Hello! My name is Shannon Taylor. I'm a long-time writer and editor from Minnesota surprised to find myself on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, three younger children (the oldest is attending college in Chicago), and two dogs.

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Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
+ Robert Fulghum

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Winter Fun

Chinese New Year: Ruby’s Wish

Ruby's Wish Cover

With the festivities starting in a little more than two weeks, I wanted to share our favorite Chinese New Year book with you. Ruby’s Wish, by Shirin Yim Bridges, is the story of young girl living in China in the early 1900s, whose greatest wish is to attend a university. I don’t want to give too much away because the ending has a couple of wonderful surprises.

Ruby's Wish Inside 1

You know how I’ve talked about Tim’s struggles to make it through The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey without getting weepy? Well, I have yet to read Ruby’s Wish without getting weepy myself. Which I’m sure is mildly alarming (or amusing?) to the classrooms of children I read this to every year during Chinese New Year celebrations. But it’s such a beautiful story!

Ruby's Wish Inside 2

Sophie Blackall‘s illustrations are incredible—she manages to depict Ruby’s vibrancy (among other things, Ruby wears something red every single day), all while capturing many special aspects of Chinese culture.

If you read Ruby’s Wish, you’ll have to let us know what you thought of the ending—and if you made it through without choking up!


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  1. Jennifer says:

    We just discovered this book at the library, and renewed it twice before returning just the other day. I don’t know that they really understood the story because obviously they don’t have the historical context, but Ruby and Henry both loved the beautiful illustrations. In fact when we were on our way to the cookie exchange at your house, we were talking about that book in the car. Henry wanted to know why there was a bowl full of turtles in one of the pictures (a typical sight at a market in China). Someday I hope to take them to China!

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