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Reviews Written by
Yora Doder "yodathemama" (Quesnel, British Columbia Canada)

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Maos Last Dancer
Maos Last Dancer
by Li Cunxin
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.36
56 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Read it by the fire, Dec 6 2011
This review is from: Maos Last Dancer (Paperback)
This story struck a chord with me as I considered the fact that the writer was born in China within a year of my own Canadian birth. How different were our childhoods. It is gently and simply written, full of family memories in rural China and the whole Cultural Revolution experience as lived out by a child, teen, young man. The boy in this story led an extraordinary life, but kept his priorities right. His harsh childhood gave him the discipline needed to become a fabulous dancer. I bought the book for my parents who share with me a fascination for the nation of China. It is heartbreaking, yet full of passion and hope, and the most cherished of human possession--a loving family. Having read the biography of Chairman Mao, The Joy Luck Club, White Swans, some Pearl Buck novels, Life and Death in Shanghai, and books about Gladys Aylward, I found this book to broaden my understanding of what it is to be from China, this time through the life of one of my contemporaries. Read it by the fire this Christmas. It will warm your heart.

Baby Beluga
Baby Beluga
by Raffi
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 7.59
82 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Even my husband sings this song, Oct. 13 2003
This review is from: Baby Beluga (Paperback)
Before we even knew of this book we had been playing Raffi's "Baby Beluga" CD for our small boy. I had noticed the book in stores but thought it was silly to have a book for a song we already knew.
And then we found the book in the public library.
Hello! Our two year old was so excited. He adores sea creatures so he would have liked the book even if it were just illusrations of fish and whales, but it thrilled him to discover that his song was in this book! He often sings full phrases of the song to us. He has memorized many of the words and has for a long time been taken with the line "Moon is shining and the stars are out" which to him is THE correct way to discuss any night sky in any picture, even if no stars or moon are visible.
I digress. The book is a hit. Last time we went to the library our son put in his order. He wanted "Baby Beluga" and "Caps for Sale". Unfortunately "Baby Beluga" was out, so we had to wait by the phone till it came in.
This evening I went to say goodnight to our son while my husband was reading the bedtime stories, and I caught him singing "Baby Beluga" as they read the book together--a sweet sound in the ears of a wife who rarely hears her husband sing.
The words are simple imagery; the pictures have introduced our youngster to other sealife, like seals, walruses, narwhals (the ones with the unicorn tusk)... but we like the book mainly because of our son's enjoyment. It's simple to sing, and it's a sweet lullaby full of joy.
I'm sure our little guy imagines himself to be the little beluga whale in the song. After all what toddler doesn't love to be surrounded by those who hold him dear? We can all use a little dose of adoration.

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