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The Year of the Horse (Tales from the Chinese Zodiac Series)

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Overview

"Each [Tale from the Chinese Zodiac] combines a sense of tenacious accomplishment with just plain rollicking fun. Illustrator Jennifer Wood makes sure to imbue every page with energy in motion—'dazzling and colorful.'"—Smithsonian BookDragon

2014 is The Year of the Horse! Hannah is a foal who befriends the boy Tom. Together can they bring his art teacher's important painting to the capital faraway?

Ninth in the popular annual series, this tale ...

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Overview

"Each [Tale from the Chinese Zodiac] combines a sense of tenacious accomplishment with just plain rollicking fun. Illustrator Jennifer Wood makes sure to imbue every page with energy in motion—'dazzling and colorful.'"—Smithsonian BookDragon

2014 is The Year of the Horse! Hannah is a foal who befriends the boy Tom. Together can they bring his art teacher's important painting to the capital faraway?

Ninth in the popular annual series, this tale features the Chinese lunar calendar's twelve animals and shows how an unbridled spirit can blaze its own trail.

Oliver Chin lives in San Francisco, California.

Artist Jennifer Wood is an animator at Nickelodeon in Burbank, California.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...each lunar year gets an energetic, giggle-inducing welcome with [the] Tales from the Chinese Zodiac... As she did in The Year of the Dragon and The Year of the Snake, illustrator Jennifer Wood continues to provide the same delightfully equitable page time for all the zodiac animals, adding another engaging level of ‘hide-and-seek’ for younger readers. Author Chin again introduces rollicking exploits to inspire and entertain, all the while celebrating the Asian culture that infuses our daily American lives." - BookDragon, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center blog

"The Year of the Horse tells a charming story and introduces kids to Chinese culture and art. It also offers message about friendship, bravery, and accomplishment. The illustrations, again by illustrator and cartoon character designer Jennifer Wood (who's done work for Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network), are delightful and infuse The Year of the Horse with a lot of appeal and charm. Both my children love the book and keep reading it over and over again." - Marin Mommies

"Start your own New Year tradition with this series by Oliver Chin.. All are cute little stories that capture the symbolic spirit of the zodiac animal featured. Integrating some of the traditional characteristics believed for those born in the year of the horse...It’s definitely a cute addition to our Year of… collection. Also, we love the iPad app for the year of the dragon and are hoping Immedium creates some new ones for the other years too since even our iPad likes to celebrate CNY." - I Overthink Everything

"The Year of the Horse – Tales from the Chinese Zodiac is about friendship, trust and working together...A fun-loving book with an excellent message of friendship and love – The Year of the Horse is not only well written, its eye-popping illustrations that will engage and entertain your eager beginning reader." - The Squishable Baby

"This adorable story goes through the live a foal and a young boy, Tom. Tom and the foal, Hannah, become good friends." - Crafty Moms Share

"No wonder the Year of the Horse celebrates their derring-do. I loved the positive 'can-do' message the book conveyed, and though our kids are not going to be sent on such a mission, they’ll enjoy the vicarious experience and understand the pride that Lao Shi and Hannah’s parents feel about the pair’s major accomplishment." - Good Reads with Ronna

"My kids both really liked the cartoon-like illustrations and it really helps that the plotting is quick and Wood's illustrations are great at conveying movement. It's so fantastic to find books related to the New Year as we celebrate it here in Japan, so I definitely recommend this to English speakers in Japan as well as other people with kids!" - Perogies & Gyoza

"Perfect Picture Book Friday: I chose this book because January 31st is the Chinese New Year, and 2014 is the Year of the Horse, and I’ve been highlighting multicultural books this week and it’s a GREAT picture book!" - This Kid Reviews Books

"The illustrations are adorable and bright, and hidden throughout the book are the other 11 zodiac signs. This encourages children to learn the other signs and invites them to look out for them as they read...my daughter loves it. She is already asking to read more books in this series." - The Asian Reporter

School Library Journal
05/01/2014
K-Gr 2—This tale about a filly named Hannah and her human friend, Tom, touches on horses' skills and responsibilities. Hannah aspires to become useful like the grown-up horses she knows. After the other animals are not able to deliver a painting for Tom's elderly teacher, Hannah and Tom are called into service. They are instructed on proper behaviors for the trip before they set off on their adventure. Their success is rewarded with a copy of the painting—the Chinese symbol for "horse." The cartoon illustrations reflect the illustrator's animation background and highlight some of the Chinese landscape, wild life, and architecture. Other than the title and painting, the connection to the zodiac is sketchy, and the heavy-handed lessons on "skills and responsibilities," along with uninspired word choices, make this a marginal selection.—Carol S. Surges, formerly at Longfellow Middle School, Wauwatosa, WI
Kirkus Reviews
2013-12-01
The ninth installment from the Tales from the Chinese Zodiac picture-book series offers readers a look into the characteristics of being born in the Year of the Horse. Hannah, a bright-eyed foal, and her human friend Tom wonder what they'll be when they grow up. Equine family and friends tell what they do for a living: Papa is a racehorse and Mama a show horse, and Uncle Fu pulls large loads. Hannah's abilities are tested when Tom's art teacher, Lao Shi, asks Tom to take her commissioned painting to the governor at the capital, a long journey away. Tom needs a partner, and after he interviews other animals (all from the Chinese zodiac) for the job, Hannah announces she can do it. According to the author's note, people born in horse years are energetic and animated but also impatient or headstrong. Enlivened with Wood's peppy, commercial-looking illustrations, the story feels most energetic when the twosome learn to work together as one, as they encounter hazards (other zodiac animals) during their journey. But there is a missed opportunity. The tale overloads on only favorable horse personality traits, leading to a predictable outcome. Chin (The Year of the Snake, 2013, etc.) overlooks flaws, like impatience, which robs Hannah of the chance to overcome and rise above them. A one-note ride into an enjoyable Chinese lunar-calendar tradition, this trots instead of gallops. (list of zodiac animals) (Fiction. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597020800
  • Publisher: Immedium
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Series: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac Series , #9
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 809,432
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 12.50 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Oliver Chin has written The Tales from the Chinese Zodiac series and more than a dozen children's books. He presents at schools, libraries, museums, and cultural organizations nationwide, and teaches students how to draw and make their own comic books. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Jennifer Wood previously illustrated The Year of the Dragon. She is an animation designer at Nickelodeon. She has contributed to the shows T.U.F.F Puppy, The Fairly OddParents, The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Catscratch, Strawberry Shortcake, and Tak and the Power of Juju. She lives in Los Angeles, CA. See more at artofjwood.com.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted February 3, 2014

    Why I liked this book ¿ This is a great story with great illustr

    Why I liked this book – This is a great story with great illustrations! It is a whimsical story about friendship, and the Chinese Zodiac. I like how you see the other animals of the Chinese Zodiac in the illustrations – that can make it fun for the younger kids to look at. The story has a great feel to it, and I like the friendship part of it! The illustrations are bright and the characters are cute. The characters in the story have the characteristics that people born in the year of the horse have – active and energetic being two of them. It is a fun way to learn about the Chinese Zodiac and the Year of the Horse plus it has a fun story.
    *NOTE I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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