What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > Children/YA book: Set in China, I believe, begins with a girl learning to make a bamboo and paper kite

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message 1: by Anne (last edited Aug 24, 2020 12:34AM) (new)

Anne (dangerpuddle) | 12 comments This one is probably going to be harder than my last request.

I would have read this one also in about the 80s. I remember very little of the book, and I apologize in advance for that.

The book is set in China or Japan, but I think China. I don't believe it would be set too far back in the past.

The main character that I recall is a girl (I think) who is introduced as learning to make traditional kites in a kite shop. There was a description of finished kites in the form of all kinds of real and fantastic animals (or animal heads) lining the walls.

I distinctly remember mention of having to bend bamboo and fasten it in place, then applying paper to it.

The kite she made was in the form of a lion head with a green tongue (I'm pretty sure it was green, although there is a tiny whisper in my mind that maybe it was purple? Green sounds more accurate, though.)

I think there may have even been an illustration of the lion head kite with the green tongue (or purple.)

She finishes the kite and sets it to dry, then the story moves out of the kite shop. I don't recall anything else right now and have had no luck trying to find anything with that little of a description.


message 2: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 19567 comments Do you think it was definitely set in 20th century China?

How old was the girl, a teenager or a younger child?


message 3: by Rosa (new)

Rosa (rosaiglarsh) | 5210 comments The Kite Rider is about a boy who makes kites at first.


message 4: by Anne (new)

Anne (dangerpuddle) | 12 comments Rainbowheart wrote: "Do you think it was definitely set in 20th century China?

How old was the girl, a teenager or a younger child?"


I don't know for sure that it was 20th century. It could have been earlier. I don't think it would be too much earlier, though, as the kite making method (if memory serves) referred to as "traditional", which would imply that there are new-fangled methods as well.

I believe that the girl would have been pre-teen or very very early teen. I'm pretty positive she would not be above 14 and 12 may be more accurate a guess.


message 5: by Anne (new)

Anne (dangerpuddle) | 12 comments Rosa wrote: "The Kite Rider is about a boy who makes kites at first."

That one sounds interesting, but does not ring any bells. But I appreciate the suggestion!


message 6: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 19567 comments When in the '80s did you read it? Could it have been as late as '89?

I'll do some more searching to see what I can find. Not so many books from that era with girls set in China. Lots more with boys.


message 7: by Anne (new)

Anne (dangerpuddle) | 12 comments Rainbowheart wrote: "When in the '80s did you read it? Could it have been as late as '89?

I'll do some more searching to see what I can find. Not so many books from that era with girls set in China. Lots more with boys."


I don't know when, specifically, I might have read it. My guess would be that it would mid to late 80s. I didn't develop my fascination with Asian cultures until about 84 or 86...

It's possible that the main character was a boy, but I don't think so. Girl still sounds more correct. But it has been a LONG time.

I've been searching for the title of this book for nearly 20 years, but with as little as I remember, it's made the search even more difficult.


message 9: by Andria (new)

Andria (airdna) | 2502 comments Mod
A Home For Su-lan? (first published in 1971)


message 10: by Anne (new)

Anne (dangerpuddle) | 12 comments Rainbowheart wrote: "The Chinese Daughter?

Bells for a Chinese Donkey?

Ho-Ming, Girl of New China?"


Hmmm. No, none of those sound familiar at all. I will have to add a couple of them to my library reading list, though.


message 11: by Anne (new)

Anne (dangerpuddle) | 12 comments Andria wrote: "A Home For Su-lan? (first published in 1971)"

That one sounds interesting, but not familiar at all.


message 12: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 19567 comments It was definitely a child's novel, not a picture book?


message 13: by Anne (new)

Anne (dangerpuddle) | 12 comments Rainbowheart wrote: "It was definitely a child's novel, not a picture book?"

I'm pretty sure that it was a children's novel. What little imagery I remember is more like the occasional illustrations that you see in some of the Narnia books. Just a page with a picture from the story, but not every page. Mostly text, opposite page a line drawing with maybe one or two colors (I think).


message 14: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 19567 comments Might also check the Asian Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction list.


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