Happy Birthday Mr. Kang by Susan Roth

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In this family story set in New York's Chinatown, Mr. Kang and his grandson Sam set their caged bird free and learn that choosing one's own cage is a form of freedom. At his 70th birthday party, Mr. Kang announces that he's retiring from 43 years as a restaurant cook. He has three wishes for his retirement: to have a Hua Mei, a type of bird that Chinese men traditionally keep as pets; to paint poems (in

About Susan Roth

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SUSAN L. ROTH's unique mixed-media collage illustrations have appeared in numerous award-winning children's books, many of which she also wrote. When asked by her friend Cindy Trumbore to work on a book that jointly told the story of the people of Puerto Rico and their beautiful parrots, Roth was thrilled by the opportunity to create hundreds of tiny green parrots! Roth lives in New York.
Published January 1, 2001 by National Geographic Children's Books. 32 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Children's Books.

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He wants to read the New York Times every day, paint poems in Chinese calligraphy, and keep a special kind of Chinese bird, a hua mei, in a cage that he can take to the park like the other retired Chinese men in his neighborhood in Brooklyn.

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Publishers Weekly

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And I want a bird, a hua mei, of my own."" The hua mei, a Chinese bird, connects Mr. Kang with his grandfather, who also owned such a bird, and becomes a metaphor through which Roth explores the idea of freedom and choice.

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