I was thinking the other day that I want to travel. Well, since my bank account really laughed at me, I decided to go to the bookstore and find some books. And since I am spoiled, I found two books in online reader copies to read. The first Tomorrow Is New Year’s Day: Seollal, A Korean Celebration of the Lunar New Year by Aram Kim and the second was One White Crane: A Bilingual Counting Book of the Months by Vickie Lee and illustrated by Joey Chou.
As a bookseller people always look at me funny when I say, Go to the Library and see if you like them before buying. These books are those types of books. I don’t work on commission, so if I see you are not sure, I am not going to force you. Though I do want you to try them. You never know what you could find this way. And then you’ll come back to me and want to buy copies for yourself and get others by the author.
With Kim’s book, I will look for other books by the same author, but I might not purchase this one. However, it would be a great one to add to a classroom studying the Lunar New Year. The theme is a young girl who is excited about her favorite holiday, the new year celebration, and wants to share it with her classmates. However, her little brother has ideas of his own and almost ruins her presentation. I liked everything until the melted down by the brother. It felt forced and not needed. It takes away from the subject and the young girl’s enthusiasm. The artwork is sweet, and not overly crowded, in fact, it sometimes felt naked with the lack of details. Though it is good at showing a diverse cast and giving us something we are perhaps not familiar with.
Now, with Vickie Lee’s story (and again as an online reader, therefore, I am not sure of exact size) I am thinking this would be a great baby shower gift for a family who is bilingual in English and Chinese. Now, I am not sure if it is more Mandarin or Cantonese leaning because I know nothing about the language, but there is a lot going on and therefore, it looks like there is something for everyone. And even if you just read the English parts, you will find an amazing book. This tells you the months of the year, colors and numbers. And while those are simple concepts, there is just something more. Chou’s illustrations are lovely, in a very simple but not simplistic manner.