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Ming's Christmas Wishes

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Inspired by family stories.

Ming wishes for three things at Christmas. First, to sing in the school Christmas choir. Second, to have a Christmas tree like the one in the department store window. And third, to feel she belongs somewhere.

As a daughter of immigrants in 1930s California, Ming is often treated differently than other children at school. She’s pointedly not invite
Unknown Binding, 48 pages
Published September 29th 2020 by Shadow Mountain
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  111 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Briar's Reviews
Ming's Christmas Wishes is an adorably fun children's book!

This is such a lovely tale about family during Christmas time. All Ming wants for Christmas is for her family to have a Christmas tree. This is not what her Mother wants since it is not a Chinese tradition. Along the way, Ming learns how to blend traditions.

The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and make this feel like the whimsical Christmas tale it is supposed to be. The colours are very rich, which really stood out to me as a read
La Coccinelle
Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
This Christmas picture book features lovely illustrations and a nice theme... but it suffers from a lack of context.

From the very beginning, we see Ming struggling to find acceptance both at school and at home. Young readers might wonder why Ming isn't allowed to sing with the other students simply because she's Chinese. The book obviously takes place in another time (and the blurb states that it's the 1930s) but the only clues in the story are the illustrations and a few mentions of historical
Katie W
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This sweet Christmas story warmed my heart and soul. Ming has wishes that seem unlikely, given her mother's stanch beliefs in their family's Chinese heritage and traditions. This book is inspired by a true story and although it took place many years ago, I feel it's still relevant today, as there are many who still immigrate to America. I think most people want to fit in and belong, yet still stay true to their legacy, and finding a way to merge those desires is very important to satisfy an inne ...more
Mid-Continent Public Library
It seems like everywhere she turns, Ming is being told 'No.' She is not allowed to sing in the choir at school. Her mother will not consider putting a Christmas tree in their home. She feels out of place at school and at home. She is running on empty. Then Pop takes her up into the mountains for a day. He wisely fills up her tank in unexpected ways. This bright colorful addition to holiday picture books will give Chinese children a new favorite and provide a window into immigrant homes for other ...more
Dec 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ming's Christmas Wish is the story of a little girl whose parents are Chinese Immigrants. This story takes place in California in the 1930s. Ming doesn't fit in at school because of her race (She doesn't get to be in the school choir) and she doesn't feel American enough because her mother won't let her family get a traditional Christmas tree. I read this to my class and I did have to explain why Ming wasn't allowed into the school choir. It did enable us to have a good conversation about racism ...more
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It’s that time of year. The best time of year to read Christmas picture books to your kids. I love a good Christmas picture book. And this one is so good!

I love that this author showed a different type of Christmas. Ming is a little Chinese girl. All she wants to do is to fit in. To have a Christmas tree. And to have a traditional American Christmas. Unfortunately, her mother wants nothing to do with that.

I love the relationship that Ming appears to have with her father. He takes her to visit so
Aimee (Getting Your Read On)
What a sweet book. I really loved the message of this story and the illustrations. Ming's Pop takes the time to show Ming the places, the people and the purpose of her heritage instead of just telling her. Ming is trying to find herself in a new country and it isn't easy to fit in and merge/keep traditions. I can only imagine how difficult that would be. Pop is a gentle, kind soul and I really loved him.

I loved learning a little more about the Chinese culture and especially what the pine tree re
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If I happen to touch this book in the bookstore, I wouldn't leave it behind.
For all the wrong and the right reasons.

The 'wrong' reasons being that the cover is so beautiful (don't look at that compressed picture here ☺️; the actual cover is made to lure you and me and it works!); the illustrations inside is more captivating (leave alone the kids. The adult me who pretends to buy such books for kids will be happy to just flip the pages of this book everyday, especially after a day of hard work a
Jun 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I received an electronic ARC from Shadow Mountain Publishing through Edelweiss+.
Gong tells a lovely story about family and figuring out balancing tradition and new ideas. Ming struggles to fit at school and at home. Her family emigrated from China to America and she is split between two cultures. She longs for a Christmas tree but her mother refuses to consider it at it's not Chinese. Her dad takes her to see some older friends who help her see ways to blend old and new traditions. He also digs
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I received an e-book from NetGalley.

