After the winter solstice each year, it's time for a celebration with many names: Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, and Lunar New Year! With beautiful artwork by Chinese illustrator Alina Chau, this festive board book teaches readers that Lunar New Year invites us to spend time with family and friends, to light lanterns, and set off fireworks, dance with dragons, and to live the new year in harmony and happiness.
In the fourth title of the Celebrate the World board book series, Eliot describes the folkloric and cultural history of Chinese New Year--including the story of Nian, a monster who is only frightened by "the loud crackling of burning bamboo (or firecrackers), the color red, and the bright lights of lanterns." Families are pictured lighting fireworks and lanterns, hanging red decorations, and dining together. Finally, it's the Lantern Festival: "We celebrate with parades led by people dressed as dragons and lions." Chau illustrates in fluid, elegant lines and depicts warm interactions between loved ones. Even those who don't observe the holiday may reflect on similarities within their own family traditions. Ages 2-4. (Dec.)Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
PreS-Gr 1—A lively family of five and their relatives are the centerpiece of this new entry in the series. In this standout introduction to Lunar New Year, the holiday's origins and the concept of the Chinese zodiac are explained. Then, it's time for the family to cook, clean, and decorate in preparation for the festivities. Important traditions and symbols of the festival are presented, along with key themes of the holiday, such as luck and prosperity. The information is supplemented by Chau's vibrant organic illustrations that brim with life. They deftly blend the look of traditional Chinese painting on pages showing ancient myths with more contemporary illustrations depicting modern New Year celebrations. The text is longer and more involved than is typically found in board book selections. VERDICT The bright, playful illustrations and descriptive text make Lunar New Year an outstanding introduction to the holiday for children.—Katherine Barr, Cameron Village Regional Library, Raleigh, NCCopyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.