MR. FONG'S TOY SHOP by Leo Politi


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All the children in Los Angeles' Chinatown are welcome in Mr. Fong's toy shop, where he shows them how to make traditional Chinese toys and tells them the legends associated with the mid-autumn Moon Festival. This year he also shows them how to make shadow puppets, and when the time for the festival arrives they cap the celebration--featuring special food, song and dance, and a Lantern Parade--with a performance that makes Mr. Fong proud. Just so, the thank-you poem they write for him makes him happy when he finds it on his way home. Politi doesn't single out any one child or cook up any problem or uncertainty to give this the appearance of having a plot; clearly, the narrative is only a vehicle for the ethnic lore and customs--yet he doesn't give any exact instructions for making the shadow puppets or performing the other activities either. Still, there is so much good feeling and fun for everyone involved in politi's celebration that, like his Three Stalks of Corn (1976), it might motivate an early-grade social studies class to stage a festival of its own.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1978
Publisher: Scribners