When Danny Chung rushed home from school knowing there was going to be a ‘surprise’ from his parents, the last thing he expected to find was his Nai Nai from China sitting on his top bunk. He had never met his grandmother before and when he learned that his school holidays were to be spent with her rather than creating comics and attempting to work on his maths project with his best friend, Ravi, Danny was not impressed. He had no choice otherwise he’d get another ‘It’s the Chinese Way’ talking to from his dad and he had had too many of them already!
Annoyed at the intrusion of his space and holiday time by his fruit-devouring elderly relative, Danny struggled to communicate with her as she didn’t speak English and his Cantonese was rusty at best. When they stumbled across a community centre that offered bingo sessions he had a sneaky idea to leave her there and go off to spend time with the cool kids who had unexpectedly asked to hang around with him. He soon learned that not only was she a maths genius and could help him with his project, she was a whizz at bingo too.
It’s not until the white lies he tells his family and Ravi begin to spiral out of control that he realises that everything he needs is right there in front of him. Being part of the ‘cool’ gang isn’t as good as he thought it would be.
Maisie Chan, along with Anh Cao’s glorious illustrations, have brought Danny’s predicament to life in this funny yet heart-warming story of a boy and his grandmother bonding over lychees and bingo. Not only was I rooting for Nai Nai to win the life-changing bingo prize, but with every page turn I was willing Danny on to realise how fantastic his family and friends really are.