MY MEI MEI by Ed Young
Kirkus Star

MY MEI MEI

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Young’s own daughters, successively adopted as babies in China, inspire this tender celebration of love flowering between sisters. Narrator Antonia plays at being “Jieh-Jieh”—big sister—with her parents. She wistfully befriends an invisible “Mei Mei”—a younger sister. When she is three, she and her parents fly “the friendly sky to China” to bring a baby Mei Mei home. Terse yet expressive text (rendered the more economical by voluptuous, full-bleed double spreads of collaged florals, pastel and gouache), conveys Antonia’s conflicting emotions, from excitement to abandonment, protectiveness to pride. In a particularly lovely spread, Antonia confides, “I help her with reading and math so we can play more board games.” Cocooned together among pillows and cats on a flowery ground evoking William Morris textiles, Mei Mei listens as Antonia reads what’s clearly a copy of Leo Lionni’s Little Blue and Little Yellow. With Antonia garbed in yellow and Mei Mei, bright blue, the composition perfectly evokes the girls’ symbiosis. By the close, of course, exhibiting the collusive, boundary-pushing exuberance of young siblings, the girls sweetly ask, “Can we have another Mei Mei?” (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-399-24339-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2006




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