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I’m back from vacation and ready to get down and dirty finding new free and amazingly bargained books for you! But first this week I have something special. I convinced super hot and crazy talented …

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Home » Amy Tan, China, Doll Day, Passport Week, Picture Book, Reviews

Passport: China: Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat by Amy Tan

Submitted by on April 28, 2011 – 6:40 amNo Comment
“Before you go out into the world,” Ming Miao told her five kittens, “you must know the true story of your ancestors….”
And so begins the story of Sagwa of China, a mischievous, pearl white kitten. Sagwa lived in the House of the Foolish Magistrate, a greedy man who made up rules that helped only himself. One day, Sagwa fell into an inkwell and accidentally changed one of the Foolish Magistrate’s rules. Little did Sagwa know she would alter the fate — and the appearance — of Chinese cats forever!

This is an absolutely beautifully written story that educates children (and any who read the book) on why Siamese cats are really Chinese cats, and why their faces, ears, paws, and tails turn darker as they grow up.

Sagwa, is a “pearl white kitten,” that lived with her parents in the House of the Foolish Magistrate. Sagwa’s parents were forced by the Magistrate to write his strict, selfish rules by dipping their tails in ink. One day, Sagwa accidentally falls into an inkpot and then walks over one of the Magistrate’s Scroll of Rules that proclaims that all singing must be banned. Her paw marks that stain the scroll, change the meaning of the rule so that it now reads, “People must sing.”

Once the villagers hear the new rule, they sing in praise of the Foolish Magistrate, which warms his heart and causes him to take back all the old strict rules. The Magistrate celebrates what Sagwa has done by opening his house to all stray cats in the kingdom. He declares that the cats shall eat as much catfish as they wish and that from this day forth, “all Chinese cats shall have dark faces, ears, paws, and tails–in honor of the greatest of felines, Sagwa of China.”

Amy Tan is the author of , , , , , and two children’s books, and this wonderful tale of  , which has now been adapted as a PBS production. Tan was also a co-producer and co-screenwriter of the film version of (which remains one of my favorite movies), and her essays and stories that have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her work has been translated into thirty-five languages. She lives with her husband in San Francisco and New York.

Tan, who collaborated with Schields on her first children’s book in 1992, tells this charming tale perfectly, in language that is both simple and elegant. And Schields’s artwork complements the text wonderfully with its traditional Chinese border decorations and colorful, well-drawn characters.

Day is a dreamer who has never met a stranger. She is fearless and will talk to anyone and read anything! She taught music and dance and was a singer/actress for years, performing on stages both nationally and overseas. Now married with children, she spends less time singing on stage and more time writing songs at home. But, family life has not completely slowed this chick down. She still loves an adventure and learning new things. She resides in Texas with her family, Great Dane (Sophie), Labradoodles (George & Cosmo) and Chihuahua (Juan Carlos).
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