Chinese New Year (Holidays and Celebrations Series)by Lola M. Schaefer
Simple text and photographs describe and illustrate Chinese New Year and how it is celebrated.
Children's LiteratureOne way to understand a different culture is to learn about its holidays. A straightforward text and plenty of full-color pictures describe and illustrate Chinese New Year and how it is celebrated. Kids learn that not everyone uses the same calendar. The Chinese New Year celebration marks the season for planting and a time to sweep out the old and bring in the new. People celebrate with parades, fireworks and special foods and kids usually receive money for good luck. The closing pages contain a short glossary, a few books and Internet sites and a word list/index. Part of the "Holidays and Celebratrions" series. 2001, Pebble Books/Capstone, $13.25. Ages 4 to 7. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library JournalPreS-Gr 2-Basic introductions to two holidays and how they are celebrated. The large type, repetition of words and phrases, simple glossaries of subject-specific vocabulary, and colorful photographs will appeal to beginning readers. Well-placed photos and reproductions illustrate the text on the opposite page. However, there is some oversimplification, and some important traditions aren't introduced. For example, Chinese New Year ignores the importance of honoring one's ancestors and does not mention the fact that the dragon and the lion dance are not just for good luck, but also to chase away bad spirits. Though the book says that families gather to eat a special meal, there is no mention of what they eat. Likewise, in Cinco de Mayo, readers are told that some people celebrate by eating Mexican food, with no further elaboration. In addition, some of the Internet sites noted are no longer available. Though holiday books are needed for this reading level, oversimplification can make the celebrations seem trite if adults do not fill in the gaps. Dianne M. MacMillan's Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo (Enslow, 1997) and Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith's Celebrating Chinese New Year (Holiday, 1998) are less simplified and give more information.-Diane Olivo-Posner, Long Beach Public Library, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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