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RED KITE, BLUE KITE by Ji-li Jiang


by Ji-li Jiang & illustrated by Greg Ruth

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4231-2753-6
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Set during the Cultural Revolution in China, a heartwarming tale of a father and son whose love never stops soaring.

Tai Shan and his father, Baba, like to climb to the tippy-top of their roof and fly kites. The two kites—one red and one blue—rise and dive through the sky together. But one day, Baba is taken away to a labor camp, and Tai Shan must stay with a woman called Granny Wang, who is not his grandmother but is kind to him. A thick forest and many miles stand between father and son. Luckily, Baba devises a secret way for them to talk: Every morning, Tai Shan flies his red kite on the hill, and every evening Baba flies his blue one. The kites wave in the wind and whisper messages of comfort until the two are reunited. Ruth’s muted primary palette of dusty tans and browns are a stark contrast to the few carefully placed flashes of color. The Red Guards’ armbands blaze angrily, yet the two kites soaring in the sky and the bright orange leaves on the trees are spots of hope.

Though this is told against the backdrop of a dark part of Chinese history, any child coping with separation from a loved one may find comfort in this story. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-8)