Thursday, February 19, 2009

Review (Mah Jong All Day Long)

Board games play a big roll in our family. My husband and I met while playing a game, we used to host game night parties before 6:00 became bedtime, and we generally give the baby free access to a whole assortment of board games (minus the choking hazards). So the children's picture book below seemed like a natural addition to our book collection.

Mahjong All Day Long (Hardcover), by Ginnie Lo. I was delighted to pick up this book at a library book sale, and have been very pleased with the bookworm's reception of it, since he is obviously younger than the intended audience. "Mah Jong All Day Long" tells the story of Big sister JieJie and little brother DiDi, whose family plays mah jong, as the title suggests, "all day long." The book takes you through the life cycle of a family, as "these days Uncle T. T. sings a little out of tune, and Auntie Helen can't crack the watermelon seeds anymore. But MaMa serves as much tea as ever." It's a sweet story, and I think the humor would be appreciated by Chinese families and any families in which game playing has had a central role in family life.

Excerpt:

"Uncle T. T. sings Chinese opera while he plays. [Chinese characters for 'tape recorder' and 'sounds terrible!']"

Bookworm's interest at 15 months: He was excited by the mah jong tiles, thinking they were the same as the dominoes we let him play with. We pulled out the mah jong set so he would see the difference, and now he loves playing with those tiles as well. He seemed to quite enjoy the book, laying his head down to imitate sleep when little JieJie was in bed (and her parents were still playing mah jong).

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