Even though our young hero has had video chats with her grandmother, still when she flies to Taipei to visit, she is understandably nervous. Taipei has odd foods, language, people, and buildings, so our young friend is not sure how she feels about all of it. The theme of change and “warming up” to your situation is at the forefront, yet there is also the relationship between grandparent and grandchild. Based on Greanias’ own experiences. And Subisak illustrates this journey with bright, fun colors and the perfect details.— Jeanette
A delightful story of a child's visit to a grandmother and home far away, and of how families connect and love across distance, language, and cultures.
Kylie is nervous about visiting her grandmother-her Amah-who lives SO FAR AWAY.
When she and Mama finally go to Taipei, Kylie is shy with Amah. Even though they have spent time together in video chats, those aren't the same as real life. And in Taiwan, Kylie is at first uncomfortable with the less-familiar language, customs, culture, and food. However, after she is invited by Amah-Lái kàn kàn! Come see!-to play and splash in the hot springs (which aren't that different from the pools at home), Kylie begins to see this place through her grandmother's eyes and sees a new side of the things that used to scare her. Soon, Kylie is leading her Amah-Come see! Lái kàn kàn!-back through all her favorite parts of this place and having SO MUCH FUN! And when it is time to go home, the video chats will be extra special until they can visit faraway again.
Backmatter includes author and illustrator notes and a guide to some of the places and foods explored in Taiwan.
“Subisak's watercolor, pencil, and ink illustrations lovingly show details from Taiwanese life and culture. Ranging from multiple vignettes per page to full spreads, they possess an almost cinematic storyboard quality while supporting the mirrored narrative symmetry that has the hot spring visit as its midpoint. This is a poignantly emotional and highly relatable story for children whose grandparents or other family members might live far away, but also one that teaches universal lessons about overcoming fears of the unfamiliar.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“An au courant portrayal of a transnational childhood.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A sympathetic portrayal of long-distance family ties.” —Booklist
“Encouraging openness toward new experiences amid a centering of one child's diasporic shift in cultural perception, this contemporary tale tenderly spotlights the strengthening of an intergenerational relationship.” —Publishers Weekly