The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Chinese / People's Republic of China

Wo de ma ma shi jing ling

(A spirit who I call Mom)

Chen, Danyan (text)
Echo, Anjing (illus.)
Fuzhou: Fu jian shao nian er tong chu ban she (Fujian Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House), 2019. – 170 p.
ISBN 978-7-5395-6835-5

Spirit  | Mother  | Growing up  | Fantasy fiction

White Ravens issue: 2020

Reading age: 9+


This is the updated version of a pioneering book of contemporary Chinese children’s fantasy writing that was first published in 1998 and has been reprinted repeatedly since then. The story is set in Shanghai. When teenage protagonist Chen Miaomiao accidentally discovers that her mother is a spirit who can fly and who drinks frog blood to survive in the human world, it takes time for her to accept the truth. The day will also come when her mother must return to her own world. The book has an unusual flavour in its integrating of the tradition of Chinese folklore and that of Western fantasies. Chen Danyan, who began publishing in the early 1980s, is best known for her children’s books as well as her historical fiction and non-fiction about life in urban Shanghai. Her most representative children’s books include the “Nü zhong xue sheng san bu qu” trilogy (The middle-school girls) and “Zai nan de li wu” (The gift of disaster”). She is the winner of the Chinese National Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature and other children’s literature awards. [FW, ZX]