INSIDE:

NEWS/STORIES/ARTICLES
Book Reviews
Columns/Opinion/Cartoon
Films
International
National

NW/Local
Recipes
Special A.C.E. Stories

Sports
Online Paper (PDF)

CLASSIFIED SECTION
Bids & Public Notices

NW Job Market

NW RESOURCE GUIDE

Archives
Consulates
Organizations
Scholarships
Special Sections

Upcoming

The Asian Reporter 19th Annual Scholarship & Awards Banquet -
Thursday, April 20, 2017 

Asian Reporter Info

About Us

Advertising Info.

Contact Us
Subscription Info. & Back Issues

 

 

ASIA LINKS
Currency Exchange

Time Zones
More Asian Links

Copyright © 1990 - 2016
AR Home

 

The Asian Reporter's
BOOK REVIEWS


 

From The Asian Reporter, V14, #31 (July 27, 2004), page 20.

Kindness eases hardship

Raymondís Perfect Present

By Therese On Louie

Illustrated by Suling Wang

Lee and Low Books, 2002

Hardcover, 29 pages, $16.95

By Josephine Bridges

Ever since his mother had come home from the hospital, Raymond wasnít supposed to go outside." This is the next-door-neighborís advice, and whether or not itís good advice, Raymond makes the best of a bad situation, eating milk and cookies while he watches the world from his bedroom window. What he sees out the window gives him an idea for a present that might make his mother feel better. But it isnít going to be easy.

Therese On Louieís story reads like a thriller. The author manages to create astonishing tension and suspense out of the stuff of everyday life. When Raymond learns he doesnít have enough money to buy his present, he must find another way to get it. When his mother has to return to the hospital, he must face the fact that the present he intended for her may not last until she comes home again.

Raymondís Perfect Present is also a story about the importance of community. Raymondís next-door neighbors help him realize the dream of his present, then take him in when his mother has to go back to the hospital. If only all children had neighbors like the Silvers.

Suling Wangís illustrations are magnificent. Her picture of Raymond lying awake in the dark is a gentle reminder that no childhood is carefree. The look on Raymondís motherís face after her discovery of a present that is a surprise not only for her, but also for her son, is a testimony to the healing power of the boyís generous love.

These wonderful characters deserve a happy ending, and, as sometimes happens, they get one. Raymondís Perfect Present has a simple but crucial message not only for the four- to ten-year-olds at whom it is aimed, but for everyone lucky enough to encounter this jewel of a book: kindness eases hardship. Bravo to the author and the illustrator for giving us a book that could change the world for the better, a little bit at a time.

To buy me, visit these retailers:

Powell's Books

  Amazon