Reviews for Bringing in the New Year

Booklist Reviews 2007 December #2
Like Janet Wong's This Next New Year (2000), this cheerful title follows a girl and her family as they get ready for Chinese New Year. In minimal text printed in large type, the young narrator describes how each member of her family prepares: Ma-Ma makes 'get-rich dumplings,' little sister Mei Mei gets a haircut, and Ba-Ba hangs the spring happiness poems. Auntie awakens the colorful dragon puppet by painting in its eyes, and the ceremony begins. Lin's artwork takes center stage with brilliantly hued, gouache paintings that capture a family's loving, festive, holiday bustle and create a mood that will resonate strongly with many children, regardless of their cultural background. Particularly eye-catching is the celebratory, gatefold spread of the long, dancing dragon, which closes the story. An appended author's note gives more background on each of the many customs, which are reinforced in the endpapers featuring symbolic objects a broom, a bowl of oranges mentioned in the text. A warm, celebratory introduction to the lunar festival. Copyright 2007 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2007 December #1
"Is the New Year coming?" One girl waits with bated breath in this child's-eye view of the Chinese celebration. Each member of her family has a role to play, from sweeping the old year from the house and hanging the spring-happiness poems, to making get-rich dumplings and getting a haircut. Eventually, the girl dons her qi pao dress for a delicious feast. She listens to firecrackers in anticipation, but it's still not time for the New Year to arrive. A parade of lions appears to scare away bad luck from the previous year, and children carry lanterns to light the way. At last, thanks to Auntie, a dragon awakens and unfurls in a striking three-page spread, ushering in the New Year in a satisfying conclusion. Simple, energetic language and colorful, appealing art make this a perfect introduction to the holiday, particularly for young children. Includes a note on some of the traditions and symbols surrounding the festivities and endpapers illustrating many of the accoutrements. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 January #1
Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin introduces readers to the traditions surrounding the Lunar New Year as a young girl and her family (from Fortune Cookie Fortunes) prepare to celebrate. Cleaning house, making "get-rich" dumplings, watching fireworks and other activities lead up to a lucky dragon parade featured on a fold-out spread. (Knopf, $15.99 34p ages 3-6 ISBN 9780-375-83745-6; Jan.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 March

PreS-Gr 2-- A cheery illustration shows Chinese parents and their three daughters looking out their window, while the simple text reads: "Is the New Year coming? I hope so! We try to welcome it in." Narrated by one of the girls, this buoyant book describes preparations for celebrating the Lunar New Year, as family members sweep out the old year with a broom, hang "spring-happiness poems," make "get-rich dumplings," get haircuts, and don new clothing. The lustrous gouache illustrations are saturated with bold primary colors and deftly convey the joyousness of the festivities. In one painting, a parade of children carrying lanterns lights the way for the New Year, while another features people costumed to represent symbolically the lions that will scare away "last year's bad luck" and the dragon that escorts in the New Year. A lovely spread with a foldout page shows the lucky dragon, which has been awakened by having his eyes painted on, surrounded by celebrants banging drums and gongs and blowing noisemakers. Information about the holiday is appended and the endpapers highlight different elements connected with it: a red envelope, firecrackers, a spring lantern, etc. A wonderful and much-needed addition to Chinese New Year literature.--Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA

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