Goldfish And Chrysanthemums by Andrea Cheng Lee & Low Books $130 Nancy's Chinese grandmother Ni Ni lives in the United States with Nancy and her family. When she receives a letter from her brother in Suzhou saying that the family home, along with its ornamental courtyard and fish pond, is being destroyed to make way for an apartment block, Nancy tries to find a way to cheer her up. She wins two goldfish at a local fair and decides to create her own version of a pond in her backyard as a surprise for Ni Ni. Enlisting the help of their neighbour, Mrs Zalinsky, and subsequently her brother, Greg, the resourceful Nancy makes her pond out of an old glazed flowerpot, sunk into a hole she digs in the ground, and transfers her goldfish into it. She also plants chrysanthemums, donated by the good Zalinsky, nearby. Ni Ni is predictably touched by her grandchildren's thoughtfulness and photographs are sent to her brother to cheer him up. Author Andrea Cheng, from Ohio, was inspired to write the story after hearing her husband's mother talk about her family's garden in China. It is a sweet and touching tale for children aged four to eight with underlying messages such as the importance of family relationships, thinking of others and how the smallest gestures can bring happiness into the lives of friends and loved ones. The book also offers a brief insight into Chinese culture with Ni Ni's reflections on her father's garden and the way she used to help him tend flowers and feed the fish. A short glossary on the first page gives the meanings and the phonetical pronunciation of Chinese words used in the text. Although the soft colours of the illustrations complement the sensitive text, Michelle Chang's artwork is not as good as the story. The figures come across as rather wooden and the bland expressions of the various characters hardly differ from page to page. It is, however, a book worth reading and a good reminder to children and parents that some of the best gifts you can give or be given aren't necessarily material.