· ·

I MISS YOU MOST Cover Reveal – By Charlotte Cheng


Bicultural Mama is thrilled to reveal the cover of the picture book I MISS YOU MOST written by Charlotte Cheng and illustrated by Xindi Yan. Published by Rocky Pond Books, I MISS YOU MOST (ages 4-8 years) will be on sale on August 27, 2024, and is now available for pre-order. In this book about coping with loss, a young girl remembers her grandfather in everyday moments while the text and illustrations reference the family’s Asian heritage.


Here’s the official book description:

The memories of a beloved grandpa bring sadness but also solace to the young girl in this glowing and nourishing book. We see the close and lively relationship they shared and all the ways she has been enriched by knowing him—the ways he will always be there for her. This book is just right for starting necessary conversations about grief, and for paying tribute to the loved ones we’ve lost.

“When I miss you dearly, which is almost every day, I know your love is with me and will never go away.


Bicultural Mama interviewed author Charlotte Cheng about the inspiration behind her book and the process of developing it. Thank you, Charlotte, for sharing your thoughts!

What is the book about and what inspired you to write it?

Charlotte Cheng: I Miss You Most follows a girl who has recently lost her grandfather. It begins as she misses his presence in so many daily routines – time—in the games they used to play together, in the stew they’d enjoy at supper, and in the absence of his music at bedtime. Eventually, she realizes that each of these moments is a wonderful way to remember and honor his memory. 

I miss you most stew

I wrote I Miss You Most soon after I lost my own Agong (grandfather in Mandarin) during the pandemic. It was heartbreaking in many ways. My Agong lived in Taiwan, and due to Covid travel restrictions, I wasn’t able to say goodbye when he was ill and had to attend his funeral over Zoom. What broke my heart the most was that my daughter had never had the chance to meet him. We had planned our first Taiwan trip in 2020, which was also canceled due to the pandemic. 

Writing I Miss You Most helped me process my grief for Agong, let me honor his memories, and also let me pass on his memories to my daughter.

The story touches upon heavier topics such as death and grief. How did you address these in the story to ensure your readers could understand them in a kid-friendly way?

Charlotte Cheng: I chose to write the story through the eyes of a young girl so that the memories she revisits are approachable for kids – whether it’s collecting seashells on a beach or playing video games with her grandfather. Xindi Yan, the illustrator, paired my words with just wonderful and detailed family moments that I know any kid can understand. 

I Miss You Most Sample 2

The story also evolves over time and can be a roadmap for families to process loss with their little ones. It begins with acknowledging the sadness and loss that you feel during moments when your loved one is most missed. The story then transforms those moments into opportunities to celebrate a loved one’s memories in small and touching ways. The story ends with the girl realizing that her Agong also lives on in her when she practices the many values he has taught her, such as kindness and a thirst for learning.  

What was the process to get the book published? 

Charlotte Cheng: This will be my third book published with Rocky Pond Books, and it is such a wonderful experience working with their team. My editor, Lauri Hornik, had first acquired Night Market Rescue with an option for a second book. Revising Night Market Rescue with her was such a collaborative and caring process that I was eager to work on more books with Lauri.

I have written two more stories, Roar-Choo! and I Miss You Most. I wasn’t sure which book Lauri would like more so my agent, Karen Grencik, sent both to her. It turned out Lauri liked both books so she acquired both!

I think this process has taught me that it’s so important to practice kindness, collaboration, and respect with those you work with on children’s books. Lauri and I were both excited to work on more books together because the process was such a positive experience with Night Market Rescue. The process for publishing one book takes so much time, passion, and care. You want to work with people that make that journey positive, fun, and exciting. 

What level of interaction did you and the illustrator have during the process?

Charlotte Cheng: Xindi Yan, the illustrator, is so talented at capturing intimate family moments. I believe she had also recently lost her grandfather and was drawn to I Miss You Most. The grandfather in the story is truly a mix of our two grandfathers in their expressions and personalities. 

I miss you most wisps

Xindi also managed to infuse the images with a touch of magic and wonder. There’s a specific spread, where the wisps of the girl’s hair become the steam of oolong tea revealing a memory of her sipping oolong tea with her grandfather. Another is the girl writing stories of her and her grandfather and her stories float in gorgeous purple clouds at sunset. 

Every time I read the book, I tear up because I truly feel my Agong on each page. That’s in large part due to Xindi’s wonderful work.

What was your initial reaction to the cover?

Charlotte Cheng: Xindi and the Rocky Pond Books art team did a wonderful job on the cover design! Grandfather and granddaughter are lying down together, staring at fireflies in the air. More importantly, the grandfather is giving her a tender look that says everything about their relationship. The cover is warm and intimate, much like the story itself.   

How do you think your grandfather would have reacted to the story if he were still alive?

Charlotte Cheng: I actually had the chance to finally return to Taiwan last year. I was able to share a preview of the story with my family there and we made a trek to our family altar in the mountains near where Agong grew up. There, his ashes are stored alongside our ancestors. My daughter and I were able to read I Miss You Most to him. I looked up and everyone had tears in their eyes. We left a copy of the book at the altar. I think he would have loved the way his memories live on with us.

I Miss You Most ashes
The author and her daughter honor Agong (grandfather). Photo credit: Charlotte Cheng

Do you have other books or projects coming up?

Charlotte Cheng: I do! I have two more books coming out with Rocky Pond Books. One is called Ama’s Purse, also illustrated by Xindi Yan, which is a bit of a continuation of I Miss You Most, where the little girl discovers the magic inside her grandmother’s purse. The other, Icy Fruit, is illustrated by Vivian Mineker. It follows the story of my paternal grandfather, who started a popsicle company in Taiwan. Finally, I have a book coming out with Harper Kids called A Name for Sister, illustrated by Sophia Diao.  It’s a magical new sister story inspired by a centuries-old naming tradition from China.

Where to Purchase I MISS YOU MOST

Find I MISS YOU MOST on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book A Million, Bookshop.org, Hudson Booksellers, Powell’s, Target, Walmart, and your local bookstore.

About the Author – Charlotte Cheng

Charlotte Cheng
Charlotte Cheng [Photo credit: Airecel Iris Brady]

Charlotte Cheng has written and illustrated a variety of books including Night Market Rescue, Roar-Choo!, I Miss You Most, and BoBo Loves Dumplings. With over 20 years of EdTech experience, Charlotte has also written and published K-12 curriculum for a variety of companies including CodeCombat, Disney, and Wonder Workshop. You can learn more about Charlotte’s work at: www.charlotte.art.

About the Illustrator – Xindi Yan

Illustrator Xindi Yan [Source: Penguin Random House]

Xindi Yan left behind a small city in China to realize her dream of being a published artist. She traveled thousands of miles to study, live, and work in New York. Having always wanted to illustrate children’s books, Xindi buried herself in countless books and drawings. She is the illustrator of Sylvia Rose and the Cherry Tree by Sandy Shapiro Hurt, the Craftily Ever After series by Martha Maker and The Itty Bitty Witch by Trisha Speed Shaskan. When not drawing, she likes to keep busy with lots of crafts and cooking. Xindi currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dreams of having a puppy one day. Visit her website at www.xindiyanart.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *