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CITY KIDS IN CHINA by Peggy Thomson


by Peggy Thomson & photographed by Paul S. Conklin

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: April 15th, 1991
ISBN: 0-06-021654-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

 The team responsible for the well-reviewed Keepers and Creatures at the National Zoo (1988) here presents a less successful book based on their visit to China. Featuring the children of Changsah, capital of Hunan province, in a kaleidoscope of life at school, in the streets, and at home, Thomson's lively prose is combined with quotes from the children themselves and Conklin's crisply reproduced photos for a telling glimpse of these youngsters' activities and their society. Though the city's history is briefly discussed in an introduction, the book as a whole provides little context or overall structure (e.g., two English language teachers appear and disappear without explanation); and though Thomson's style is engagingly informal, an occasional phrase is infelicitous (``busted spokes''). The result is sometimes confusing, but is consistently diverting. Conklin's b&w photos aptly catch the mood. A good book that could have been excellent. (Nonfiction. 8-12)