What a beautiful book, both in the meaning and in the illustrations! This book has many lessons and drawings to explore. It is perfect to use in discussion of family traditions.

I'm not sure that my elementary students would check it out but a classroom teacher could definitely use this in lessons.
Kristy Mauna
Nov 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-book
The heart of this story is about Ming and her struggle with her identity. She’s Chinese but lives in America, and she feels like she’s not accepted by either or how to be enough for both cultures. I instantly felt connected to Ming because I’ve struggled with my identity my entire life so I could relate to her easily.

After being told she couldn’t sing with her classmates in the choir performance (thanks to her racist teacher) Ming heads home, but not before spotting a Christmas tree. With all th
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
I love stories that are aimed towards children to teach them about history but end up teaching adults something as well.

This story is set in the 1930s and features Ming, a Chinese girl, set in a town in California. She doesn't fit in and has very few wishes, but what she wants more than anything is to sing in the choir at school and have a Christmas tree. However, Mom says no, and Dad agrees with her. But what Ming doesn't expect is to take a trip with her dad to meet some friends of her grandfa
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ming doesn’t feel like an American when she is at school. Ming has three Christmas wishes. Her mother tells her no to all of them as they are not Chinese customs. Her father decides to take Ming to a very wise man. As they go to see the wise man, they see the snow on the ground. They visit then leave going to the “old grove.” As Ming and her father walk , they arrive at a lopsided tree. There is a hollow that has inside it an altar. Why is an altar there? Who used it? Ming and her father go back ...more
Michelle Kenneth -
An absolutely beautiful tale about a young Asian American girl trying to find a medium between both worlds: her Chinese traditions and her American roots. Wanting to celebrate the Christmas season, she asked for a Christmas tree. Her mother does not want a Christmas tree because they are Chinese.

Her father decides to take her to a mountain that her grandfather once called his mountain. There, they visit with an old family friend that was her grandfather's best friend. He recounts many stories ab
Dec 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
The picture book, Ming's Christmas Wish, is a sweet story of a Chinese girl who wants to fit in with the other children, but is not having much success. There are heartwarming moments and the story is full of beautiful descriptions of the setting that really pull the reader in. Ming's family has a surprising depth for a children's book as they've tried to adapt their way of life and traditions in America.

My favorite part of the book is when Ming goes with her father for the day and they visit l
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My children enjoyed this story with a new look at the holidays. Ming has wishes that she really wants to happen for Christmas. One of those is a Christmas tree, but her traditional Chinese mother won't hear of it. Ming goes along with her father and learns more about her heritage and how it actually does tie into a way for her to get her Christmas wish.
Interesting historical backdrop of old time California near San Francisco. I liked how we get a glimpse of how Ming feels being different from ot
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you for giving me a chance to read this book beforehand.

Although "unfinished", I enjoy the story, about a little Chinese girl named Ming who didn't fit in her situation. A Chinese in America. I surely can relate, and grateful that nowadays the racism is not as rampant as before, and I can do stuffs that Ming might not be able to.

Ming wants a Christmas tree. Not knowing the meaning of it, kids always attracted to pretty and glowing things. And this story gave an alternative. A good read (a
Cathy | A Case Full of Books
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
With beautiful illustrations and a sweet story, this book is about a young girl who doesn't feel as though she fits in at school or at home. She wants a Christmas tree, but her mother is set on honoring family traditions from their home country.

I thought this was a great story about learning where you come from and why some traditions are important to keep around, even if the rest of the world looks a little different.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest r
Erica (storybookend)
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was such a cute Christmas story! All Ming wants is a Christmas tree, but her Chinese mother doesn’t want one because “Christmas trees are not Chinese.” She doesn’t give up hope, and plans to ask her father. Her father takes her on a little trip and teaches her about their Chinese culture and why it is important to them.

