I feel like I’m juggling a dozen books this week. I’m in the middle of three and almost finished with another. But when I received a GoodReads raffle prize today, I dropped everything this evening to read my new book.
It’s The Travels of Ching (Denio Press) by Robert Bright, the author and illustrator of the Georgie the Ghost books. This book originally came out in 1943 and has recently been rediscovered by Bright’s granddaughter, who reissued it this year.
What a treat!
I’d never heard of Ching or this book, but it’s a lovely story with spectacular illustrations. I’m completely obsessed with pre-1949 China, so it’s right up my alley.
Ching is a doll that comes from the interior of China. No one seems to want him except a poor girl who spies him from the toy story window where he’s displayed until a rich man comes along and buys Ching. But this man doesn’t want him either. Ching embarks on a long journey–across the mountains, down a river (the Yangtze perhaps) and across the Pacific.
As if that’s not enough, he continues by train across the US to what is presumably New York. Again, it’s the same outcome for Ching. No one seems to want him. But since it’s a children’s story, the ending is happy and reassuring in a Velveteen Rabbit kind of way (even more so, if you ask me).
I read this book long after my kids went to bed tonight, but will show it to them first thing in the morning. I can already picture how they’ll fall in love with this book as much as I have.