HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Chinese Mirror
Author: Mirra Ginsburg
Illustrator: Margot Zemach
Publisher: Sandpiper, republished in 1991
ISBN-13: 978-0152004200 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0152004203 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0152175085 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0152175083 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Ginsburg, Mirra. The Chinese Mirror (published in 1988 by Harcourt Children’s Books; republished in 1991 by Sandpiper). A peasant of long-ago Korea returns from a business trip to China and brings home his family a mirror. He hides it in his trunk, and not really knowing what it is, each member of the family sneaks a peek in the mirror. But somehow, they each see a different “stranger” in it. Children will laugh out loud at the confusion created when simple folks fail to recognize themselves. This sensitive retelling of a traditional Korean tale by author Mirra Ginsburg is accompanied by Margot Zernach’s warm and humorous pastel illustrations in translucent watercolors which echo the serene beauty of Oriental art. It is an enchanting picture book that will appeal to people of all ages and be a great read-aloud for children. We checked it out of the library when our older son Mark was in second grade to give him some extra reading practice.