Red Kite, Blue Kite by Ji-Li Jiang

Red Kite, Blue Kite

byJi-Li JiangIllustratorRuth Greg

Hardcover | January 22, 2013

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When Tai Shan and his father, Baba, fly kites from their roof and look down at the crowded city streets below, they feel free, like the kites. Baba loves telling Tai Shan stories while the kites--one red, and one blue--rise, dip, and soar together. Then, a bad time comes. People wearing red armbands shut down the schools, smash store signs, and search houses. Baba is sent away, and Tai Shan goes to live with Granny Wang. Though father and son are far apart, they have a secret way of staying close. Every day they greet each other by flying their kites-one red, and one blue-until Baba can be free again, like the kites.

Inspired by the dark time of the Cultural Revolution in China, this is a soaring tale of hope that will resonate with anyone who has ever had to love from a distance.

About The Author

Ji-li Jiang ( was born in Shanghai , China. For over twenty years she nursed her childhood memories of surviving the Cultural Revolution in China, and she finally brought them to life in her first book,Red Scarf Girl, which has sold more than 300,000 copies since it was published in 1997 and has become required readin...
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Details & Specs

Title:Red Kite, Blue KiteFormat:HardcoverDimensions:32 pages, 10.25 × 10.38 × 0.25 inPublished:January 22, 2013Publisher:Disney-HyperionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1423127536

ISBN - 13:9781423127536

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Editorial Reviews

In this fictional story set during China's Cultural Revolution, narrator Tai Shan recalls a favorite boyhood activity-flying kites with his father from "the tippy-top of our triangle roof. We are above but under, neither here nor there. We were free, like the kites." When Tai Shan's father is arrested and sent to a nearby labor camp, father and son stay connected by flying kites, each flying his kite for the other to see. Tai Shan is consumed with worry when his father's kite fails to appear one day, but soon Father makes a hasty appearance, on the run from guards who find him and take him to another, more distant camp. Tai Shan keeps his kite and his hope aloft; when eventually his stubble-bearded, tired, and weakened father does return, the village celebrates by flying their own red and blue kites. A hazy backdrop of village and mountain scenery, awash in golds and earth tones, contrasts effectively with the sharp blue and red of the kites, and the body language of the boy and his father is as emotive as their sensitively captured facial expressions. Jiang supplies some historical context, though not as much as questioning kids might wish, within the narrative and in a closing note. For older listeners, this could be a useful vehicle for opening discussion on political oppression, and for younger children, simply a reassuring tale of a father-son bond strong enough to withstand a trying period of separation. EB-BCCB