FROM THE STARS IN THE SKY TO THE FISH IN THE SEA by Kai Cheng  Thom

FROM THE STARS IN THE SKY TO THE FISH IN THE SEA

Age Range: 3 - 7
BUY NOW FROM
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A fantasy-inspired story of gender and identity told by trans writer Thom.

Miu Lan can’t decide if they are a “bird or fish,” “cat or rabbit,” “tree or star.” They were born “when both the moon and the sun were in the sky,” so their identity shifts with the games they play and the time of day. In charming, fancifully childlike illustrations pitched to a young audience, readers see the Chinese child swim, fly, prance, and run in different animal guises. Their mother constantly assures them of her love in a song repeated throughout. Of course, when Miu Lan goes to school in “a tail of peacock feathers and a coat of tiger stripes,” their classmates are not so accepting. Exclusion and mild bullying commence as Miu Lan tries to figure out how to fit in, but their mother continues to reassure them, and of course the story ends with full acceptance: “i was a little jealous,” one boy even admits. (The unconventional use of lowercase letters reinforces the sense of Miu Lan’s fluid identity.) The story is somewhat long-winded and predictable, but the traditional arc and themes can resonate with any child who feels excluded (or excludes others) and can also open up conversations about nonbinary gender identities.

A relevant tale of love and acceptance that can find a home in any children’s collection. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-55152-709-3
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2017




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenMORRIS MICKLEWHITE AND THE TANGERINE DRESS by Christine Baldacchino
by Christine Baldacchino
ChildrenTHE BOY & THE BINDI by Vivek Shraya
by Vivek Shraya
ChildrenTHE RUNAWAY BUNNY by Margaret Wise Brown
by Margaret Wise Brown
ChildrenFELIX'S NEW SKIRT by Kerstin Brichzin
by Kerstin Brichzin