Lunar New Year

illus. by Alina Chau. 24p. (Celebrate the World). Little Simon. Dec. 2018. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781534433038.
RedReviewStarPreS-Gr 1—A lively family of five and their relatives are the centerpiece of this new entry in the series. In this standout introduction to Lunar New Year, the holiday's origins and the concept of the Chinese zodiac are explained. Then, it's time for the family to cook, clean, and decorate in preparation for the festivities. Important traditions and symbols of the festival are presented, along with key themes of the holiday, such as luck and prosperity. The information is supplemented by Chau's vibrant organic illustrations that brim with life. They deftly blend the look of traditional Chinese painting on pages showing ancient myths with more contemporary illustrations depicting modern New Year celebrations. The text is longer and more involved than is typically found in board book selections.
VERDICT The bright, playful illustrations and descriptive text make Lunar New Year an outstanding introduction to the holiday for children.

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