Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes

Overview

Filled with delectable recipes, hands-on family activities, and traditional tales to read aloud, this extraordinary collection will inspire families everywhere to re-create the magic of Chinese holidays in their own homes. They can feast on golden New Year's dumplings and tasty moon cakes, build a miniature boat for the Dragon Boat Festival and a kite at Qing Ming, or share the story of the greedy Kitchen God or the valiant warrior Hou Yi.
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Overview

Filled with delectable recipes, hands-on family activities, and traditional tales to read aloud, this extraordinary collection will inspire families everywhere to re-create the magic of Chinese holidays in their own homes. They can feast on golden New Year's dumplings and tasty moon cakes, build a miniature boat for the Dragon Boat Festival and a kite at Qing Ming, or share the story of the greedy Kitchen God or the valiant warrior Hou Yi.
This stunning compilation from bestselling cookbook author Nina Simonds and Leslie Swartz of the Children's Museum, Boston, is the perfect gift for families that have embraced Chinese holidays for generations—and for those just beginning new traditions.

Presents background information, related tales, and activities for celebrating five Chinese festivals--Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, Qing Ming, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Moon Festival.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz and the Children's Museum, Boston, illus. by Meilo So, each of a quartet of holidays includes a brief background and introduces a bevy of crafts, recipes and legends. "The Story of the Kitchen God" kicks off the section on the Chinese New Year (and the reason behind serving the traditional tanggua, or candied melons); a recipe for Five-Treasure Moon Cakes stuffed with apricot preserves, pitted dates, sweet coconut and raisins helps youngsters celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Step-by-step illustrations aid in food preparation or crafts such as New Year Prints or Good Luck Characters in this elegantly designed volume.
Children's Literature
Looking for ways to celebrate Asian American History Month? Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats shares Chinese holiday tales, activities and recipes that are great all year long. Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz and the Children's Museum of Boston take young readers on a journey that begins with Chinese New Year and ends with the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Kids learn about the Chinese zodiac, good luck characters and lion dances and can make their own shadow puppets and rabbit-in-the-moon cookies. Traditional stories help put each holiday in context. Graced by Meilo So's lively watercolors, this guide is both informative and fun. 2002, Harcourt,
— Mary Quattlebaum
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This book features five holidays: Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival, Qing Ming, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Each section begins with a one-page description of the history and customs of the festival and is followed by a four- to six-page story, from one to three recipes, and two or three crafts or games. The headings on each page appear in both English typeface and Chinese calligraphy; a guide to Chinese pronunciation is included. The ample white space surrounding the text is filled with small, whimsical watercolor illustrations. Each of the four sections is introduced by a dynamic, detailed watercolor painting on a double-page spread. They include a dragon parade complete with fireworks, kites flying above a family honoring ancestors at a grave, a dragon boat race, and preparations for a moon ceremony. A two-page resource section is divided into three parts: of interest to adults, of interest to young readers, and Internet sources. Most books for young readers about Chinese holidays stress Chinese New Year; only two others feature the full range of annual festivals. Carol Stepanchuk's Red Eggs & Dragon Boats (Pacific View, 1994) is a shorter book with a similar scope, but fewer recipes and crafts/activities. Judith Karen Gee's A Book of Chinese Festivals (Steam RR, 1989; o.p.) offers a brief description of each holiday but no recipes or other activities. Moonbeams is a useful, visually appealing addition to any holiday collection.-Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The authors—Simonds, who has studied and written about Chinese culture and cooking for 30 years, and Swartz, the vice-president of The Children’s Museum, Boston—have collaborated to present a rich and eclectic collection of Chinese traditions. They’ve filled four chapters with stories, recipes, and activities: "Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival"; "Qing Ming and the Cold Foods Festival"; "The Dragon Boat Festival"; and "Mid-Autumn Moon Festival." Whether readers are preparing New Year Dumplings or Crisp-Cooked Vegetarian Noodles or learning about the Chinese Zodiac and Racing Dragons (boats), making shadow puppets or paper lanterns, they will gain an appreciation for the beautiful traditions in this culture’s history. Gorgeous watercolors complement and brighten each sampling as well as attract readers with their simple beauty and elegance. An index would have allowed users to return easily to a favorite recipe, activity, or story, but the work is well organized and worth some page-turning to find a specific selection. A guide to Chinese pronunciation and two pages of additional resources are included. No library should be without this well-designed, beautiful, and informative resource. (Nonfiction. 5 )
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152019839
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 346,336
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.82 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Nina Simonds is America's preeminent authority on Chinese cooking. She is the author of A Spoonful of Ginger.

MEILO SO is the illustrator of such beautiful, award-winning books such as Moonbeams, Dumplings, and Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities, and Recipes and The White Swan Express: A Story about Adoption. She lives in the Shetland Islands, UK.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2002

    FINE CHINA COLLECTION

    Written with special care by best-selling cookbook author Nina Simonds along with a vice president of The Children's Museum, Boston, the elegant book sparkles with authenticity and grace. The myths offer intrigue, festival explanations provide riveting detail, and the how-to projects encourage hands-on participation to make the core material come alive.

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