Cover Image: My Day with Gong Gong

My Day with Gong Gong

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Member Reviews

This picture book is very cute. May spends the day with Gong Gong, her grandpa, but they can't communicate well. May learns that Gong Gong does know her, after all. Very sweet grandparent story.
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I love stories for children that involve the bond they have with a grandparent. In this story we not only learn about this bond, but also witness the culture differences that now divide May and her grandfather, and how these differences can easily be bridged when we take time to learn them. Timely and touching, My Day with Gong Gong is a great addition to picture books.

Review will post to blog on release day.
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I received an e-galley of this book from Annick Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

I knew that this was a book that I had to read from the moment I read the title and saw the words Gong Gong. It means grandpa in Cantonese Chinese, and while I have never actually had the chance to meet my own grandfathers, I wanted to read this book about a little girl who spends the day with her grandpa., 

May is spending the day with her Gong Gong and she’s worried as she doesn’t speak or understand Chinese. As the two spend the day together, she is frustrated by this lack of communication. Soon she realizes that her grandfather may understand more than he lets on and she learns to embrace him and the Chinese language. 

I found this story to be heartwarming and a reminder of what it was like growing up in Canada as ethnic Chinese. While I grew up understanding and speaking the language, there are moments when the culture clashed with the Canadian western culture. It was not always easy embracing my own heritage in those cases. I hope that this story speaks to new generations of Chinese Canadians growing up, and learning to embrace their heritage as it is such a beautiful thing to connect with our history and people. 

Thank you to Sennah Yee for bringing this book to us - and allowing me to spend a day with Gong Gong, an experience I never got to experience myself.
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My Day with Gong Gong is an accurate portrayal of the challenges and rewarding joys in communicating with family members who don’t share your language. Being Japanese American, I can see my own interactions with my grandfather reflected in little May’s experience. Love, though not always spoken, can always be felt. I’m excited to see more books by Asian authors published these days! The illustrations are darling and complement the story well.
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May is anxious about being with her grandfather because she didn’t speak Chinese and he doesn’t speak much English. For many children of immigrants, this is a reality. Many of my students would connect with this as they too have difficulties communicating with grandparents who speak another language. During the course of the day, May gets increasingly frustrated believing that her grandfather is not understanding her at all. 

A fun aspect of the book is getting a tour of Chinatown. There is much to see and there is a wide variety of people. One woman is in a wheelchair and one is wearing a mask.

I wish the illustrations didn’t rely on slants or curved lines for eyes and hope that people will stop using that as a shortcut to indicate Asian heritage.
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Such a sweet story! My grandparents were still learning English when I was small, too.Spending the day with them was always an experience! The little girl in this story spends the day with her Cantonese speaking grandfather and thinks it will be boring. Her mother assures her it won't be. The day is very full of visiting various stores and people with Grandpa. It's also full of pleasant surprises. A happy day for everyone!
This would be such a wonderful gift for a small child spending a day with  a grandparent who doesn't speak their language. 
The illustrations were lovely. I look forward to seeing them in color.
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What a beautiful touching story about a girl spending the day with her grandfather. Although there is a language barrier, and the day starts out. A little rocky, love transcends that barrier and by the end of the day they both go home, knowing exactly what that word means.
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May’s grandfather (gong gong) babysits her one day. Gong gong speaks Chinese and she’s worried they won’t be able to communicate. She is frustrated that she has to do everything that gong gong wants to do. He likes to watch boring TV, play cards with his friends and talk to local vendors in their community. May would prefer to watch cartoons, eat something and not have to wait so long for her grandfather. Sometimes she feels like people are laughing at her because she doesn’t understand what they are saying. 

After spending the day with gong gong, May changes her tune. She realizes he loves her and did do some special things for her throughout the day, even if she did have to wait awhile. 

This book will resonate with younger elementary students, especially second and third generation Chinese immigrant children. It is also a heart warming story of love across a changing cultural heritage. There is one brief reference to Zodiak signs. This may bother some, but it is an understandable component of the Chinese culture..

The illustrations are noteworthy. They display the Chinese culture beautifully. They make the text come alive. Gong going’s character is endearing with his cute crinkles at the corners of his eyes.

I received an ARC copy of this book from Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This was a really cute book about a girl spending the day with her grandfather. At first May thinks that because they don't speak the same language, Gong Gong can't understand what she wants, but it turns out that language may not be the barrier she thinks it is.
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Such a heartwarming and sweet story about a little girl spending a day with her grandfather. This made my heart feel so warm and made me reminisce spending days with my grandpa when I was younger. Even though there is a language barrier between them, you can feel the love and connection between grandpa and grandchild. The artwork in this book was absolutely beautiful and so charming. I think this is a wonderful book for anyone!
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So heartwarming! May is nervous about staying with her grandfather, Gong Gong, because he only speaks Chinese and she only speaks English. As he takes her all over the neighborhood over the course of the day, May gets more and more frustrated and convinced that he can't understand her or doesn't care. But just when May reaches a breaking point (starving and pooped on by a bird!), Gong Gong demonstrates that he has been paying attention because there are more ways to communicate than through words alone.

