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Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes Hardcover – October 1, 2002


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Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes + Chinese Children's Favorite Stories
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First edition, first printing (full number line) edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152019839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152019839
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz and the Children's Museum, Boston, illus. by Meilo So, each of a quartet of holidays includes a brief background and introduces a bevy of crafts, recipes and legends. "The Story of the Kitchen God" kicks off the section on the Chinese New Year (and the reason behind serving the traditional tanggua, or candied melons); a recipe for Five-Treasure Moon Cakes stuffed with apricot preserves, pitted dates, sweet coconut and raisins helps youngsters celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Step-by-step illustrations aid in food preparation or crafts such as New Year Prints or Good Luck Characters in this elegantly designed volume.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-This book features five holidays: Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival, Qing Ming, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Each section begins with a one-page description of the history and customs of the festival and is followed by a four- to six-page story, from one to three recipes, and two or three crafts or games. The headings on each page appear in both English typeface and Chinese calligraphy; a guide to Chinese pronunciation is included. The ample white space surrounding the text is filled with small, whimsical watercolor illustrations. Each of the four sections is introduced by a dynamic, detailed watercolor painting on a double-page spread. They include a dragon parade complete with fireworks, kites flying above a family honoring ancestors at a grave, a dragon boat race, and preparations for a moon ceremony. A two-page resource section is divided into three parts: of interest to adults, of interest to young readers, and Internet sources. Most books for young readers about Chinese holidays stress Chinese New Year; only two others feature the full range of annual festivals. Carol Stepanchuk's Red Eggs & Dragon Boats (Pacific View, 1994) is a shorter book with a similar scope, but fewer recipes and crafts/activities. Judith Karen Gee's A Book of Chinese Festivals (Steam RR, 1989; o.p.) offers a brief description of each holiday but no recipes or other activities. Moonbeams is a useful, visually appealing addition to any holiday collection.
Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Nina Simonds is one of the country's leading authorities on Asian cooking and is an award-winning journalist. She is the author of 11 books on Chinese cuisine and culture, including the best-selling Asian Noodles and A Spoonful of Ginger, which won both the IACP and the James Beard Foundation Book Award for health. Simonds' last book Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health was selected by Cooking Light Magazine as their #1 choice for the best "Healthy" cookbook published in the last 25 years. She has won three James Beard awards. Her website with innovative video blogs (www.spicesoflife.com) was launched in February of 2007 and is featured regularly on The Daily Beast. Her articles have appeared at GourmetLive.com, Epicurious.com, and in the "Off Duty" section of The Wall Street Journal.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
The watercolors/illustrations are beautiful to look at too.
Lola
Concrete and abstract examples of Chinese culture, good for children of different ages.
Alicia Nossov
This book offers tales, recipes and other great information about holidays etc.
Denice, Sanatoga, PA

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Lola on November 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
... I was looking for Chinese folk tales. What a great surprise! I am totally envious of kids today who get books like these -- how I wish they had something like this when I was little so that I would have been more familiar with my own cultural background. The book is organized by following the Chinese traditions/festivals/holidays through the course of a year. Stories, recipes, activities are paired with each holiday to give you a full sense of what happens on each one of these special occasions. I recognized bits and pieces of the folklore from the stories that my mom and grandparents told me when I was growing up...so it really feels authentic (not watered down) yet still accessible. The watercolors/illustrations are beautiful to look at too. Highly recommended.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Norman D. Levine on October 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
what a delight for children and their parents and teachers!! in a world consumed by suspicion and fear of "the other" here is a wonderful and friendly guide to a culture teeming with fabulous cuisine and colorful celebrations. this is indeed one world, and introducing young children to each other in this gentle journey through kitchen and holidays has to point to a better world for all children. beautiful, colorful, easy to follow recipes, and wonderfully interesting, this book is a winner! enthusiastically recommended! norman d. levine, md
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "lukes_madre" on December 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully executed book. The watercolors alone are worth the purchase, but it also includes very clever, not too difficult activities. How can you not be enthralled by thousands of years-old traditions and folklore??
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By North America Book Review on January 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
From Nina Simonds, comes an entertaining activity book that combines the enchantment of ancient Chinese tales with lessons of tradition and history. A blending of delightful storytelling and colorful illustration makes this a cultural delight.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Angela Y. Shew on December 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely fantastic in it's overall illustrative, watercolor depictions of bringing about the folktales and legends to life that have influenced the Chinese holidays I have come to know and celebrate. There are great craft activities on making dragon boats for the Dragon boat festival, fabulous recipes you can make to enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine, as well reading entertaining stories from which these legends originated from. I have bought this book mainly to gain some insight into the story behind the Spring Festival of the Kitchen God for my Oral Communications Speech, and it's provided me with a recipe along with illustrations which my friend has used for our Power Point presentation. I would recammend this book to anyone looking to explore the history of Chinese culture and cuisine because it has been valuable to me.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Liow Kah Joon on December 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I found this book on Amazon while writing my children's book. "Moonbeams" is a delightful children's book. Combining the legends, activities and recipes for each Chinese festival is a clever and useful idea that is carried out very well in this book.

A friend borrowed my copy a few months ago and it looks like the book's not coming back!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alicia Nossov on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very pretty book for those of us visual learners. Concrete and abstract examples of Chinese culture, good for children of different ages.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Neumann on December 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is filled with inspirational stories, fantastic recipies, and nifty craft ideas - perfect for celbrating all chinese holidays - great to share with your child
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