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My Chinatown: One Year in Poems
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My Chinatown: One Year in Poems

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Chinatown -- a place of dragons
and dreams; fireflies
and memories
Chinatown -- full of wonder
and magic; fireworks
on New Year's Day and a delicious
smell on every corner
Chinatown -- where every day
brings something familiar
and something wondrously new
to a small boy
Chinatown -- home?

Kam Mak grew up in a place of two cultures, one existing within the other. Using extraordinarily
...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 4th 2001 by HarperCollins (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-28 of 69)
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Greg
Mar 21, 2009 Greg added it
Shelves: asian-americans
My Chinatown A Year in Pictures is a wonderful children’s picture book. When looking at other children’s books about Chinatown, authors took an approach that seemed to neglect the true cultural aspects of Chinatown in New York. Some authors talked about the perfume shops and fortune cookies. What makes My Chinatown stand above all the rest is that within each page is wonderful artwork capturing that daily life and experiences of Chinatown through the seasons. Accompanying each piece of art are w ...more
Leane
This story of a young Chinese immigrant is told completely in poetry. After moving to Chinatown, the narrator feels homesick and longs for things he has left behind in China. Over the course of a year, he begins to not only simply describe China and the things he misses, but what he sees around him in vibrant Chinatown. He begins to see that Chinese tradition and things like games and birds singing can be found in his new home as well as his old. As the year progresses, he watches dragon boat ra ...more
Jackie
The author, Mak, recounts his wonder and joy at seeing the colorful and uniquely Chinese traditions brought to life in a year in America’s Chinatown. From Winter, with its New Year’s celebrations, firecrackers, fortune-tellers and kumquats, to Spring with its street cobblers, animal chess games and exotic caged birds, these seasons come alive with vibrant watercolor illustrations and insightful poems. The pages of the book move on to Summer, with its sleepy days listening to the hum of a sewing ...more
sarafem
Cute story about a young boy from Hong Kong who is new to the States and living in Chinatown - what city I don't know and I guess it's not important.

It is Chinese New Year when he first arrives and he is not happy because it just isn't home. He misses all the things about Hong Kong that he cannot get there, such as his grandmother's pickled kumquats - uh, yum, sounds delicious. Just wait, you haven't heard his description of fish balls yet.

Anyway, you see his attitude start to change after his m
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Christa
A boy adjusts to life away from his home in Hong Kong, in the Chinatown of his new American city. The realistic, representational art used in this book is amazing! And the poems are just as poignant. A very nice book, I really enjoyed it. The author uses illustrations, format, and content relevant for children. The characters are well-developed and the content goes well with the setting of the story line.
Jenny Ma
The nostalgic feelings of a young Chinese boy, who immigrated to New York’s Chinatown from Hong Kong, are expressed in 15 untitled poems. The poems span the time from one Chinese New Year to the next highlighting important Chinese holidays in between. The simplicity of language and photo-realistic paintings evoke poignant imagery, such as this phrase “. . . school where English words taste like metal in my mouth.”

A great poetry book to teach imagery, simile, and metaphor.
Readers may need suppo
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Kelsey Walker
-shows and talks about life in a different country
-explores lots of different jobs
-many different poems
-Chinese traditions are explained
-Best for 1-3 grades
Beth Schencker
This beautiful picture book written in poetic form tells of a year in the life of a young immigrant boy from Hong Kong. As the year progresses through pictures and verse, the young boy learns to love his new home in the Chinatown of New York City as much as the one he left. Understanding that life in America is different, the young boy can accept that there are many similarities too. The beautiful paintings by Kam Mak, the author and illustrator are just as special. Growing up in New York's Chin ...more
Josianne Fitzgerald
Lovely poems to mark the passing of the year. They work well for students at international schools in China.
Matthew
What incredible detail this book exhibits. I enjoyed the poetry, the mastery of literary devices, the narrative thread that each poem maintained, but more than any of that, the illustrations. This man is truly a master of his craft. I have never seen such vivid detail conveed in an image. I am astounded by how lifelike the images were. I honestly believed at times that I was looking at a photograph lightly modified to appear to be a painting. The colors were so vivid and lifelike, the shadowing ...more
Kelly
Mak writes beautifully of living in the "in-between." His illustrations are exquisite and the simplicity of the poetry captures so much of day-to-day life in Chinatown.
Ckorbakis
Very descriptive poems divided into the 4 seasons. The pictures go along with the poems and enhance the understanding of them. The sequence of the poems creates a sense of a Chinatown neighborhood. This will work very well in our unit of Chicago neighborhoods and prior to and after our trip to Chinatown. It would be interesting to look at examples of the 5 senses through the descriptions and illustrations.
Sarah
My Chinatown is a collection of poems about a young boy's year in Chinatown. At the beginning he seems resistant to live in his new town because he misses his life in China. However, as the poems go on season by season the young boy seems to embrace his life in Chinatown and finds that he enjoys his new neighborhood and life. The book looks culturally at the young boys identity in Chinatown.
Behind The Book
This book tells one boy's adventurous tale of assimilating into a new country, and learning how to cope with missing home. The protagonist maintains a lighthearted mindset throughout the book, which encourages readers to do the same. All the while, he takes through Chinatown, his new home, and introduces us to the many sights and smells he encounters. Overall, a very charming read.
Laura
From one January to the next, one boy from Hong Kong talks about the sights, sounds, and smells of his new home, New York's Chinatown. Each poem is accompanied by paintings, some so realistic you can mistake them for photographs. "My mother points out the fish she wants. He waves his tail gently and looks straight at me. That night I say I'm sick so I won't have to eat him."
Andrew Perry
This is a wonderful nonfiction book comprised of poems describing a year in the author's life as a young boy in Chinatown.
Dan
Talks about many different china towns. I didn't feel it was suitable for my first graders.
kelly
Jun 17, 2008 kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: not really
Recommended to kelly by: uri530
Shelves: picture-books
From Chinese New Year to the next, a recent immigrant grows to love his new country
Dolly
Jul 11, 2008 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading to their children
Vivid illustrations and colors - good introduction to Chinese culture
Anne
Jul 10, 2012 Anne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Kind of long for read aloud, good for culture, poems.
Christie
Christie marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2014
Dominique Maderitz
Dominique Maderitz marked it as to-read
Sep 09, 2013
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613876
Kam Mak grew up in New York City's Chinatown. He earned his bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of Visual Arts, and since has illustrated book jackets for numerous publishers and taught painting at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, son, and daughter.
More about Kam Mak...
The Agony of Alice (Alice, #1) Amazing Faces The Year of the Panda American Dragons: Twenty-five Asian American Voices The Moon of the Monarch Butterflies

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