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

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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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

Martha Cooper is a New-York based photojournalist. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.
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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 (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,200,003 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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My third grade students really related well to Ernie Wan, a child about their age, as he shared all about the preparations and traditions of Chinese New Year. This book really instilled the concepts of pride and respect for family and ancestors, The photographs conveyed the excitement of the holiday's celebrations.
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My class likes this book! We learn about Chinese New Year and I use this book because the story is told from the boy's point of view . He is participating in the Lion Dance. It is interesting and has many colorful pictures.
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I liked this book, but it was a little long for my preschool children's attention span. It does a great job of going through a real child's experience with a Chinese New Year parade where he participates, wearing the lion's head.
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I am a kindergarten teacher, and my class learns about Chinese New Year every year and we do a related art project. Of all the books I have seen on Chinese New Year, this one is my favorite. It goes through the planning and then New Year Day, seen though the eyes of a young boy. His family participates in a parade with a lion dance, and Ernie is in the parade this year.
It has great pictures, and easy to understand language. Perfect for kindergarten age.
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When I was 6 years old I narrated a tape cassette to go along with the original publication of this book. You can't find it anymore, unfortunately, but it has kept the book in a special place in my family and my heart. (If you want proof you can find the info here: [...]
It is simply the tale of a young boy as he journeys to understand and perform one of the quintessential parts of his cultural heritage. When I was a young boy my parents took me through the parade lines during Chinese New Year on the streets of New York City. Those experiences are forever tied up with the contents of this book. The sounds of the drums, the smoke from the firecrackers, the cold touch of the winter wind. The photographs in the book are beautiful, the story simple and not overbearing. Children will love it, adults may think fondly back on the times they themselves took part in the festive celebrations. It is a treasure, and it is why this book has stood the test of time and continues to deliver even now.

-Brian W. Chu
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