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Lucky New Year! with Flaps, Pop-Ups, and More! Board book – December 9, 2008
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About the Author
Mary Man-Kong is also the author of The Spooky Smells of Halloween and other delightful children’s books. She lives in New York, New York.
Chi Chung is an experienced children’s book illustrator. Her vibrant, joyful paintings have brought delight to children everywhere.
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Top customer reviews
This 2nd copy is for my 2nd daughter. It is a fun and animated way to teach my kids the traditions of Chinese New Year.
On the matter of sequence of activities, chronologically we (from Southeast China where we do say "gung hay fat choy" (Cantonese) instead of "gongxi facai" (Mandarin)) clean house and decorate it before the new year but the book's first page has the children shouting "gung hay fat choy" before it is even new year - this does not make any sense.
If I would have organized this book I would have had the pages about
1. cleaning up and decorating for the new year come first,
2. then lead into the year end dinner feast;
3. then new years such as receiving "hong bao" from mom and dad when we wake up on New Year's Day;
4. then we dress up in our new clothes
5. go celebrate and enjoy the lion dancers, the dragon dance, firecrackers, and all;
6. then go to visit the relatives and greet people you know with "gung hay fat choy" (I would have added "xinnian kuaile" which means happy new year preceding saying "gongxi facai" or "gung hay fat choy" because you don't just greet someone with "gung hay fat choy" as you would wish them a happy new year first; then usually if it is a married family friend or relative whom one had greeted would give one "hong bao" (red envelope with money).
7. And then a feast to open up the new year.
I want my 3 year old toddler to learn the right sequence of the general events and this book will not do that, but rather passively, out of order, introduce a child to activities and some things related to Chinese New Year.
Note: The end of year big dinner feast is a very huge and important event but it is not mentioned in the book, but instead they talk about going out for dimsum and noodles on Chinese New Year Day which is not as widely practiced as the end of year dinner preceding the new year.
On a more positive note, what I do like about this book are the flaps; the one pop-up at the end of the book, and the zodiac calendar. I found all the interactive pieces to be impressive with the exception of the firecrackers - no popping sound, only barely there rustling plastic sheet sound. On the zodiac calendar, I am not sure what the characters beneath each English word (such as boar, rat, etc.) mean and why they would correspond with the English text - in it's place I would have liked to have seen the actual Chinese character for each zodiac in either Simplified or Traditional Chinese character.
The other two books we own "Binging In the New Year" by Grace Lin and "Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year Lift-The-Flap Book" by Joan Holub have better storylines and/or more correct sequence of events than this book. But the other two books lack dazzling/engaging props that makes this book alluring. The perfect Chinese New Year Book would be a good mix of the three books.
I do use the props in this book to aid me in telling my 3 year old about Chinese New Year but I don't bother reading the text in the book. And I flip back and forth to between the pages to paint a chronological sequence of events -- and oh I skip the dimsum part but I do talk about the noodle because long noodles represent longevity, and that is why it is popular in our culture.
An added personal note: I was able to coax my toddler into a haircut before Chinese New Year by reading to him over and over "Bringing In the New Year" by Grace Lin -- on page 9 & 10 it reads "Mei-Mei gets a fresh haircut." and the illustrations depicts mama giving meimei a haircut. My son was excited to go get his haircut until he got to the salon - he just hates haircuts in general but we got his hair cut a week before Chinese New Year. Score!
- zodiac calendar that you can turn
- tab to pull for mom to sweep
- orange sticker to scratch and sniff
- dim sum covers to lift
- tab to pull chopsticks holding noodles
- red envelope with coin inside
- crackling firecrackers (although it doesn't crackle very much)
- tab to pull to open and shut lion dancer's eyes and mouth
- two page pop up dragon parade
My daughter enjoys it so much, she has asked me to read this several times a day everyday for the past week.
FYI: This book uses the Cantonese pronunciation for the Chinese New Year greeting "Gung Hay Fat Choy" instead of the Mandarin version "Gung Xi Fa Cai".