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Beyond the Moongate: True Stories of 1920s China    by Elizabeth Quan order for
Beyond the Moongate
by Elizabeth Quan
Order:  USA  Can
Tundra, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Watercolorist Elizabeth Quan, author and illustrator of Beyond the Moongate: True Stories of 1920s China shares with young readers her experiences as a child when her family (parents and six children) left their home in Canada and travelled to a remote village in southern China to meet their grandmother.

We are invited to 'Step inside and live the long lazy days of a China forever gone.' Seventeen short stories follow, from China Morning to Pirate Alert, Moongate House and Popo the Healer. Exquisite drawings bring the children's adventure to vivid life. They call their grandmother Popo.

The children help care for grandmother's new piglet; wear Chinese clothes; enjoy a very special New Year's Day; listen to storytellers speak of China's past; visit ancestral graves; attend Chinese school (that their Papa establishes); fall into a pigsty; follow a bridal sedan; make reed whistles; celebrate a new brother's One Month Banquet; and attend Cantonese opera.

This unusual picture book offers rare glimpses of a place and time that no longer exist - young readers will relate to the children's adventure and have many questions about what they find in these pages.

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