.

An unnamed girl and a stray white kitty quickly form a friendship. “Kitty loves to come with me when I bicycle around Beijing.” The two even come up with a unique call and answer using the girl’s “new bell” she attaches to the handlebars: “Trrring-trring. Niaow-niaow, answers Kitty.” Unfortunately, while enjoying the kites at the Dragon Boat Festival, Kitty ambitiously captures a dragon kite only to be whisked away from her friend. The perfectly balanced and evenly paced narrative highlights the many historic sites in Beijing while showcasing the small scenes of everyday life during her search. “I visit Liulichang Street. Kitty has good taste in antiques. She likes to watch artists painting, too.” Yang brings another layer of emotion to the story when the girl finally finds her furry friend in the care of “a granny” and must decide where Kitty is needed the most. Yang’s simple sketches are painted over with bright, bold colors that are sure to keep young eyes exploring every scene, which bustle with cars, bicyclists, and other people enjoying activities both familiar and less typical for Western readers.

A sweet tale about friendship that gives a glimpse of life in another part of the world, this loving tribute to Beijing is a perfect read-aloud for young travelers. (Picture book. 5-8)