For his first review back, Caramel grabbed a book from a pile of books on Sprinkles’s desk for which she has been planning a joint review and decided he wanted to review it. The book From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, written by Kai Cheng Thom and illustrated by Wai-Yant Li and Kai Yun Ching, is about a young child and their identity. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking questions—and she is still planning a review of the remaining books on her pile on this topic for the near future.
Sprinkles: So Caramel, you grabbed this book from my pile and decided you want to review it yourself. Why?
Caramel: I like it. I like the creatures in it. The illustrations.
S: You are right, the illustrations are neat. They have beautiful colors and they remind one of being in a dream.
C: This book is a good book if you like mythical animals.
S: Okay, I see what you did there. That is the kind of thing Marshmallow says about books when she is reviewing them. But where do you find mythical animals in this book?
C: In the pictures!
S: Tell me more about the book Caramel.
C: There is a child named Miu Lan in this book. They are not a boy nor a girl.
S: Are they a mythical creature themselves then?
C: Sort of. Basically they are.
S: But not really, right? Because this can happen sometimes, and a child may not feel like they are a boy or a girl or a little bit of both or neither.
C: Yes, but I think Miu Lan is actually a mythical creature, because they can change their form when they want. When they want to, they can grow a turtle shell and porcupine quills.
C: And they can also fly!
S: Yes, I love how they have scales and feathers or wings or stripes as they wish. It is pretty exciting to think about. But do you really think they are doing those things when they claim they are?
C: Probably not. But it would be cool if we could do that, wouldn’t it?
S: I think so, too. I’d especially like to be able to fly.
C: As bunnies we can at least jump pretty high…
S: Again, true. But back to Miu Lan. I don’t think they are a mythical being any more than you or me. But there are two little creatures that show up on each page that look like mythical beasts themselves.
C: Yes. There is a dog with a fish tail, or maybe a whale tail. I don’t know. I think that is the best creature in the book.
S: There is also a poem that the mother sings to her child every other page and we hear it resonate through the story, like in a retelling of a myth, where you would have repeated verses. Can you read that poem to me?
C: Okay let me find it. Ah, here we go:
whatever you dream of, i believe you can be, from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea. you can crawl like a crab or with feathers fly high, and i'll always be here, i'll be near, standing by, and you know that i'll love you till the day that i die. whatever you dream of, i believe you can be, for you are my child, courageous and free.
S: That is beautiful Caramel, isn’t it?
C: Yes but it is not the best sleeping poem, because I don’t think I want to think of you dying before I go to sleep.
S: I can see that, but saying “I’ll love you till I die” is something people say when they love someone so deeply and so unconditionally, that they want to make sure the person knows their love will always be there as long as that person lives. I can see how the death part might be off-putting. Other than that, do you like the poem?
C: Yes. Other than the death part I like it.
S: So the book is about this child Mui Lan who is different from other children in their school and they try to fit in and find friends and have some difficulties.
C: Yes. But in the end things work out. They do make friends.
S: That is true. This is a beautiful story. Maybe I will read it to you again tonight.
C: Yes, yes, yes, yes, I’d like that!
S: So now are we ready to wrap up this review?
C: Yes! Stay tuned for more book bunnies reviews!