Goldfish and Chrysanthemums

By Publishers Weekly

Cheng returns for another intergenerational tale after her tender Grandfather Counts. In spare evocative prose she again explores the relationship between a Chinese-born grandparent and a westernized granddaughter. This time, however, she focuses less on forging a relationship than on nurturing it with thoughtfulness. Debut artist Chang charts Nancy’s progress as she creates, with the help of a gardener neighbor, a miniature pond in the backyard for the fish, complete with chrysanthemums, a stone path and bench. The posed photographs in the final spread make the most successful compositions, here the close up of Ni Ni smelling a mum and united with her grandchildren communicate the book’s uplifting theme of the importance of familial ties and continuity.