Sister Susan L. Gong, a former teacher of Mandarin Chinese with degrees in English literature and creative writing, has written a heartwarming Christmas book called Ming’s Christmas Wishes.
The book begins with Ming being turned away from her school’s Christmas choir. As a young daughter of immigrants in 1930s California, she doesn’t quite fit in anywhere. Ming longs to celebrate Christmas like her schoolmates by singing carols and decorating a beautiful Christmas tree. She’s determined to convince her mother to get a tree. Ming even makes homemade noodles to soften her heart. No matter how hard she tries, however, her mother refuses to embrace this “American” Christmas. Seeing his daughter’s unhappiness, Ming’s father takes her on an adventure up a snowy mountain that unfolds a story of heritage, sacrifice, and enduring family ties.
The book was written by Sister Gong and illustrated by Masahiro Tateishi, a Japanese artist who specializes in both digital and traditional painting. Ming’s Christmas Wishes was inspired by real family stories. One reviewer said it is “a great story to teach different cultures around the holidays as well as a good resource for teaching about staying true to yourself and being different from others.” It is available for purchase here.