Saturday, January 25, 2020

Review - Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year
by Hannah Eliot
illustrated by Alina Chau
Date: 2018
Publisher: Little Simon
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 24
Format: e-book
Source: library

Learn all about the traditions of Lunar New Year—also known as Chinese New Year—with this fourth board book in the Celebrate the World series, which highlights special occasions and holidays across the globe.

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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Lunar New Year is a fairly solid little board book that introduces young readers to the concept of Chinese New Year. Unlike some other books I've read on this topic, this one shies away from scaring children with superstitions (such as implying that your parents will die if you don't stay up all night on New Year's Eve; sadly, I read another book about Chinese New Year that did just that) and sticks to the facts. That's not to say there's nothing about superstition here; the holiday is pretty much steeped in it. But this book gives some background about some of those superstitions, explaining how they came to be with mentions of old stories.

The illustrations are cute and show families getting together and participating in the various activities that are common during the celebration. If I have one complaint, though, it's that the very first page could cause confusion. The book states that the lunar new year starts with the new moon... but the illustration on that page is clearly a crescent moon.

Other than that, though, this isn't bad. It's clear and concise, and the book accomplishes what it set out to do. I wouldn't mind reading some of the other board books in this series about holidays, especially if they're as well done as this one.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.17 out of 5

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