Dragon Noodle Party

Holiday House. Dec. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823449507.
PreS-Gr 2–The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac are off to a celebration. Each one will contribute a food item, condiment, or utensil necessary for preparing and eating a special dish. Snake is the only one who brings nothing along. But readers can quickly forgive his negligence, as we soon learn that a surprise is in store for Snake. It’s his birthday, and his friends will honor him with the traditional dish of noodles wrapped around Dragon’s long, lean body. Long noodles—as the back matter explains—are symbolic of a long life. The bright illustrations appear in elongated strips that amplify this idea. The cover art includes the years for each animal’s sign, and back matter offers information on each animal’s traits. An explanation of the cyclical calendar is provided, as well as a recipe for dragon beard noodles. This playful take on a child-friendly topic will resonate with kids familiar with Chinese customs and will inform and delight others.
VERDICT A worthy addition to multicultural resources that will shine during Chinese New Year and throughout all the seasons.

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