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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Meet Brandon, a smart and adventurous boy in the story Brandon Goes To Beijing by Eugenia Chu. Brandon was very excited that he was going to visit Grandpa and Grandma in Beijing. This was his first trip to China and he was happy that his cousins from California - Sean, Kayla, and Connor - were going to be there. The flight to Beijing was long and Brandon couldn't contain his excitement. He kept himself amused by reading and watching movies on his iPad. Brandon and his cousins went sightseeing, savored Chinese cuisine, learned many interesting facts about China, and enjoyed time with their grandparents. While running and chasing his cousins on the Great Wall, Brandon saw a black and white animal but no one else had seen it. Brandon saw it again when they visited one of the alleys in the mini-village and he learned it was a panda. It was a bit strange that only he saw the panda and no one else did. He kept seeing it wherever he went. Did Brandon actually see the panda? Would he be able to solve the mystery before he flew back to Florida?
The story is educational and informative and captures the places of interest and the sights and sounds of China beautifully. The story is all about family love and bonding. Children also learn some Chinese words. The author adds some mystery and adventure to the plot, making readers curious and excited to learn more about the disappearing panda. It is a happy story and will encourage young readers to explore faraway destinations. Eliza Hsu Chen's black and white sketches make the story tangible and the glossary is helpful for understanding Chinese words. The author brings China to life through the eyes of Brandon and that makes the story more magical and exciting. It is a good storybook for tutors and parents to introduce children to the culture and facts about China in a fun and interesting way.