The Day the Dragon Danced

The Day the Dragon Danced

by Kay Haugaard, Carolyn Reed Barritt

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Michelle H. Martin
Sugar drags her reluctant grandmother to the Chinese New Year festival, eager to see the dragon dance. Grandma, grumbling, does not understand why there is a New Year's festival in February and seems perturbed that even though she never "set eyes on a Chinese person �til I was a grown woman," there's now "a Chinese restaurant on every corner." Just as Sugar's teacher, Miss Peng, has taught her students about the Chinese calendar, Chinese characters and special celebrations, Sugar teaches Grandma, to which she responds "Well that's really something—you teaching me, honey." It soon becomes apparent that Sugar's real interest in the parade is that her father is helping to bring the dragon alive. Even though the dragon needs a little help to get going, it does eventually dance, much to the delight of the onlookers—even Grandma. This picture book positions Sugar as the "contact zone" and thus the agent of change between the diverse American culture in which she is growing up and the mono-cultural one that her grandmother knew as a child. Though Barritt creates colorful and lively watercolor illustrations for the book, the humans look stilted and poorly proportioned. Even so, this book will make an interesting addition to lessons on Chinese culture and Chinese New Year.
School Library Journal

Gr 2�4
Narrated by a contemporary African-American girl, this wordy story tries too hard to bridge cultures by making a traditional Chinese custom acceptable to the child's skeptical black grandmother. At a parade celebrating the Chinese New Year, Sugar and Grandma watch the dance of a bouncing, colorful dragon whose bright cloth is held on poles by Daddy, identifiable only by his red shoelaces, and a diverse crew of community members. After Sugar ties her father's shoelaces, the bumpy dragon finds its rhythm. While the bright, watercolor paintings convey the dragon's initial clumsiness, much of the two-dimensional art in the naive style lacks a focal point to attract readers' eyes. The story of making the dragon dance is a thin metaphor for multiculturalism: "It takes a while to learn to dance together," Daddy concludes at the end of the parade. The book's didactic message may be most useful in collections with a need for picture books about Chinese-American and African-American relations.
—Julie R. RanelliCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Shen's Books
Publication date:
The Day the Dragon Danced Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.27(w) x 10.36(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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