I Love Chinese New Year

Publisher: Scholastic

Mai-Anne is so excited – it’s the night before Chinese New Year and she can’t wait to see her family. First, her grandmother, her Nai Nai, arrives, and admires the red lanterns and the green bamboo sticks Mai-Anne helped her parents put up around their house. They eat the most important dinner of the year – noodles for a long life, dumplings for special blessings and nian gao, which means ‘climb to success’. Then Mai-Anne and Nai Nai settle down together and Nai Nia tells her the story of the Great Race, when twelve animals raced to cross the most heavenly of rivers. Rat came first and Pig last, but each has their individual strengths. Once Uncle Eric arrives, they can perform their family Dragon Dance and eat the lucky sweet tangerines.

This warm, family-focused story is a gentle introduction to the traditions of Chinese New Year for those who don’t celebrate it, and for those who do, it will remind them how special it is. The lively illustrations are vibrantly colourful and full of energy, and there are a couple of pages at the back with lucky facts about Chinese New Year and the Dragon Dance. This would be a delightful book to share with a class.

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