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Uncle Peter's Amazing Chinese Wedding    by Lenore Look & Yumi Heo order for
Uncle Peter's Amazing Chinese Wedding
by Lenore Look
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Jenny, who is the star of Look's previous picture book, Henry's First-Moon Birthday, has always had a special relationship with her uncle Peter. They spend happy afternoons together, eating hot dogs and seeing movies. But now all that is about to change: Uncle Peter is getting married to Stella.

Jenny tries to sort out her emotions, which vacillate between jealousy and fear, particularly the fear of losing the space reserved for her in her uncle's heart. It is Stella, the newcomer to the family, who reassures Jenny that she is already loved.

The author eloquently writes about feelings kids can relate to, such as the wonderful lines, 'Now, I am an umbrella turned inside out. I squeeze back my tears.' Or later, after the bride appears, Jenny observes, 'The camera follows Stella's every move. She twinkles and shines. I feel like cosmic dust.' The book offers an intriguing glimpse inside the events and traditions of Chinese cultural life, and showcases the importance of family and belonging.

The writing almost illustrates itself, with its colorful descriptions: 'Amazing Stella, hair like unwoven silk, eyes like two black pearls, is dressed from head to toe in red red red to bring good luck. Dragons and phoenixes chase one another across her long, tall dress.' The actual illustrations are festive, colorful and accurately capture the moods of the characters.

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