27 January 2009

Chinese New Year: The Books

Lion Dancer by Katie Waters and Madeline Slovenz-Low

A great look into Chinese-American culture and traditions, especially the celebration of the Chinese New Year. It would be very easy to probe deeper about cultural aspects such as Chinese writing, martial arts, cooking, and Buddhism. Vocabulary: Buddhism, honor, firecrackers.

Celebrating Chinese New Year by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith

This book is somewhat similar to Lion Dance in that it follows actual Chinese-American boy during the period of Chinese New Year and looks at varying aspects of the culture and celebration, but they are each unique enough to make both books worth a look. This one may prove to be a bit long and wordy for my kindergartener, so we may choose to focus on the pictures and my own summaries. Check out the glossary in the back for vocabulary words and definitions.

Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn

This fictional account of a young boy deciding what to do with his New Year money is set in an urban Chinatown in the midst Of New Year celebrations. Becoming familiar with some of the customs and traditions of the New Year celebration first will prevent being distracted from the heart of the story, a tale of generosity and unselfishness. Vocabulary: leisees

Why Rat Comes First by Clara Yen

A funny little fable that could be summarized as children love a giant rat. This book introduces the 12 zodiac animals and the concept of fable. Vocabulary: clever, popularity, banquet.

Dragon Dancing by Carole Lexa Schaefer

While not specifically about Chinese New Year it features a Chinese dragon reminiscent of the holiday. A fun basic reader book based on imaginative play. Lots of tricky nonsense words good for sounding out practice.

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