We all know our ABC’s, right mama? Well, in this charming book aimed at babies and younger readers, Diana Wu-David gives them a whole new local spin, from ‘Aberdeen’ all the way through to ‘Zoi Gin’, and helps a very worthy cause in the process.
Featuring 26 rhyming pages and many of Hong Kong’s best-loved icons, the book takes us through an ABC that’s unique to us in the ‘Kong. The focus is on many of the things that kids love best about our city – steamed buns, junk boats, noodles and pandas – and some lesser-known local info too, such as the origin of Kowloon’s name, or exactly what the first character of Hong Kong is.
There are also plenty of Cantonese words thrown into the mix for some authentic Chinese flavour (and a sneaky educational opportunity that the kids won’t pick up on!), and while the rhymes are occasionally a wee bit clunky, they are certainly catchy and you can’t help but smile at the enthusiasm and affection for the city that leaps from every page.
Visually, the book is charming too, with Margaret Jung’s beautifully detailed illustrations bearing a second, third and fourth examination, revealing a small cloud of words and images on each page where at first you only notice a very simple drawing. This detail alone guarantees it a spot on the ‘all time favourites’ shelf at our house (and means we’ll probably have to ‘lose’ it for a short while for the sake of everyone’s sanity!)
All profit from the sale of Hong Kong ABC goes to Room To Read, an organisation that promotes and supports literacy in developing countries, and in particular works to end gender inequality in education. Of course the charitable angle is an excellent reason to buy a copy – but far from the only reason, as this amusing, educational and uniquely ‘Hong Kong’ book makes for a fun bedtime read, a treasured memento of a visit, or simply a checklist of all the best bits of our amazing city!
Pick up your copy of Hong Kong ABC here.