Ming's Christmas Wishes

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Pub Date 29 Sep 2020 | Archive Date 29 Dec 2020

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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 invited to sing in the Christmas choir.  At home, when Ming lobbies her parents for a Christmas tree, her mother scolds her for trying to be American. Ming  doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere: she’s not quite American enough at school, not quite Chinese enough at home. 

Seeing his daughter’s unhappiness, Pop takes her into the mountains to visit a wise old friend.  Always happy for an adventure with her kind father, Ming hopes to persuade Pop to bring home a mountain pine to be their Christmas tree. But he has something else in mind, something that will help Ming draw strength from nature, from their Chinese heritage, and from deep and enduring family ties. 

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...

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781629727790
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 37 members

Featured Reviews

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.

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Ming is upset because she doesn't fit in at school or at home. All she wants is to be a part of Christmas but neither her teacher nor her mother will allow it. Ming then goes on a trip with her father where she learns about her family history. This is a sweet book, and I felt for ming from the first page. Definitely a good read for children as well.

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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 her on a wonderful trip for her to understand everything.

It was honestly such a sweet book, it had a great lesson within it and great illustrations too.

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I received this ebook in exchange for a fair and honest review. This book was a wonderful story that brought the past into the present. Being a child’s book it was short but the author did a great job of explaining the history of this family and we got a glimpse of their beliefs. I will buy this book when it is published and read it for my classes.

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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 story and its insight into what it’s like to be new in a foreign country.

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#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.

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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 reader. I loved the entire style of these illustrations and hope to see more of the illustrator in the future.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange of an honest review.

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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 (and a quick one).

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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 and to learn more about the culture with my little ones.

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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.

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I read an advanced copy of Ming's Christmas Wishes by Susan L. Gong. I loved the illustrations in this book. The colors were beautiful. Ming has a lot of wishes foe Christmas, but will she get them? Sure to be a holiday tradition to read this book, every Christmas!

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What a lovely book! I think most readers will immediately be drawn in by the beautiful illustrations--they're just perfect and have this almost magical quality to them--but the story, set in the 1930s, is just as powerful, if in a more subtle way. Seeing how Ming doesn't quite fit either at school or even with her own family is an important message that can launch some good discussions about race, immigration, and more. Besides enjoying it myself, I also add the endorsement of my 7-year-old daughter, who said it was a good story and that she liked the colors.

4 stars.
I read an ARC provided by the publisher via #NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Ming’s Christmas Wishes by Susan L. Gong. This Christmas story made me have tears in my eyes for Ming’s feelings when I was reading it. Because they are Chinese they are not allowed to have Christmas trees but Mings father figures out way to have a Christmas tree.

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The book is so cute, I loved the story and I loved the illustrations they’re soo cute and beautiful.
This story is about Ming a girl who live in California but has parent immigrants from China.
She doesn't feel like she fits in.
In school she wants to sing carols but don’t let her because were she’s from and at home she wants to have a Christmas tree as the one she sees everywhere on the streets and stores but her mom doesn't let her because it’s not a tradition so she feels bad.
Until one day her dad take her to see an old friends and find out more about her past.
Just loved it, and I think is perfect for the children

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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 and need some Winter peace) and even if there are no kids to read out loud this book too, I would get it for myself.

The 'right' reasons being the characters and the story!


This is the story of a Chinese immigrant family in America in which the daughter, Ming, really wants to celebrate the season with a Christmas tree trying her best to convince her mother to give her the permission to get one.

But yes, when one parent (especially if it's the mom!) disagrees, it becomes really difficult.

The discrimination faced my immigrants and the mix feelings of not belonging either to the place of origin nor to the place where they gets settled are presented well in this story.

Ming gets to travel with her Pop to a far off place and gets to return back home with her dreams fulfilled. Happy ending, happy vibes!

Beautiful illustrations (I guess I made my point before too ☺️).

I would have loved the story more if there was a closure part with the mom.