This was very sweet and I really appreciated May showing an interesting in learning more Cantonese to talk to her grandfather. (The story ends with May telling Gong Gong I love you, "ngo oi nei".)
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Young May is less than thrilled to learn her mother is taking her to spend the day with her grandfather. He's not a bad guy, but Gong Gong speaks little English and May knows no Chinese, so what proposes to be a long, dull day barely promises any adventure even when Gong Gong decides the two of them should venture out to Chinatown. Sure enough, the little girl seems unable to communicate to her grandpa when she's tired or even hungry, and indeed as they come across friends and vendors of Gong Gong's in the neighborhood, it doesn't take knowing Chinese for May to feel her grandpa's friends are teasing her. But when Gong Gong gives a special gift to his little granddaughter, May realizes that not only has her grandpa been paying attention all along, she also learns how little words are needed when gestures and smiles come from the heart. With equally gentle, kindhearted illustrations by Elaine Chen, My Day with Gong Gong is a charmer of a picture book about transcending language and generations to connect with someone you love; a beautiful addition to any picture book collection. (Available 9/8/20)  4.5/5 stars

NOTE: I received a free ARC of this title from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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What a sweet picture book. May is spending the day with Gong Gong, but she is concerned about what they will do all day, since Gong Gong speaks only Chinese. Gong Gong puts on his puffy vest and he and May go for a walk, greeting neighbors and vendors as they go. As they walk through Chinatown, May sees things that interest her - a stuffed monkey, pork buns, a busker playing a Chinese violin. As they wander, May becomes more and more filled with frustration and hunger. She soon discovers that Gong Gong sees and understands more than she knew. I love the story of the interaction between May and her Gong Gong, and the Chinese words and customs that are found throughout the story. This is a great multi-cultural addition to any school library.
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May is worried about spending the day with gong gong (hrr grandfather) because they don't speak the same language. The first part of the day is rough for her, but she soon learns that you can communicate and bond with someone without speaking. This was a sweet story about love and family. It was fun to read as an adult and also entertaining for children.
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I loved this book! Sadly, there are not many children’s books written from an Asian perspective, but the trend is growing.
As someone who once lived in South Korea and India for almost two years, and who has visited Japan, I was very excited to be able to read this book upon request. As an educator, this is a book I would love to have in my own classroom.
We follow the main character as she spends a day with her grandpa and learns important lessons. This book is perfect for all children, regardless of color, especially to expose them to a culture they may not be used to.
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Intergenerational Understanding: A Review of My Day with Gong Gong
Written by Sennah Yee and illustrated by Elaine Chen
Published by Annick Press
Available September 8, 2020
Ages 3-6

May, a young girl, spends the day with her grandfather. At first, she feels shy and later bored, until her grandfather takes her to Chinatown. As they make their way through the city, May cannot always understand her Gong Gong. May does not understand Cantonese, and Gong Gong does not speak that much English. Gong Gong takes May on errands and into shops, and sometimes it seems like Gong Gong’s friends are laughing at her. She does not understand and gets frustrated. She is also hungry. It turns out, though, Gong Gong does understand her: he gives her pork buns when she is hungry, and he surprises her with the stuffed monkey she saw in a gift shop.

Sennah Yee captures intergenerational love and understanding with this new picture book. Illustrator Elaine Chen’s colorful drawings show off May’s full range of emotions and normalizes the frustration and confusion that can often come when a young child is out of their comfort zone. Chen’s pictures feature close ups of May’s face, and as the book evolves, May and her grandfather’s faces turn towards each other, not away. The watercolor illustrations are bright and airy, detailing everything from a living room to the streets of Chinatown. Some of Yee’s best writing comes in situational comedy–May gets pooped on by a pigeon, and the tears flow quickly. Her grandfather comes to her aid, and the tearful expressions soon turn joyful. At the beginning of the book, May was suspicious of the new faces and phrases in Cantonese that she did not understand; by the end of the book, May is more confident and can exclaim, “Nei hou” as well as say “doh je” in thanks for some delicious food. The picture book’s ending has a list of Cantonese phrases May and her grandfather used during their day together.
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May is spending the day with her grandpa Gong Gong he only speaks Chinese and she only speaks English. May is  sure the day will be long and difficult. But they go on quite the adventure throughout Chinatown. This was an interesting book.
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We absolutely loved this book!! Especially the Cantonese translation in the back to help sound out the Chinese words. The story is heartwarming for grandkids to connect with their grandpas. Definitely there is generation gap and this book helps kids to be open and patient for new experiences. Highly recommend it to story time, bed time, and kids 3-6.
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Absolutely charming!  From the quietly observant grandpa, to the adorably impatient little girl, to the many friendly neighbours, and the very cute drawings, everything was charming!  Seems like a typical day out with a grandparent, Chinese style.  

I was drawn to this title because of my own Chinese ancestry.  Gong Gong’s Chinese phrases and the scenes around Chinatown were immediately familiar.  But I think that this story’s message of being able to bridge a double-generation gap through food, caring and love will resonate within immigrant families of all ethnicities.  I loved it!

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC copy.
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This is such a sweet, endearing story of a granddaughter and grandpa spending the day together. The pictures are colorful, the words are easy to read. I’ve read this a few times to my twin toddlers. Thanks to Annick Press and NetGalley for an ebook ARC.  This is my honest review.
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