Happy Chinese New Year!

Friday, February 8th, 2013

The Year of the Snake slithers in this weekend but have no fear! Ancient Chinese wisdom says a snake in the house is actually a good omen because it means that your family will not starve. The sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, the snake represents wisdom, intelligence and self-control. The snake also represents the ability to strike at will, quickly and powerfully. The Year of Snake promises to be a time of steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for all of us to achieve what we set out to create.

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important festival in the Chinese calendar and celebrations take place around the world . What better way to get into the spirit by reading some Chinese New Year children’s books! Here are a few books we’ve blogged about that we would definitely recommend:

Tales from the Chinese Zodiac series by Oliver Chin,

The Great Race / The Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Dawn Casey, illustrated by Anne Wilson;

The Day the Dragon Danced by Kay Haugaard, illustrated by Carolyn Reed Barritt

Fang Fang’s Chinese New Year by Sally Rippin

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac by Gabrielle Wang, illustrated by SallyRippin

Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat by one of my favorite authors Grace Lin. Be sure to visit Grace’s blog t0 read about her plans for bringing in the New Year with  her daughter Rain Dragon and to get some New Year crafts suggestions.

My Mom Is a Dragon and My Dad is a Boar and Hiss! Pop! Boom! by Tricia Morissey

Happy, Happy Chinese New Year! written and illustrated by Demi. Read our interview with Demi here and see our gallery of her stunning illustration work here.

And here’s a special kidlit New Year celebration  for those of you who live in San Jose, CA, USA.  Children’s author Oliver Chin will be reading from his new book The Year of the Snake: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac, on Feb. 19th at the Joyce Ellington Branch library. Details here.

Chinese New Year 2012: Year of the Dragon

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Happy New Year’s!  Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Dragon on the Chinese lunar calendar.  We celebrated with friends this weekend and had a wonderful dinner of roast duck, steamed pickerel, mushroom and seafood egg foo yung, sticky rice, and almond cookies and candied walnuts for dessert.  As this is the year of the dragon, I was reminded of a Books at Bedtime post I did on a wonderful children’s book by Ed Young, The Sons of the Dragon King.   Do check it out (of the library soon!)  PT’s picture gallery also features the work of Ed Young’s most recent book The House that Baba Built.  Hope you all have an auspicious Year of the Dragon!

Gabrielle Wang’s The Race for the Chinese Zodiac Performed by the Australian Chinese Music Ensemble~ Jan 21, 2012

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Last week after I posted about Shaun Tan‘s book The Arrival being set to a musical score, I spent some time searching the internet to find out about other children’s books which had been set to musical scores. Interestingly enough the first event that came up on my search was for a January 2012 production of another Australian author’s book:  The Race for the Chinese Zodiac by Gabrielle Wang. I had been just been in contact with Gabrielle a few weeks ago when we posted our review of her book The Garden of Empress Cassia so I quickly sent off another email to her and she provided me with the following details on the event which is taking place at the Melbourne Recital Centre in Melbourne, Australia:


Date: 11 am, Sat.  Jan 21.  For ticket info click here.

Based on the picture book The Race for the Chinese Zodiac by Gabrielle Wang (author), Sally Rippin (illustrator) and Regina Abos (designer) and inspired music by the Australian Chinese Music Ensemble, led by Wang Zheng-Ting, this concert will delight and amaze children and their families as they enjoy one of China’s favourite fables.

The Jade Emperor has declared a great race: the first animals to cross the river will win a place in the Chinese Zodiac.  Thirteen animals line up along the shore.  But there are only twelve places to be won.  Who will miss out?

The story of how the animals of the Chinese zodiac came to be is told through music and projected images.  Learn about the story behind the Rat, the Snake, the Horse and other endearing characters of this traditional tale and discover the sounds of Chinese instruments.


Date: Sat. Jan 21, Sun. Jan 22. Click here for times and ticket info

Gabrielle studied Chinese painting at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou, China. In this workshop she will teach children the four treasures of the painting studio and the basics of Chinese brush painting with plenty of hands on practice. Come join Gabrielle and leave with a finished Chinese painting of your own.


Date: Sat. Jan 21 Click here for times and ticket info.

Celebrate the new year of the Dragon by taking a special Dragon tour. Gabrielle Wang, award-winning author of The Race for the Chinese Zodiac, will teach you how to draw these mythical animals, and then make a scale to place on the dragon that will wind up the Chinese Museum’s staircase.


Happy Year of the Rabbit!

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Happy New Year, everybody! Gung Hei Fat Choy! Xin Nian Kuai Le! The Tiger has roared its way out and made way for the Rabbit… Let us hope this new lunar year will indeed be tranquil for us all.

You can find reviews of The Year of the Rabbit (pictured left), the latest in Oliver Chin’s fun, lively series of Tales from the Chinese Zodiac here at Book Dads, and here at Xiaoning’s Blog, along with other book suggestions (We’ll be posting our own review soon.). The Children’s Book Review has lots of rabbity books to choose from; The Book Chook takes us on a magnificent kite-making adventure; and Grace Lin sends out her greetings with a gorgeous rabbit illustration, as well as links to craft activities (which include this e-card).

