Mahjong All Day Long

From: Booklist Starred Review (February 15, 2005)

"This debut by two sisters celebrates the Chinese game of mahjong--and, by analogy, any beloved pastime, especially one that brings families together. Inspired by her relatives' addiction to the game, author Ginnie Lo writes from the perspective of a Chinese woman looking back, recalling her fascination with the game's rituals, her solidarity with her younger brother during the adult's marathon sessions, and their pride when asked to participate.  Illustrator Beth Lo's quirky, glaze-on-ceramic paintings, set within ivory ovals on black backdrops, are reminiscent of the stylized engravings on mahjong tiles; on the facing pages, a solid field of red sets off a line or two of text and English translations of phrases written in Chinese calligraphy, many of which appear as dialogue in the scenes ("Do you want this tile?").  While some highly designed picture books are more accessible in theory than in practice, the Lo sisters' effort, like the best of Maira Kalman's work, speaks directly to kids, who will want to procure a mahjong set posthaste.  For their part, teachers will love the historical endnote, the subject matter that suggests itself for classroom activities, and the intergenerational themes; prepare for requests for rulebooks, some of which as listed in a helpful bibliography."

Copyright Ginnie and Beth Lo. Website designed by Sawitree Wisetchat and Maika Nicholson.