Chinese New Year is a fairly big celebration here in Singapore and since Dumpling attends daily Chinese lessons, we read up on many of these Chinese celebrations and festivities. Here are some of our picks: great as a read-aloud or for your child to read independently.
:: 1. Chelsea's Chinese New Year
What first drew me to this title was how 'Charlie and Lola like' the drawings and characters are, except well, Chelsea is an Asian. :) After a bit of research, I realised that the illustrator has also illustrated many children's books bearing similar cherubic faces. :D
The story is simple, narrated by Chelsea on how her family celebrates Chinese New Year and the common practices the family has.
The story is presented in a simple manner and provides some good basic information on this celebration. The title also has 'blurbs' of useful information (in purple boxes below).
Number of pages: 24
Author: Lisa Bullard
Illustrator: Katie Saunders
:: The Runaway Rice Cake
The Runaway Rice Cake is like the Asian version of Gingerbread Man, with a twist. The Changs are celebrating Chinese New Year and all they have left is just enough flour to make one rice cake 年糕. However, something miraculous happened - the Rice Cake came alive and ran off.
The Changs gave chase and the rice cake runs into an old woman... What happened to the rice cake and did the Changs have enough to eat?
Number of pages: 40
Author: Ying Chang Compestine
Illustrator: Tungwai Chau
:: Hiss! Pop! Boom!
If you are looking for a informational title, Hiss! Pop! Boom! is a good choice. It talks about the various traditional practices presented with gorgeous Chinese ink painting. I was actually reminded of the meaning of some of the things we eat and do after reading this book! :)
Author: Tricia Morrissey
Illustrator: Kong Lee
:: Chun Jie
I really like this series of Chinese titles (a series of 6 titles) which is on traditional Chinese festivities. This story shares how some Chinese New Year practices came to be e.g. 'firecrackers' and 'red couplets' came about, and how they were used to frighten the monster Nian.
The title is also not too wordy with about 5 sentences per page mostly. The illustration is cute and the colours are bright too.
Everyone's favourite siblings - Tao Shu and Ling Ling learn more about Nian in this short and funny story. Created and published locally, this bilingual title is an easy and entertaining read for preschoolers. Tao Shu (the warrior boy) was told to get some cabbage from their garden. However, he and Ling Ling discovered that someone has eaten all their cabbages. Who can it be? That marks the start of the siblings' investigations.
Number of pages: 32
Author: Andy Logam Tan
I hope that these give you some ideas on what books you can borrow from the library to read with your preschoolers in getting them to understand and enjoy Chinese New Year more!
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