Gung Hay Fat Choy! Or Happy New Year. Friday February 16, 2018 the Year of the Dog begins. Many traditions surround this holiday. One of my personal ones is to read books about the Chinese New Year.
Two new (to me) books, are Ruby’s Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee and Joey Chou and Home for Chinese New Year: A Story Told in English and Chinese by Wei Jie and Xu Can.
Ruby’s Chinese New Year hints at Little Red Riding Hood and tells the story of how the Zodiac was given which animal would represent which year. This year is the dog (for those interested I am, by the quirk of the western calendar, a Rabbit. However, if you go by the fact the new year started in February that year, I am a Tiger). Included is the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for crafts. The bright colors of the illustrations and modern text creates an introduction to another holiday and another culture.
Home for Chinese New Year is told in English and Chinese. This makes the eye take a minute to adjust to reading it, but allows for a different kind of book from the “same old” story. The story is more mature than the other in this review, therefore, not meant for under 5 or 6 years old. The story and tone have less action, the colors are muted to fit the mood of the story and this makes it not for the active child. Also, due to the nature of the story, not recommended for a more sensitive child. Yet, would recommend for older children and adults. It is a story of trying to come home and how there is no sacrifice too big to make.