Another FRIDAY! I’m so glad. It means tomorrow is Saturday and there is more time to relax. As you know I have been working very hard. Well, you’re gonna havta catch my on Tuesdays to learn what I”ve been doing. Here’s my choice for Perfect Picture Book Friday. I loved this one.


A Gift

A Gift

Title: A Gift

Author/ Illustrator: Yong Chen

Publishing info: Boyds Mills Press, 2009, fiction

From the Jacket: A gift has come for Amy, all the way from, China. The package has arrived just in time for Chinese New Year, the most important holiday in the Chinese culture. At this time of year, it’s tradition to spend time with friends and family. Since Amy’s aunt and uncles live in China and are unable to make a new-year visit, they have sent their niece a special gift – a gift that expresses their love and their wish to keep the family together though they live far apart. 

Ages appropriate for: 7 to 11

Themes: multicultural, holidays, Chinese New Year

First Three Sentences: Homesick. That’s how Amy’s mother feels whenever it’s Chinese New Year. She thinks about her brothers and her sister, who live on the other side of the world.

Sources for further enrichment:  Funny as it seems I could not find much on this book on the internet. After much searching I found a link to the Chinese New Year and dragons here.  However if you are a parent or teacher it might be more interesting to students to discuss their own New Year celebrations and I am sure if you are a teacher there will be cultural differences in your class.

Why I love it: Yong Chen, both the author and illustrator does the beautiful art with watercolor. The text is spare and the setting is where most of the text is. In four sentences the reader gets the whole picture of how very homesick for China and her family Amy’s mother is. Then each page has one sentence apiece on it with a gorgeous illustration telling the story of how a dragon is the symbol of china was carved from a stone found while Amy’s uncle plowed a field. This dragon necklace is the gift that Amy got, bringing the family together even though many miles separated them.

It reminds me of Sinter Klaas in my native Holland when we received a love package from relatives back home every December 5 to help celebrate St. Nicholas day. I am sure my parents missed their family back home more than I can ever know. The package held goodies only found in the Netherlands and given only on that day. My sister Anneliese took over the tradition after relatives died in Holland. She, as well as my even younger sister, Mieke, must have missed all of us back on the east coast as much as my parents missed them. As my family scattered Sinter Klaas became the symbol of our heritage and of our love for each other.

Gifts for all my friends! Everyone!:

Huffington Post thinks creative’s think differently and have different habits than ordinary people. See here: 

Interested in reading? Here are the top ten sites for book lovers: 

And what Patricia Tilton says in her blog Children’s Books Heal: 

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

Hugs and kisses!

See you on Tuesday. © 2014 Clara Bowman-Jahn aka Clarike Bowman-Jahn



About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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19 Responses to PPBF/ A GIFT

  1. Verizon says:

    You showcase such great stories!

    Sent from my iPad


  2. What a lovely book and tradition. I enjoyed hearing your Sinter Klaas tale. Thanks for sharing!


  3. This sounds like a lovely book. I will have to check it out. Thanks for telling me about it.


  4. Margot Finke says:

    Terrific Friday choice, mate. Already pinned to my Book Reviews (Kids to YA) on Pinterest. Gorgeous illos too.

    Books for Kids – Skype Author Visits


  5. Joanna says:

    What a great choice for the #WeNeedDiverseBooks message of the moment, Clar!


  6. Beautiful story about separation and family. Lovely choice.


  7. This sounds like a wonderful book! I am glad that your family kept in touch, too! 🙂


  8. Holidays are hard when families are apart. At least we have phone and internet now, but it’s not the same as being together. This sounds like a lovely book.


  9. Resonates with me today – sending my daughter a package!


  10. This book sounds lovely — and thank you so much for sharing your family story, as well. *hugs*


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