Danny Chung Sums It Up

Maisie Chan, illus. by Natelle Quek. Amulet, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4821-9
As befits one born in the year of the Dragon, 11-year-old Brit Danny Chung is artistic and loves to draw. His math skills, however, are lacking, especially according to his Ba, who believes Danny should devote his time to more constructive pursuits. Big proponents of “the Chinese Way”—embracing traditional Chinese values—Danny’s parents arrange for his Nai Nai to come from China to live with them in England, hoping Danny will learn about Chinese culture and to respect his elders. Predictably, frustration arises. Not only is Danny unable to communicate with her fluently, Nai Nai’s very presence renders him the school laughingstock when she visits his classroom to feed him chicken feet, and a giant math project is proving daunting. But luckily for Danny, Nai Nai’s mathematical prowess is something to behold. As the two confront the seemingly insurmountable language barrier with a love for numbers and art, Danny begins to view Nai Nai in a different light. Chan wholeheartedly portrays intergenerational relationships and cross-cultural exchange in a way that resonates. While several elements will be familiar to readers of similar titles, classic middle grade humor and detailed b&w sketchbook drawings by Quek add humor to an insightful read. Ages 8–12. Agent (for Chan): Chloe Seager, Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV and Film Agency;(for Quek): Alice Williams, Alice Williams Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/08/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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