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Year of the dragon

Cover of Lunar New Year
A review of Lunar New Year by

Last weekend was the celebration of the Lunar New Year and it is now the Year of the Dragon. How cool is that? For those of you who celebrated and those who want to learn a bit more, here are a couple new favorites of mine.

Dim Sum Palace by X. Fang
“Liddy was excited for bedtime because the next day her family was going to the Dim Sum Palace” this magical picture book begins. “Is it a real palace? Will I meet an empress?” Liddy asks. “You’ll just have to wait and see!” Mom replies. As Liddy falls asleep, a magical smell wafts through her room. What follows is a magical and hysterical dream as Liddy explores a true Dim Sum Palace, meets the empress, but is accidently… turned into a dumpling!! This picture book will have you in fits of giggles, I know my own kids always ask for seconds - Again! And it will definitely make you hungry. It will definitely inspire you to get your own Dim Sum and hopefully for you, just like Liddy, it will taste better than even your wildest dream!

Dumplings - with or without a Liddy inside! - are a traditional festival food and often associated with celebrations like the Lunar New Year. Enjoy this book with a traditional dumpling to celebrate this February!
Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite Foods by Grace Lin
This new book from award winning author and illustrator Grace Lin is so good you are going to want to go back for seconds. Literally - I started by listening to the audio version of this book, the perfect way to enjoy this collection of 40 bite sized Chinese myths and legends that invite the oral storytelling tradition. But knowing about Grace Lin’s amazing illustrations and the Caldecott Award buzz around this book, I had to check out a physical copy too! While it didn’t win the Caldecott, this book is still an absolute treat (and it will make you hungry!). In her signature style Grace Lin tells the histories and shares traditional stories of favorite foods you’ll find on a Chinese Menu. This book has everything - adventures, dragons, clever characters, and Grace’s own personal stories of enjoying the foods in her Chinese American family. Great for a read aloud with a younger child or for a middle grader to devour on their own.

This book is an excellent window to learn the stories that surround favorite treats to celebrate the Lunar New Year and many other traditional celebration foods in Chinese culture too!

Feb 16, 2024