Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Review - 12 Lucky Animals: A Bilingual Baby Book

12 Lucky Animals: A Bilingual Baby Book
by Vickie Lee
illustrated by Joey Chou
Date: 2018
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 14
Format: e-book
Source: library

Vickie Lee and Joey Chou's illustrated 12 Lucky Animals is a young, dual-language animal concept book introducing Chinese characters and the animals of the Chinese zodiac...

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm underwhelmed.

There seem to be a couple of problems with this book. First, it doesn't state anywhere that this is a Chinese/English picture book. Unless you recognize that you're dealing with the characters of the Chinese zodiac, you could be forgiven for not knowing what language was being presented. Second, is this Mandarin or Cantonese? Or are the words for animals the same in both dialects? Third, I thought the Chinese language was a tonal one. I've heard that you need to be careful not to call your mother a horse (because while the basic sound of both words is the same, the tone is not). Tone is not addressed at all here.

The illustrations are colourful and might appeal to kids, but I don't like the style. The book's layout is nice and clear, but without addressing those issues I mentioned, I'm not sure how useful this book is going to be. (Because it's a board book, there's no room for a parents' note. That's a shame, because this book really could've used one!)

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2.33 out of 5 ladybugs

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