In Hong Kong, Mei Mei was smart ""in Chinese."" In New York, people expect her to learn English: but although she soon understands it in spite of herself, she rebels against speaking it until a new tutor takes her for a walk and tells her so many things, in English, that Mei Mei suddenly realizes that she wants to talk too--and reciprocates with 22 minutes nonstop. With unusual sympathy and humor, Levine presents the stages of learning the language of a new country. (English is ""Such a lonely language. Each letter stands alone and makes its own noise. Not like Chinese."") Bjorkman's sketches with added water. color cheerfully capture Mei Mei's changing emotions and her new surroundings. Right on target and sure to be useful.