It's still perfect by the way.

Thank you NetGalley for the advanced reader copy.

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A charming, sweet look at what it would be like to be caught between two cultures. It was enjoyable to follow along on Ming's journey to understanding his place in the world and what it means to him. The artwork is lovely.

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With thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an early copy in return for an honest review.

As a teacher in California I am always looking for books set in California and/or about the California experience and this is excellent. Add in that it is a Christmas book and this is a book I will be reading every year with my students! I can already see some great conversations happening and the illustrations are just absolutely gorgeous!! Excited to buy a copy for my class!

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Its magical when they enter the sequoia groves. The story started cuted and then became deep. I almost had tears in my eyes for the immigrant experience.

I could see it developed into a chapter book.

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This book intrigued me because my stepmom is Chinese. 5 stars. A great book . Just because you might not celebrate Christmas like Christians doesn’t mean you can’t have a Christmas tree.
Beautiful story

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Ming's Christmas Wishes by Susan L Gong is a delightful book. The illustrations are beautiful and the characters in the story are very real. I hope there will be more of Ming and her family to come.

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I believe Ming is a sweet girl that is like so many children, full of wishes and dreams. She has a beautiful family that sees life differently but they are from a different country and culture. The story is full of love and understanding towards one’s parents. I hope for everyone to be able to have a healthy father-daughter relationship like Ming and her father. I think that it is so important for children to feel love and understood by their parents or guardians. I have a strong relationship with my parents full of love and trust and I am glad that the author was able to show that in Ming’s story. Please read this beautiful Christmas story full of culture and love. I believe that you and your loved ones will enjoy it.


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3.5* I enjoy teaching my daughter about diversity. I think it's important to respect everyone's culture. I liked that this book not only gave us a peek into the Chinese culture, but also showed us the damage of leaving someone out. I wish the book had addressed this a little more and showed Ming finding her place between the two worlds. However, Ming does learn to love and appreciate her culture more and hopefully understand things a little better. The story was sweet and the illustrations beautiful, but I felt it was a little choppy and again wished for more resolution at the end. It ended too soon for me.

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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

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Ming's Christmas Wishes is a heartfelt book about identity and family. It's a book I wish I had while growing up. The story follows Ming who feels like she doesn't belong at school nor at home. She wishes she could sing at the Christmas choir and she wishes that she could have a Christmas tree at home. But one day, her father takes her on a ride to meet some of her family and learn about her heritage. It's a short but beautiful read and makes you incredibly warm inside as you finish the book. I think it's such a wonderful read that I think will resonate with a lot with young readers.

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This story is about Ming who wants to be accepted as an American and her parents want her to be Chinese. She encounters racism at school and her parents are unwilling to embrace some of the traditional Christmas activities but her dad takes her to meet an old friend and Ming starts to understand things better. It's a nice story with luminous pictures.

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If you want a simple book with an easy concept to help inspire children during the holidays then this is the book to pick up to add to their Christmas collection. Gong takes us back in time to a setting that people still see today, which makes this book so relevant for its time. The messages in here of belonging and family legacy are real, simply and beautifully put and specific so that any child can understand the message being conveyed and learn something new. It also gives children a glimpse into history and helps them view their own family history and how it has brought them where they are today. Wonderful children's picture book that I hope many people add to their libraries.

Another great bonus for this book is the beautiful illustrations throughout each page. The bright colors that spring off the page with intricate details that help tell the story in a whole new way. Children will love inspecting each page as they read/listen along.

This is also a great book for slowly introducing the meaning of Christmas to families who aren't religious. It could be used for adults and children alike to open their eyes to the possibilities behind the true meaning of Christmas, what life is all about and the impact we have in the world. I really loved this book and can't wait to share it with children in the holiday seasons to come.

* I received a complimentary copy from the publisher/author(s) via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

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Ming's Christmas Wishes is a beautiful story about a young girl whose only wish for Christmas is to have a Christmas Tree.

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