Po Po Says

Children - Social Issues
60 Pages
Reviewed on 11/02/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite

Po Po Says, written and illustrated by Ashley Ng, is a collection of eight inspiring stories in Asian American History. Asian immigrants and their children have not been treated well in the United States. This book features stories in which the ill-treated Asians developed strong traits that have helped them survive and helped America thrive. The eight stories are from various periods and countries. Filipino men escaped from their cruel captain and formed the first Asian American community in Louisiana, and set an example of using your smarts. Chinese immigrants joined the gold rush and also founded businesses to support the new gold mining industry, and set an example of determination. During WWII, when the US was at war with Japan, Japanese families were put into internment camps and held prisoner. Vietnamese who escaped their war-torn country in boats set an example of resilience. Asian students who saw a need to study their history set an example of being vocal.

Ashley Ng’s book, Po Po Says, is centered around a girl who visits her grandmother for lunch, eats her delicious soup, and hears these stories. She also learns the Cantonese words for the traits her grandmother is teaching her. These stories show both the good and bad aspects of history that reflect on everyone in the United States. They are valuable lessons not only in good behavior but also in better ways to deal with adversity. This book will provide a jumping-off place for students to dig deeper into the historical events that mark Asian history in the United States, and in the mindsets that helped them survive and thrive in this country which belongs to everyone who lives here.