Written By: Kat Zhang
Illustrated by: Charlene Chua
For Ages: 4 years and up
Topics Covered: Family, Self-Esteem, Chinese Culture, Art, Creativity, Own Voices.
Summary: Amy is such a fun and buoyant protagonist, and I’m so glad she’s back for another adventure! After an exciting read aloud about dragons, Amy and her classmates set about creating their own. When Amy draws on that represents her Chinese heritage, some other students have questions about it. With the help of her grandma (who is everything I wish to be when I’m her age), Amy is able to make a plan to bring an unforgettable show and tell to school the next day that is celebratory and infused with her impressive problem-solving skills.
I love this own voices story, and it centers around a situation that’s happened in many classrooms around the globe but isn’t negative. Amy follows her creative heart first and foremost, and relies on what feels right for her. Instead of changing herself, she focuses on explaining to others and showing them the beauty of Eastern dragons. I also really like Amy’s teacher, Ms. Mary. She lets the kids express themselves creatively and celebrates all of their scaly interpretations! Overall, this is such a sweet and joyful story and the perfect sequel to the Perfect Bao that we were lucky enough to have published last year.
This book was kindly sent by Simon & Schuster Canada as a submission for #bookstagang_bestof2020 but all opinions are my own!
Kat Zhang spent most of her childhood tramping through a world woven from her favorite stories and games. When she and her best friend weren’t riding magic horses or talking to trees, they were writing adaptations of plays for their stuffed animals (what would The Wizard of Oz have been like if the Cowardly Lion were replaced by a Loquacious Lamb?). This may or may not explain many of Kat’s quirks today.
By the age of twelve, Kat had started her first novel and begun plans for her life as a Real Live Author. Said plans didn’t come into fruition until seven years later, when her agent sold her Young Adult trilogy, The Hybrid Chronicles, to HarperCollins. The series, about a parallel universe where everyone is born with two souls, concluded in 2014.
She has also published two Middle Grade novels with Simon & Schuster. The first, The Emperor’s Riddle, is about hidden treasure, lost aunts, and China. The second, The Memory of Forgotten Things, is about grief, solar eclipses, and misfit children. She also has two picture books, Amy Wu & the Perfect Bao and Amy Wu & the Patchwork Dragon, and is working on a series of books with Baobab Studios and Penguin Random House about the Magic Paintbrush legends.
Kat is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong.
Charlene Chua (pronounced: CHOO-ah) has illustrated many things over the years for kids of all ages. Her illustration work has won several awards, while books she has illustrated have been nominated for OLA Forest of Reading,USBBY Outstanding International Books, OLA Best Bets, Shining Willow Award, and Kirkus Best books. Charlene’s author/illustrator debut, Hug? was published by Kids Can Press in 2020. Charlene was born and grew up in Singapore, and moved to Canada in 2007.
She started work in 1998 as a web designer, and went on to become a senior designer, web producer and interactive project manager. However, what she really wanted to do was draw pictures all day. In 2003, she decided to give it a go, and after a few years, she became a full-time illustrator. When she is not making art, she enjoys cooking, reading, and playing with her cats. She now lives with her husband (and cats!) in Hamilton, Ontario.