THE CHRISTMAS GANGLOST AND FOUND/ADELE & SIMON IN CHINA
Farrar Straus Giroux December 2016
Recommended 4-10 years
Written and illustrated by Barbara McClintock

When Adele and Simon travel to China to visit their uncle Sidney, their first stop is in Hong Kong to buy items for the trip. Simon picks out a hat, a flute, a fan, and other articles, and Adele receives a camera just like Uncle Sidney's. Then they're off to explore!

In handwritten postcards home, Adele describes the sights they see - and, of course, the items Simon manages to lose. He drops his scarf on a silk farm near Shanghai, and at the Great Wall his hat blows right off his head. By the end of the trip, Simon has misplaced all of his belongings!
But when Adele develops her photographs, they discover that they can find each of Simon's lost items in the background of the pictures. Can you?

Award-winning author/illustrator Barbara McClintock's meticulous research and intricate pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations bring to life the sites that Adele and Simon visit, broom bustling old Beijing to rural rice paddies. Filled with facts and seek-and-find pictures, this book leads readers on a brilliant historical tour of China a century ago.

This addition to the children's saga finds Adele and Simon touring China with their uncle. Told through postcards written by Adele, this adventure is a true delight. With stops in Hong Kong, Tongli, and Shanghai, this is a beautifully blended masterpiece of art and history. As with the other books in the series, Simon loses items along the way, prompting a fun search-and-find aspect that readers will love. The endnotes contain blurbs about each location, including significant historical information.

“The intricate, vintage-style illustrations and interesting historical facts will be sure to please a wide audience. Young armchair travelers will want to pore over this one.”— SLJ

“Detailed renderings, done in McClintock's trademark, vibrant pen-and-ink-and-watercolor style, of a bustling marketplace in Peking, a complex of monasteries in the Wudang Mountains, and the sprawling carved hillsides in southern China. With the children's route outlined in red, the opening period map of China provides great perspective on how vast and varied this country was and still is. Since this is a historical view of China, many of the Chinese men wear queues, which can lead to further conversations with young readers.” —Kirkus

“Adèle and Simon hit the road again! They previously explored America and Paris, but they are now headed to China to visit their photographer uncle, Sidney. This is the China of more than a century ago, allowing today’s children a trip of their own.

First stop is Hong Kong, where Sidney takes the two youngsters on a shopping spree. Simon gets a hat, a jacket, a knapsack, a flute and many other items while Adèle opts for one large gift: a camera so she can record her journey just like her uncle. Readers familiar with this series knows what is to come: Adèle will write postcards home to “Dear Mama” and Simon will lose an object at each stop. At the Shanghai silk farm, he loses the yellow scarf. Careful readers will pore over each detailed, colorful pen-and-ink illustration to find the missing object. Older eyes will undoubtedly have to search longer and harder than young eyes, but no matter the age of the searcher, it’s great fun to finally locate the missing item. (This time the scarf is in the mouth of a dog.) On each page, the search is made more challenging by the artist’s color choices; the missing yellow scarf is exactly the color that most of the people are wearing in this spread. Searching for the red abacus on the following scene means discerning it from the many sticks of candied apples that are the same red. Thankfully, McClintock provides a dandy picture of the items in Adèle’s early letter to Mama, and readers can flip back and forth to help remember what the objects look like. When Adèle develops her photos after the trip, she sees a record of each missing item.

McClintock also includes tiny thumbprint pictures with fascinating factual information of each spread in the backmatter, further adding to the fun for older readers and adults. Many children learn Chinese at school these days, and it’s easy to see teachers using this picture book in class, even with much older students. The historical information, maps and thumbnail guide to this enormous country will certainly fascinate any child with an interest in China. While comparisons to Where’s Waldo? are inevitable, Adelé and Simon’s journeys are much more interesting, encouraging readers of all ages time to slow down and read the detailed pictures. Repeated visits will reveal more and more details—eye candy at its very best.”— BookPage

“A book for VERY young eyes. I'm beginning to wonder if Ms. McClintock paints with the aid of electronic microscopes. Someday she's going to paint a book on the head of a single grain of rice. I would read that rice.” —Elizabeth Bird

(Ages 4-10)

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