Saturday, January 28, 2006

Happy Year of the Dog!

It's the Year of the Dog! Chinese New Year has arrived. Traditionally, a Chinese tray is filled with candy that is eaten on New Year's Eve--the idea being that if the tray is filled with sweet things, the year will also be filled with sweet things.

While I don't have the traditional tray, my New Year's Eve has been quite satisfying. In honor of my starred Booklist review, my editor at Little, Brown sent me some gourmet Chinese New Year-inspired chocolates. These delectable goodies were quite appreciated. (Thanks, Alvina!)

The other sweetie I received is an e-mail from a reader. While it is perhaps not as tasty, it is just as fulfilling:

Our family wishes to send its heartfelt thanks to you
for writing "Year of the Dog." We all loved your
latest book, especially our almost 10-year-old
daughter, Wendy. Wendy and her younger sister,
Sara, 8 yrs., were both born in China and adopted
when they were young. Wendy has already shared the
book with her best friend. I can't truly capture my
daughters' delight in the story -- it has been the
perfect story at a perfect moment in their life.
(Briefly, your book caught us while we were preparing
for the Chinese New Year, completing Science Fair
projects, and discussing life long questions related
to friendship, identity, and transracial adoption

We all remember reading and listening to your Ugly
Vegetable book many times. I hope you can imagine the
delight when my daughters' realized that the book that
Grace wrote in Year of the Dog was this family
favorite. There was much excitement in our family.
"We know that book!!"

Thanks so much. We are looking forward to your future
books and truly love the books that you have written
and illustrated. Sara still loves to look at the
book you illustrated about shapes, especially the last
page with the hong baos on a tree.

Wendy has renewed her enthusiasm to write and draw.
She's a wonderful, creative girl who told me last week
me that "I started as a seed and now I am a seed with
roots waiting to blossom." Your book provided
something special to her. Thanks again, my best
wishes, Mary

I think it's going to be a sweet year!