If you’ve written a post for Chinese New Year, do drop a link into the comments…

Chinese New Year’s: A Canadian Mother’s Perspective

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Gung Hay Fat Choi!  Xin Nian Kuai Le!  Today is Chinese New Year’s.  How will you be celebrating the occasion?  Read about how Chinese Canadian poet and mother Fiona Lam views the holiday with her son in “Discovering the Soul of Chinese New Year” in the B.C. based The Tyee.  I’m sure many Asian Canadians of a certain generation can relate; I certainly do!  Hope you have a blessed time with family and friends as you welcome in the new year.

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Happy New Year of the Tiger!

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Year of the Tiger 2010
Fill your vases with peach blossoms, kumquat plants and chrysanthemums—symbolizing luck, prosperity and longevity, respectively, the three great blessings of life, according to ancient Chinese beliefs— and join us in welcoming the New Year of the Tiger!

In Chinese folklore, tigers are courageous and powerful, and tiger years are usually associated with great changes. We at PaperTigers have already gotten into the spirit. Have you?… If you need inspiration, gather the children around to make their own PaperTigers tiger to put on their bedside table or bookshelf, as both a symbol of good things to come and a reminder that, when it comes to great books, PaperTigers is always happy to point the way!

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Here’s to a new year of growing and learning by leaps and bounds!

Announcing PaperTigers’ Paper Tiger!

Monday, February 8th, 2010

PaperTigers' Paper Tiger: Cut Out and MakeJust in time for February 14th, when we will be wishing everyone a Happy Year of the Tiger, we at PaperTigers are delighted to be launching a Tiger of our own: one that we hope will find a home in every corner of the globe. And when you have created your personalised tiger, we hope you will send us a photo for us to post here on our blog.

We have talked for a long time about having a “real” paper tiger and we are very grateful to husband-and-wife team, authors Sally and Stewart Walton for giving us permission to reproduce the tiger from their book, Make Your Own: Paper Jungle (A Golden Book, 1994). My children were given this book as a present a few years ago and have made most of the animals several times – they make great gifts for grandparents, who, of course, don’t mind how many times they receive a toucan or a chameleon!

The tiger, in pdf format, comes with complete instructions. On page 1 you’ll find a ready-painted version and on page 2 there are two plain outlines – perfect for those who want to give their imaginations free rein and for making multiple copies…

So get going – and send photos of your Tiger(s) to blog(at)papertigers(dot)org – we can’t wait to see your Paper Tigers and what a great way to see in the New Year! Gung Hei Fat Choy! Xin Nian Kuai Le!

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The Tiger’s Bookshelf: Hiss! Pop! Boom!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Living in a country where Chinese New Year is a fifteen-day festival during which everyone becomes Chinese–in the same way that everyone beomes Irish on St. Patrick’s Day–means that questions about the holiday become inevitable and insistent.

Why are firecrackers an integral part of the festival? Why are markets filled with green-leafed oranges?  What are the scarlet paper wall-hangings that are emblazoned with gold calligraphy? Why are there so many packages of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for sale? Why do people buy branches laden with flowering plum blossoms or pussywillows? What are the small red envelopes used for?  What does it mean to be in the Year of the Ox? And most important to many spectators, what is that lion doing, and who are the masked people who dance with it?

I don’t know about you, but when I want quick and clear answers to questions like these, I turn to children’s books. And the ones that provided answers for me are Tricia Morissey’s Hiss! Pop! Boom! and My Mom Is a Dragon and My Dad is a Boar, along with the inimitable Demi’s Happy, Happy Chinese New Year!all three of which are laden with enticingly presented facts.

If you have questions about this vibrant and revitalizing festival that brightens the darkest time of year, these three books are a great place to begin your search for answers. And if you’ve found other titles that have helped with this quest, please let us know what they are!

Welcome, Year of the Ox!

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Happy New Year!

If you’re looking for books to read, you’ll find recommendations here – but Grace Lin has left a hole in this year’s celebration – there’s no Year of the Ox! Never mind – her Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat are a joy to read at any time!

Elizabeth’s Children’s Book Blog has some great recommendations for Chinese New Year, as does the Boston Public Library, which has both a general section and country-specific books. Happy reading!

Gung Hei Fat Choy! – Xin Nian Kuai Le! – Happy New Year!

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

yearoftherat.jpgWelcome, Year of the Rat!

To help you celebrate, here are a couple of new books we can recommend…

Grace Lin has a sequel just out to her delightful Year of the Dog – called, appropriately enough, Year of the Rat. We’ll have our own review of it soon, in the meantime, you can read what Grace herself says about it here.

You can read here about another new book by Grace, this time a picture-book called Bringing in the New Year. At the end of that post, Wild Rose Reader gives some good “Lunar New Year” links too.

And here are some more Chinese New Year picture books reviewed by PaperTigers:
The Year of the Rat: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin, illustrated by Miah Alcorn,;
The Great Race / The Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Dawn Casey, illustrated by Anne Wilson;
The Day the Dragon Danced by Kay Haugaard, illustrated by Carolyn Reed Barritt.

Do you have any special favorites you’d like to share with us?

…And a PS – do have a look at Grace Lin’s blog to read about her trip to China last month – there are some great photos too.