Children's Fiction




Brown, William. L. C. (1983). Children of Shatin Valley. Hong Kong: Foundation Press.

Children of Shatin Valley is a story about the childhood of Doggy, his sisters, and their friends. Doggy and his elder sister Ching-ching spent most of their time with their neighbour’s children Wong Ming (Froggy), Wong Bor (Ball Head) and Wong Har (Cry Baby).  His cousin, Peter, lives in town with his mother, Doggy’s Second Aunt.  Peter’s father owns a restaurant in England.  As a child, Peter  takes little notice of Ching-ching but he later falls in love with her, and they marry  and settle in England. 

The children enjoy spending time watching trains pass, and they love the stories Ching-ching tells them every evening after dinnerunder the banyan-tree.  “Look Before You Kick!” is  the most frightening of the stories.   It is about a naughty boy, Ah Bor, who has a habit of kicking things.  One day while he is  out on the hills, he trips over an earthen pot containing human bones. Despite his mother’s warning that he should not kick anything, he  kicks the pot again in order to hear the strange sound produced by the pot.  Soon he feels a kick from behind, but he could not see anyone.  Ah Bor realizes it’s  only a dream. 

Apart from listening to stories, the children love going to the seashore to gather clams and snails. Spring is  the busiest time of the year for flower-growers in Shatin. Doggy’s parents would hire a stall in the biggest flower market in Kowloon, and they would make a lot of money, and they do not mind leaving the rest of the unsold flowers at the stall  for  latecomers to take home.  Doggy’s family and the Wong’s family leave Shatin eventually, but they still meet frequently.  Whenever Doggy’s English teacher asks him to go orchid-hunting with him on the hills in Shatin, he always tries to take his little sister along, because she cannot play outdoors as he did so often in Shatin when they were younger. (FC)


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