Angel in Beijing (Paperback)
In a lost-and-found tale that soars far beyond just a happy ending, Taiwanese fine artist Belle Yang pays affectionate homage to the city of Beijing.
In busy Beijing, New Year’s Eve firecrackers scare a stray white cat into the courtyard of a young girl. The two become fast friends, riding the girl’s bike through the city and seeing all kinds of people and things. Trrrring-trrrring! the girl chimes with her bicycle bell. Niaow-niaow! answers Kitty. On the day of the Dragon Boat Festival, the girl and the cat watch the kites soaring above crowded, chaotic Tiananmen Square. Kitty is enthralled by the enormous, colorful dragon kite, and she leaps to catch it as it sails up into the sky — taking Kitty with it and carrying her out of sight! The girl searches the city, visiting all their favorite spots and ringing her bell along the way, but Kitty is nowhere to be found. Will the two ever be reunited? Or could another unexpected friendship be in store — for both of them?
About the Author
Belle Yang was born in Taiwan, spent part of her childhood in Japan, and, at age seven, emigrated to the United States with her parents. She is the author-illustrator of several children’s books, including Hannah Is My Name, Always Come Home to Me, and four English-Mandarin dual language board books. Belle Yang lives in California.
Yang's simple sketches are painted over with bright, bold colors that are sure to keep young eyes exploring every scene, which bustle with cars, bicyclists, and other people enjoying activities both familiar and less typical for Western readers. A sweet tale about friendship that gives a glimpse of life in another part of the world, this loving tribute to Beijing is a perfect read-aloud for young travelers.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
With expressive ink lines and pleasing color combinations, Yang’s gouache paintings linger on the one-story buildings, tiled roofs, and intimate courtyards that characterize Beijing’s older neighborhoods. The details of the journey refer to the sounds, smells, and sights of the city, though the list of famous tourist spots (“I climb Jingshan,” “I ride along the west side of Beihai Park”) may make younger listeners wiggly as they wait to find out what’s happened to Kitty.
The lines are gentle and brushlike while the fills have only the barest hint of texture for a flowing sense to the images. A visual feast that introduces the sights of Beijing with a tender, thoughtful story in the background.
—School Library Journal