FU-DOG by Rumer Godden


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An estranged family is reconciled by a child's intervention--that's the familiar theme given a special flavor in Godden's skillfully told, almost-magical tale about an English seven-year-old who searches out her Chinese great-uncle. Though Great Uncle gave Li-La her name and sends her marvelous gifts, she knows little about him--not even his name. Perhaps Dad was too ""rough and ready,"" years ago, for his half-Chinese wife's family; perhaps they were too ""pernickety."" Lila's latest present, a toy dog, tells her bits of Chinese lore--until she determines to seek Great Uncle, having learned only that he runs a London restaurant. Joined by her brother Malcolm, who scorns Chinese things, she makes the long train journey on what proves to be Chinese New Year and receives a generous, loving welcome in the best Godden tradition. Large format coupled with Littlewood's appealing, realistic paintings and marginal drawings make this an unusually attractive chapter book. A pleasant story of intolerance collapsed by good will and understanding.

Pub Date: May 9th, 1990
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Viking