LEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today as well, as hear from the authors and illustrators.
Today we are highlighting Summoning the Phoenix: Poems and Prose About Chinese Musical Instruments, an award-winning title from our Shen’s Books imprint, written by Emily Jiang and illustrated by April Chu. In 2013, we acquired the California-based Shen’s Books, which emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.
Author: Emily Jiang
Illustrator: April Chu
Synopsis: Every musician knows that learning to play an instrument has its challenges and its rewards. There’s the embarrassing first day of rehearsal, but also the joy of making friends in the orchestra. There’s dealing with slippery concert dress, or simply getting swept up in the music. The twelve children in this book are just like any other musicians practicing their instruments and preparing for a concert. But what sets these music lovers apart is that they all play traditional Chinese musical instruments in a Chinese orchestra.
Including both flights of fancy and practical considerations, lively poems capture each child’s musical experience with a different Chinese instrument, while sidebars provide more information about each one.
Awards and honors:
- Best Books, Kirkus Reviews
- Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
- CALA Book Award, Chinese American Librarians Association
Resources for teaching with Summoning the Phoenix:
- Pair these field trip and activity ideas with Summoning the Phoenix
Blog posts featuring Summoning the Phoenix:
- Emily Jiang on Mary Robinette Kowal’s blog
- Emily Jiang on John Scalzi’s Whatever blog
- Summoning the Phoenix release date on our blog
- Illustration process with April Chu on our blog