Lee Ann: Sty Vietnam a

Tricia Brown, Author, Ted Thai, Illustrator Putnam Publishing Group $14.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-399-21842-2
Starting as a boat family, the Trangs have become exactly what this photo-essay's subtitle implies: an Americanized family--complete with Nintendo--that enjoys traditional Asian goals, foods and holidays such as Tet. These collaborators bring strong backgrounds to bear (Brown was an attendant on rescue flights from Vietnam; Thai is Vietnamese American), but points that no doubt seem obvious to them create some confusion. Old and new ways are cleverly juxtaposed (shoes are removed indoors; popcorn is made in the microwave), and both creators have captured the universal essence of childhood (in response to a disliked food, Lee Ann holds her nose), but some basic questions are left unanswered. Readers might want to know, for instance, what Lee Ann's parents do for a living in America or why, since she apparently came here at age one, she needs ESL classes in third grade. Nevertheless, this engaging heroine presents a worthwhile portrait of an important part of our culture--the immigrant experience. Ages 8-12. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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