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School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2- A cheery illustration shows Chinese parents and their three daughters looking out their window, while the simple text reads: "Is the New Year coming? I hope so! We try to welcome it in." Narrated by one of the girls, this buoyant book describes preparations for celebrating the Lunar New Year, as family members sweep out the old year with a broom, hang "spring-happiness poems," make "get-rich dumplings," get haircuts, and don new clothing. The lustrous gouache illustrations are saturated with bold primary colors and deftly convey the joyousness of the festivities. In one painting, a parade of children carrying lanterns lights the way for the New Year, while another features people costumed to represent symbolically the lions that will scare away "last year's bad luck" and the dragon that escorts in the New Year. A lovely spread with a foldout page shows the lucky dragon, which has been awakened by having his eyes painted on, surrounded by celebrants banging drums and gongs and blowing noisemakers. Information about the holiday is appended and the endpapers highlight different elements connected with it: a red envelope, firecrackers, a spring lantern, etc. A wonderful and much-needed addition to Chinese New Year literature.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CACopyright 2008 Reed Business Information.