Children’s authors celebrate Asian heritage in Chinatown

Authors Debbi Michiko Florence and Susan Tan signed books for young fans on Oct. 28 at the Pao Arts Center.

Children’s book author Susan Tan spoke at the Pao Arts Center on Oct. 28. (Image courtesy of Ling-Mei Wong.)

Michiko Florence is the author of “Jasmine Toguchi Super Sleuth” and a third generation Japanese-American from California. Tan wrote “Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire” and is a mixed-race New Englander. Tan’s grandfather James Tan founded the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church in Chinatown.

Tan said, “The book is semiautobiographical, as Cilla is from a mixed-race family like me.”

Priscilla “Cilla” Lee-Jenkins, 8, enjoys visiting Chinatown with her grandpa Ye Ye and grandma Nai Nai, when she’s not with her parents and Caucasian grandparents. Cilla is on a tight deadline to write a bestseller, before her little sister is born and her family forgets her.

Jasmine Toguchi is an 8-year-old detective in Los Angeles, who must solve a mystery before her plans for Japanese festival Girls’ Day go awry.

Michiko Florence recalled celebrating Girls’ Day on March 3 as a child, with elaborate Japanese dolls representing the imperial court. As a college student, she dressed up her stuffed animals to honor the happiness of girls.

Attendees were able to write postcards to Jasmine and Cilla, along with getting pins and bookmarks. Crafts included coloring pages and origami.

Children’s book author Debbi Michiko Florence spoke about her book “Jasmine Toguchi Super Sleuth.” (Image courtesy of Ling-Mei Wong.)

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About Ling-Mei Wong 黃靈美

Editor of the Sampan, the only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper in New England 舢舨報紙總編輯。舢舨是全紐英倫唯一的中英雙語雙週報。
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