The illustrations in this picture book are beautiful, and the story even more so as Christmas and Ming’s Chinese culture are blended together to make something truly special
Dec 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This story is a fresh angle on traditions that surround Christmas while showing respect for individual heritage.

While holidays hold specific meaning to each individual family, it is refreshing to see a family's response to a child's interest in Christmas. The story follows Ming as she tries to find a way to celebrate the bright sparkling holiday of the culture she is living in while being told by her mother to hold on to her own heritage.

This Historical Fiction Children's book is a fun way to
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
This is a children's picture book that tells the story through the eyes of Ming, a young Chinese girl living in America. It is hard for children to feel as if they are different from their peers. Ming struggles because she does not feel like she fully belongs to either culture.

This is a cute picture book. Ming learns a little more about her family and their struggles. In the end, Ming learns the power of compromise.

Source: Netgalley
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
As I browsed Netgalley, this book from Shadow Mountain Publishing caught my eye. The cover illustration is so beautiful and colorful. I wasn’t expecting such a heartwarming story inside. I was only hoping for a cute story to read to my little ones this year, but I received so much more. I cannot speak to the cultural accuracy, but it is a story of generations. And did I mention to illustrative artwork is stunningly beautiful? I can’t wait to get a final copy to read at Christmas time this year a ...more
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
#MingsChristmasWishes #NetGalley
Beautifully illustrated and written. Ming just wants to fit in at school, she wants to sing Christmas songs in the choir, but is turned away. Ming takes a road trip with her father and learns about her heritage. A sweet story that tells the importance of telling your life story to your children.
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Ming wants to participate in Christmas. As the daughter of Chinese immigrants, she is not allowed to sing in the school Christmas choir. But anyone can have a Christmas tree, if only her mother will go along with it. When things don’t go her way, Ming, luckily, has a wise father who helps her understand.

This is a cute Christmas story of family and culture. The illustrations are fantastic and really help to tell the story of this little girl caught between two worlds. I fully enjoyed this sweet s
Kaytlen Pearson
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This sweet Children's book talks about balancing trying to fit in with staying true to yourself and your heritage. Ming is a relatable character who just wants to be like everyone else but Ming's dad teaches how to find the balance and stay respectful of your past.

Ming's Christmas Wishes would be a great story to teach different cultures around the holidays as well as a good resource for teaching about staying true to yourself and being different from others.
Jamie Jack
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: holiday, childrens, p-2020
Beautiful Illustrations, Mixed Messages

Let me start by saying that the illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous. I particularly loved ones towards the back of the book when Ming and her father went to the mountain to visit an old family friend and then visited a redwood forest. I lived in the redwoods for 10 years, and the artist did a great job of capturing these majestic trees look like, showing the otherworldly feel of a redwood forest at times. Some other illustrations, like the in
Joey Susan
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Shadow Press Publishing for the E-arc copy to read and review.

What a sweet story of not fitting in and not understanding why things are done differently in your family to others to then embracing and loving your culture for what it is.

Young Ming really wanted to be just liked everyone else in her school, sing in the choir and decorate a Christmas tree in the house, but that’s not part of her families culture and her mom says no every time. Then her dad takes h
Aug 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
At the beginning of the story, Ming is concerned with being left out of the school Christmas choir, but her focus quickly shifts to the goal of having a Christmas tree. To her, a Christmas tree is her gateway to being included and being seen as more American. Her very traditional mother pushes back on the idea, and while her she is meant to seem traditional, the illustration of her is a bit too stereotypical to me, bordering on racist. This is very concerning. The rest of the book is actually ve ...more
Dec 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note: Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for the free electronic copy of this book. All opinions are my own. The longer, spoiler-filled version of this review is here.

This was really cute. I don't normally review children's books, but this one piqued my interest, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Ming's Christmas Wishes follows a little girl named Ming as she struggles to find an identity for herself in 1930s California, torn between her Chinese roots and her American life. When her mother vet
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Susan L. Gong is a former teacher of Mandarin Chinese. She holds a BA in English literature and an MA in creative writing. She and her family have lived in Asia, Europe, and North America.

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