Mahjong All Day Long

From: The San Francisco Chronicle (August 28, 2005)

"More staid, but charming in its own way, is Mahjong All Day Long written by Ginnie Lo and illustrated by Beth Lo (Walker; 32 pages; $16.95; ages 3-8). You can practically hear those mahjong tiles clicking on the table as you turn the bright red and glossy black pages.

This focused picture book by a talented team of sisters features the game that originated in China but gained popularity in America in the 1930s, especially among Jewish women. (That fact is not noted in the historical endnote.) The book is also an homage to the Lo family -- JieJie (Big Sister), DiDi (Little Brother), Mama and BaBa (Daddy), who these days teaches his grandchildren to play the game.

Quirky art, created on handmade porcelain plates to resemble mahjong tiles, showcases family life in relation to the game table. On opposite pages, calligraphy teaches some germane Chinese words and phrases such as "I win" and numbers from one to 10, mostly with transliterations.

The book might spark some interest in the game, but it is surely more successful as a lovely tribute to one arena where different generations come together."


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