Parents' Guide to

Sagwa's Storybook World

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Delightful treat based on Amy Tan's kids' book.

Movie NR 2003 60 minutes
Sagwa's Storybook World Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 3+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 2+

Fun for all ages

Our sons like to talk about life in China, life as a cat, and the cultural differences between the Imperial family in China, and our family's lifestyle. Only they didn't use those big words.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 3+

Beware the ads!

There were ads for cereals in the middle of this. On a DVD?! Frosted Flakes type things, come on! It might have been great, but I saw that and stopped the DVD immediately.

This title has:

Too much consumerism

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (1):

The story behind Amy Tan's children's book is an interesting one. According to, Ms. Tan indeed had beloved a cat named Sagwa, who was diagnosed with a severe illness. The news troubled Ms. Tan, who became very worried about the impending loss of her dear feline friend. One night, she had a vivid dream about Sagwa -- not as a cat who lives in a contemporary American city, but as a kitten among cats living in an Imperial Chinese family in ancient China. When she awoke, she jotted down the dream and was moved enough to mention it to her friend, illustrator Gretchen Schields. Thus the story of Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat was born -- and the real Sagwa was so happy with the story that she lived to a ripe old age.

Ms. Tan's passion for her subject is evident in the attention paid to detail and the care with which each character is shaped. Obviously, this series is crafted with love and attention to detail by a master storyteller. This DVD is sure to enrich any home viewing library.

Movie Details

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