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.

The Tiger's Bookshelf: My Chinatown

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

When a writer and an illustrator blend their gifts to create a picture book, that is a very special kind of magic. When a picture book comes into being because one person has been both author and illustrator, using each of these arts with equal skill,  that goes beyond magic into the realm of miracles.

Kam Mak has created one of those miracles with My Chinatown (HarperCollins)–a book that is impossible to ignore because of his glowing, colorful paintings that dominate the front and back covers and the vivid images within that he has created with his words.

A small boy scuffs through ”drifts of red paper,” ”a snowfall the color of luck,” missing Hong Kong as he faces New Year in a place that is not yet home. “So many things got left behind,” he says, “a country/a language/a grandmother,” and the simple poetry in this statement aches with loss, expressed in new words that “taste like metal in my mouth.”

The words and paintings follow him through the year as he explores his new surroundings, makes friends, finds familiar sights in a place that slowly becomes familiar as well. When the New Year comes around again, with its “lions in the street outside,” he’s eager to be nearby watching them “shaking their neon manes.” (more…)

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.

Books at Bedtime: Pablo the Artist

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Pablo the ArtistWe have just returned home from a week in London, exploring the city to dropping point! One place we visited was the National Gallery, where we followed the Chinese Zodiac Trail. We knew which animals to look for from retellings of the legendary selection process, such as The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac. While looking at the paintings, we learnt a great deal about the differences and similarities in the symbolism attached to the animals in Chinese and Western cultures; and Little Brother, who is passionate about dragons, was overjoyed to discover that his birth sign, the Snake, is also known as the Little Dragon!

In the gallery shop afterwards, we found a delightful picture-book called Pablo the Artist by Satoshi Kitamura, which is an enigmatic exploration of the artistic process and where inspiration comes from – I agree with The Magic of Booksreview, where PJ Librarian says “you really aren’t sure at this point if Pablo is dreaming or if these landscape characters are actually real” – it’s one of those books which grows with each re-reading as new details are discovered and absorbed. We especially loved the glimpse of infinity provided at the end, having read The Mouse and His Child so recently, where the picture of the dog carrying a tray with a tin of dog food with the picture of the dog carrying a tray etc. etc. was such a recurrent and pivotal theme.

Not Just for Kids recommends Pablo the Artist and some other picture-books which “introduce young readers to some of the world’s masterpieces”, as does Rhyming Mom.

…And I should just add that Pablo The Artist was one of the picture books nomitated for the 2007 Sakura Awards, which Charlotte highlighted in her last post