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Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Dragon New Year Book Review for Multicultural Children's Book Day & Chinese New Year Blog Series

Disclosure: Peachtree Publishers sent me a copy of this book free of charge to review. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As in all my reviews I am providing links for your ease, but receive no compensation.


Today I am going to review my second book for Multicultural Children's Book Day (MCCBD). On Monday I reviewed the first book, Endeavour's Long Journey. There I shared all the exciting things going on with MCCBD. MCCBD is a national event which  Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom created to celebrate diversity in children's books. MCCBD team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media. This year's MCCBD is January 27th! The 2015 sponsors for MCCBD are: 













http://peachtree-online.com/index.php/book/dragon-new-year.html
Our book today is The Dragon New Year: A Chinese Legend by David Bouchard. Upon receiving this book, I knew it was the perfect way to start preparing for our Chinese New Year celebrations and discussion. Therefore this will also be my first post for the Multicultural Kid Blogs Chinese New Year Blog Series and Giveaway. More details about all of this below including the giveaway!!
Above is a video of Hazel demonstrating our Chinese firecracker craft. More on the craft later, but for now the sound matters. The book begins with a young Chinese girl asking her grandmother not to leave her alone with all the loud noise and bright lights of the new year celebration going on in the streets. Her grandmother explains that it is because of the loud noise and bright lights that she is safe and then tells her the story of the dragon, New Year. 
The grandmother tells the young girl how a long time ago a water dragon named New Year would come out of the water every year at this time to find food. The villagers all ran for the hills and forest to hide so they would not be New Year's meal that year. One year a young fisherman stays in the water too long and gets eaten by New Year. His mother witnesses it from the top of a hill. She is grief-stricken and the following year refuses to leave with her neighbors. Once the village is empty she has a stranger knock on her door who soon tells her what they must do to keep New Year from eating them and coming back. He tells her to cook their meal outside and make as much noise as she can chopping and banging. She does this and the man lights a huge bonfire. The dragon is startled by the noise since under the water it is so quiet and he fears the fire since he has never seen it. The fire conquers the dragon and he retreats and is never seen again. However every year the villagers now make noise and light firecrackers to ensure New Year does not return. 
The paintings in the book by Zhong Yang Huang are beautiful. The quality of the book is very high. We really enjoyed this book. In fact Hazel is a bit upset that we are donating it to the library as part of Multicultural Children's Book Day. She really loves it. She made me promise to take it out of the library after we donate it. 
 For our first craft I printed out several of the heads and tails of dragons for a dragon puppet. The pictures came from Krokotak (which is not in English, but has the printables). We each chose one and colored them in. Then we picked a piece of paper to be the body and folded it in accordion style. We glued our heads and tails on and Hazel taped the sticks to the back. She demonstrated the puppet in the picture above a bit. She also kept attacking me with the dragons and has informed me they are both hers.
 Our second craft was to make Chinese firecrackers. We followed somewhat the tutorial on Grace Lin Blog. We only had the larger bubble bubble wrap to make the noise of the firecracker. I used ribbon for my trim and printed us the Chinese word, Fu or luck. Hazel went over her Chinese letters with gold glitter glue and decorated with it. Once she understood the firecrackers had to be lit, she made a pretend match for us to light them. She used a piece of straw and large red pipe cleaner. She is becoming so creative! You can see her "light" one of them in the video with the sound effects and all. And now onto the Chinese New Year Series and Giveaway. I will be reviewing several of these books later in this series, but I have already reviewed All About China and A Little Mandarin.

Chinese New Year | Multicultural Kid Blogs
This post is part of the Chinese New Year series and giveaway on Multicultural Kid Blogs. Enter our giveaway to win one of these great prize packages, and don't forget to link up your own posts about Chinese New Year on our main page!
Giveaway begins Jan. 21 and goes through midnight ET on March 5, 2015. Enter below for a chance to win! Remember you can make a comment on the blog post of a different co-host each day for an additional entry.

First Prize Package

All About China
From Tuttle Publishing, All About China: Take the whole family on a whirlwind tour of Chinese history and culture with this delightfully illustrated book that is packed with stories, activities and games. Travel from the stone age through the dynasties to the present day with songs and crafts for kids that will teach them about Chinese language and the Chinese way of life.
Long-Long's New Year
Also from Tuttle Publishing, Long-Long's New Year, a beautifully illustrated picture book about a little Chinese boy named Long-Long, who accompanies his grandfather into the city to sell cabbages in order to buy food and decorations for the New Year. Selling cabbages is harder than Long-Long expects, and he encounters many adventures before he finds a way to help his grandfather, and earn New Year's treats for his mother and little cousin.
A Little Mandarin
From A Little Mandarin, a CD featuring a collection of Chinese children’s classics – songs loved by families in China for generations – given new life with a contemporary sound and voice. The 15 tracks fuse rock, pop, dance, ska, and hip hop influences with playful lyrics to make it a unique and fun learning companion for all ages. Featured on Putumayo Kids Presents World Sing-Along.

Second Prize Package

US shipping only
Celebrating the Chinese New Year
From Tuttle Publishing, Celebrating the Chinese New Year, in which Little Mei's grandfather tells her the stories of Nian and the monster Xi for Chinese New Year.
The Sheep Beauty
Also from Tuttle Publishing, The Sheep Beauty, which brings to life the kindness and generosity of those born under the sign of the sheep in the Chinese zodiac.
Chinese Zodiac Animals
Also from Tuttle Publishing, Chinese Zodiac Animals, a fun and informative way to learn about the ancient Chinese Zodiac, explaining the traits of each animal sign and what luck the future might hold for the person born under that sign.
Monkey Drum
From Tiny Tapping Toes, a monkey drum, plus a free pdf of a craft version. World Music children's performer DARIA has spent the last two decades performing in the USA and around the world, creating music to inspire all the world’s children and allowing children to become a part of the celebration and the fun of exploring world cultures.
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