by Grace Lin. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. Review copy.
The Lunar New Year was last Monday, Jan. 26. I was distracted by my health issues last week so I completely missed the celebrations. Fortunately the holiday can last for 15 days so I think I'm not too late to look for lantern festivals and dragon dance parties on Feb. 9.
Grace Lin's book Bringing in the New Year is a gorgeous picture book that tells how her family celebrates the Chinese New Year. From sweeping out the house to get rid of the old year, to hanging spring happiness poems, getting a hair cut and making good luck dumplings her Jie Jie (older sister), Ba Ba (father), Ma Ma (mother) and Mei Mei (little sister) prepare to celebrate. Then comes the fireworks, the feast and the dragon dance.
The simple text and lively, brightly colored illustrations in Lin's signature style of paintings come together to make this a delightful book for sharing the festivities with young children and their families. The end papers are scattered with further illustrations of symbolic New Year's elements such as red envelopes (holding monetary gifts for all the children), drums, oranges, gongs, spring couplets (poems of good fortune), and a whole fish for the feast. The last two pages of text are a clearly worded outline of the customs and traditions of the Lunar New Year as it has been celebrated around the world. This book is a treasure to add to your collection and to share!
Visit Grace Lin's website to see her other books. Check out her project for 2009: Small Graces, where is auctioning off a painting a month with proceeds going to the Foundation of Children's Books to support author visits in low-income schools.
More on the Lunar New Year:
Chinese Zodiac predictions for 2009 (by birth year)
Fortunately for me I don't follow the zodiac predictions for the Year of the Ox or take it too seriously, because I am born in the year of the Pig by this calendar and it doesn't look good for us. It's a good thing I put my hope in the Lord! :)
Monday's Nonfiction round up is at Picture Book of the Day. If you are blogging a nonfiction book review today go join in and Enjoy!