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Garden Of Empress Cassia
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Garden Of Empress Cassia

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  136 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
When Mimi is given a box of magical pastels, she discovers that she can draw the Garden of Empress Cassia. But the pastels are ancient, mysterious and powerful, and in the wrong hands, can be very dangerous.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published 2002 by Puffin (first published January 1st 2000)
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Aj the Ravenous Reader

There is a very genuine Chinese feel to this charming tale about Mimi, a Chinese-Australian young girl who received the most fascinating gift- a set of magical oil pastels. The story has this timeless, classic quality to it that made me devour every page of this little, pretty book. I love the diversity of the characters, the creativity of the plot and the magic that mystifies the entire thing. I think the characters are greatly developed including the minor ones though words and pages are used
May 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Mimi and her special box of pastels....
Mimi rolls her fingers along the pastels, with pure care and gentlenesss, she was the one, the chosen one.
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, child-at-heart
This was really sweet and encouraging
What makes this novel by Gabrielle Wang so intriguing is that she mixes reality, fantasy, and doses of philosophy on the origins of good and evil in equal parts. The balance that results makes this primarily fantasy novel, "The Garden of Empress Cassaia", an altogether enjoyable book. The central character 12 year Mimi is awash with the uncomfortable feelings of parents whose Chinese heritage of heavily Mandarin influenced English accent, cutltural traditions of celebrating New Years and smell o ...more
May 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heidi by: Kirsty Murray
Gabrielle Wang generally was recommended to me by Kirsty Murray and Erin-from-Penguin Books, both of whom sang praises of Wang's new book (The Ghost in my Suitcase) coming out later this year. Needless to say, I will be reading that one. But I'd had my eye on "The Garden of the Empress Cassia" for a while, and the combined recommendation of Kirsty and Erin was what I needed to take it off the shelf and take it home.

It's a Younger Readers book - mid-late Primary and early Secondary - of a sort of
Anne Hamilton
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gabrielle Wang told a curious story about The Garden of the Empress Cassia when she was at the Somerset Celebration of Literature in 2006. She said that the inspiration for the story was an incident that had happened when she was a child. She’d seen someone come out of a picture, call her name and beckon her into the picture.

The story of the Garden is that of a Chinese girl Mimi who is given a box of coloured chalk by her art teacher and made to promise that no one else will be allowed to touch
Jul 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
This novel is meant for young readers, the vocabulary is easily understandable to children and the concepts are simplified. Mimi, the main character, doesn't like being and feeling different than the other children. She just wants to fit in. The author makes the reader believe that he/she is truly reading about an eleven-year-old child. The plot is very different and the reader will enjoy reading about the pastels and the ups and downs of using them. The story is very creative and is sure to cap ...more
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
This lovely short novel really brings images to the mind. Mimi is fed up with being different from the other children at school and wants to fit in. When her art teacher gives her a box of enchanted pastels, Mimi is transported through her drawings to a magical garden between heaven and earth. In the wrong hands, however, the pastels can be dangerous....
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
An absolutely charming tale, and full of adventure, art and the beautiful gardens of the Empress.

Really enjoyable and well told, I'll be looking out for more books by Wang.
Edward Sullivan
An interesting, engaging Australian fantasy about a Chinese girl bullied in school and wrestling with her cultural identity who finds refuge in her art.
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a book I bought for Rachel and she really liked, so I read it too. It was well written, a good book for girls.
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I could just imagine everything. I loved it.
Rachel Maniacup
Apr 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Aj the Ravenous Reader
I'm so happy that my dear little sister found a "clever way" to add new books on her shelf 'cause the first one to benefit on them is of course..ME,haha! Followed by our dad,and then my daughter.And this is the first new book that my sister lent me..^^

This is a story of a 12 year old Chinese-Australian girl,named MIMI who wanted to fit in her school,because she's tired of always being bullied by her classmates because of her culture and tradition.But this girl has a great talent in drawing and p
May 10, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012, children
Preteen Chinese-Australian Mimi is embarrassed of her Asian heritage. Her schoolmates call her names because of the food odors which cling to her clothes and her father disapproves of the one thing which makes Mimi happy--painting. She is given a set of magical pastels which allows certain people to "enter" the paintings she draws on the sidewalk. A jealous classmate steals the pastels and Mimi fears harm will come to the girl.

This sweet story emphasizes the confusion felt by a girl who just wa
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: rebecca-s-books
This is an elementary school aged book about a Chinese girl living in Australia who deals with bullying. She is given a magical box of pastels that create a garden where people are healed from their worries and fears without realizing it.
I really liked the story line but felt like the book could have been fleshed out more and a longer story could have been written around the same story line. Still, a good, quick read for children on the topic of bullying and embracing your heritage. 3 and a hal
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Quick read for middle primary. Was expecting more.
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was little, I loved it.
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: april-2016
This book was a great idea, but the writing was quite bland and the structure of the story was off.
May 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
it wasnt good but it wasnt bad
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Feb 09, 2013
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Sep 13, 2014
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Aug 06, 2012
Barbara West
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Dec 08, 2013
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Apr 28, 2011
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Sep 15, 2012
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Nov 28, 2013
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Jul 18, 2014
Pleb Teacher
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Gabrielle Wang is an award winning children’s author born in Melbourne of Chinese heritage. Her great grandfather came to Victoria during the Gold Rush, settling in the town of Wahgunyah on the Murray River. In her twenties Gabrielle lived in China and Taiwan where she studied Chinese language, traditional painting and calligraphy. After working as a graphic designer she discovered a love of paint ...more
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