Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Hong Kong ABC

There's a great little op shop in Yokine, Perth, called Save the Children where I used to hunt down cheap secondhand books and toys for our kids. Soon after I heard that Craig had been offered the job in Hong Kong, I just happened to find a book for one dollar called A Hong Kong ABC. Written and illustrated by Jacqui Taylor and printed in 1994, each page in the book features the author's son Christopher and his cat engaged in typical Hong Kong activities. The back cover reads, "This book was designed for anyone between four and one hundred and four. For the very young to enjoy the sound of the words read by an adult. For older children, to encourage the use of the glossary, (and their own dictionaries), to increase and improve their vocabularies. Lastly, for adults and children alike, the enjoyment of bright detailed illustrations, giving a little insight into Hong Kong life."

I couldn't really appreciate the illustrations and text in this book while in Australia. They just seemed so "foreign". Now, however, we are living out the pages.

Look at this illustration for the letter W.

The text reads,
"W is for walla walla that crossed the harbour wide,
wallowing from Wanchai till it reached the other side.
He walked to the walled city whilst whistling a tune,
wishing for wet watermelon in the wilting heat of noon."

What once seemed so foreign is slowly becoming familiar.


  1. What a great find that book was Renee - it was obviously meant to be yours! I'm sure it will help you and the kids to identify with many things in Hong Kong, and you will look back through the book in years to come with fond memories of what life was like for you there.
    I'll have to check out if it is still in print - I'd love my girls to see how different your world is now!

  2. Lovely book! I have the African ABC by the same author...

    I love seeing the picture that matches the illustration -- now you're on a mission to find more real-life Hong Kong ABCs!

  3. Greetings from Africa! A long time later... but glad you enjoyed the book and that living in HK made it real for you. Christopher is now 25 and a successful DJ in South Africa and Lauren is a wonderful cake decorator in London. Sadly, the cat passed away but at the grand old age of 18. Best regards Jacqui Taylor