by Ji-li Jiang
illustrated by Greg Ruth
“above but still under, neither here nor there. We are free, like the kites” (pages 1, 8, and 22)
Red Kite, Blue Kite is a touching picture book that is powerful at the same time. I’m so glad I found this one night while scouring my library catalog for good books to showcase here.
Baba and his song Tai Shan enjoy flying kites, it’s their escape from the overcrowding streets in their town. While they are flying their red (Baba) and blue (Tia Shan) kites Baba fills their time with wonderful stories. These stories make Tia Shan laugh and cherish each one.
Bad scary times come known as the Cultural Revolution and the towns shut down and people are scared for their lives. Baba is sent to a labor camp and since he is the only one who can care for Tai Shan, he sends him to live with Granny Wang. Granny Wang has a farm in the country near the work camp Baba is at. On Sunday’s Baba comes and visits Tai Shan and for a day they pretend all is alright and they fly their kites.
Through out all the bad times those red and blue kites are what keep both of them going and knowing that there is hope out there for their lives to go back to the way they use to be. Baba and Tai Shan have to hold on to those memories and know that eventually they will be together again flying kites, telling stories and laughing!
Red Kite, Blue Kite is a heartwarming story. One of hope, cherish memories and keeping those memories alive even during the darkest of times.