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Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year Library Binding – August, 1991


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Library Binding, August, 1991
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Trade (August 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590430467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590430463
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 10.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-- In brief, simple sentences, Ernie Wan describes his Chinese -American family's celebration of the lunar New Year. Ernie lives in New York City's Chinatown, where traditions are rooted in the culture of southern China. Ernie's father, a kung fu master, choreographs The Lion Dance, the center of the community celebration and a major tourist attraction. This year, Ernie dances in the place of honor under the lion's head. Color photographs depict private and public festivities. Brown's Chinese New Year (Holt, 1987), reported in third person, gives more general information about Chinese traditions. Set in San Francisco's Chinatown and portraying the same regional customs in black-and-white photographs, Brown's book explains how the date for New Year is determined (something Lion Dancer never mentions) and emphasizes the variety of ways in which Chinese people celebrate this all-important holiday. Both books include a chart of the 12-year Chinese zodiac; Lion Dancer adds a horoscope for each of the animal signs. Hou-Tien Cheng's The Chinese New Year (Holt, 1976) tells how the holiday is celebrated in China. Brown's book remains the best overall introduction to the Chinese-American celebration, with Lion Dancer a strong supplement for its immediacy, its vibrant color, and its sympathetic look at a Chinese family. --Margaret A. Chang, Buxton School, Williamstown, MA
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Author Kate Waters was born on September 4, 1951, in Rochester, NY. She went on to earn a B.A. from Newtown College of the Sacred Heart (Boston College) and a M.L.S. from Simmons’ Graduate School of Library and Information Science. She grew up in a big family in which storytelling was very important. She worked as a librarian for ten years at the Boston Public Library. There she became very interested in telling stories to young people and finding out what they enjoyed reading. She moved to New York where she worked on a children’s magazine. While working at the magazine, she started to think about new ways to present history and traditions to children. Her books include pictures of actors depicting the stories Kate writes. In addition, her books have been praised for their content and have won many awards. Kate currently lives in New York City.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
The students in my class loved this book.
Kevin Arnold
The book follows Ernie Wan through his preparation to his first lion dance one Chinese New Year's day in New York's Chinatown.
Anthony E. Maddela
I thought the book was very interesting with wonderful pictures for children to look at.
Melvin Roberts Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 11, 1998
Format: Library Binding
This book is one of my favorite books for Chinese New Year celebration. The authors successfully capture the lively and warm atmosphere of New Year celebrating among Chinese. Through the realistic photograph as well as the text, the authors show readers the custom of the Chinese New Year, such as offering food and incense at the altar and wearing new clothes in New Year. In addition, the authors also appendix the Chinese horoscope to the end of the book. The Chinese horoscope is an important part of the Chinese culture and is still widely used among the Chinese community. The Chinese characters in the horoscope are also written correctly and beautifully in Chinese paint brush to represent the artistic aspect of Chinese writing system.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anthony E. Maddela on March 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have small children,their first encounter with the lion can be the stuff bad dreams are made of. Our 16-month-old son was both frightened and intrigued by the lion that came to the Chinese restaurant where our friends' son was enjoying his first birthday. The book follows Ernie Wan through his preparation to his first lion dance one Chinese New Year's day in New York's Chinatown. You see the customs and rituals that lead up to his debut. More important, you see the closeness of his family and the value of rites of passage in gathering people together. My family is not Chinese but my wife and I have immigrant parents. If you are trying to demonstrate why maintaining your cultural heritage is worthwhile, Lion Dancer will support your cause. My son literally drools on the pictures of the Chinese dishes and the kung-fu kicks of the lions amid the firecracker smoke. If I have a single criticism, it's that the pages of this paperback will fall out after repeated reading. And if I'm entitled to menion one mature indulgence, the book includes a section describing the personalities of the various animals in the Chinese lunar year. You might agree that the year you were born is more telling than the month.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Melvin Roberts Jr. on September 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I thought the book was very interesting with wonderful pictures

for children to look at. Despite being written for children to enjoy, it gave some insight to anyone, curious about this aspect of Chinese culture.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AllForKids on February 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great non-fiction about Chinese New Year, for ages 4-12! The text is simple enough for younger children and detailed enough to really be informative for older children. Following a young child through his preparations for the celebration immediately brings young readers (and listeners)into the story. Vivid photographs of familiar and novel scenes help children to relate to Ernie Wan while learning about a significant aspect of his culture. Rather than lecturing the reader, this book invites the reader to share in one boy's celebration of the Chinese New Year while teaching about the holiday at the same time. This book has been well-loved by my children (now ages 8, 10, 12) for many years. We are now on our second copy of the book! It comes out every Chinese New Year, and even some other times through out the year. My children often ask to take this book to school to share at Chinese New Year. (Bonus: inside the back cover is an explanation of the Chinese zodiac with years and personality traits.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on December 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Follow Ernie Wan and his family throughout a traditional Chinese (Cantonese) New Year Celebration! Colorful photos and detailed text provide good insight to a fascinating and beautiful culture! Photos of New York's Chinatown and Chinese schools are accompanied by cultural facts. From kung fu school to New Year traditions, this book is more than I expected. The Lion Dance is covered very well, but is certainly not the sole topic of this outstanding book! Ages 4 and up.

For my preschool class, I am pairing this book with an 11' long paper dragon and a stuffed dragon puppet. The children will be making paper lanterns and sampling various Chinese foods. They should really enjoy the unit on Chinese New Year!

Gung-Hey-Fat-Choy! Happy New Year!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Molloy on August 30, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son (2yrs) got this book and loves it so much!

the colors and real life action!!

he loves to watch kids do karate!

i recommend highly!
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By Persop on September 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
The book while written for children is one of the better books on Chinese New Year. It takes place in NYC and is more Chinese in nature. It will bring slightly more reality as well as family life and circle. Photos are excellent. You could easily envision them having emanated from a family album.It may not cause respect but will be better understood. That can breed tolerance.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book for Chinese New Year this year, and the kids loved it! They were quite interested in the boys adventure, and they loved the goodies he got during the show! The images are a bit old, but the story is still intriguing for little minds ;)
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