“A is for Asia” by Cynthia Chin-Lee

If there is a continent that has never ceased fascinating me, it is Asia. The country that intrigued me first was Japan. From silky kimonos and porcelain faced geishas, to cruel samurai’s and karate, from the art of sushi to the power of zen, Japanese culture and history has never failed to attract me.  Just like India with its intense flavors, colors. It was the Indian cooking that awoke my taste buds and appetite for life. Thai beaches, Chinese tea, Middle Eastern sweets and World Wonders, central steps, northern taiga. Asia has so much to offer and so much to discover. Honestly, a lot of Asia is on my bucket list. Including learning the Japanese language the understanding of which appears to be a huge challenge.

“A is for Asia” is an interesting picture dictionary of this versatile continent, a home of oldest civilizations. “D is for dragon boats…, O is for origami…, W is for water buffalo…” From A to Z, letter by letter, the reader gets introduced to twenty-six concepts representative of  selected Asian countries. That’s how I and my son learned that batik is  an Indonesian craft, or that panda loves honey and Mongolians live in yurts. Every entry is accompanied by an expressive and informative visual, a  folk art- like picture by Yumi Heo as well as a sample word written in one of the many Asian languages. 

A wonderful introduction to Asia for children and parents alike. An irresistible invitation to this continent of colors, contrasts and symbols.