Reviews for Thanking the Moon : Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Booklist Reviews 2010 September #2
Under a full harvest moon, a Chinese American family unpacks their car, sets out a drop cloth and lanterns, and enjoys fruit, moon cakes, and tea at a "nighttime picnic." They honor the mid-autumn moon with moments of quiet thanks and private wishes as they celebrate the traditional Chinese holiday with other families. In an appended note, author Lin describes the thanksgiving tradition, citing moon stories and explaining the symbolism of round-shaped cups, fruit, and lanterns. For younger children, the slender narrative provides just enough of an introduction; for school-age children, the author's note provides a cultural context. Objects mentioned in the narrative are easily identified in the vivid gouache illustrations. Luminous faces reflect the brightness of the full moon, casting light in the dark night. A beautiful, welcome choice for multicultural studies, this also adds diversity to autumnal thanksgiving themes.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Spare text describes a family's observance of the Moon Festival. Understated gouache illustrations show the family members laying out a nighttime picnic while the sky, growing slowly darker on each spread, sets the scene for the glowing moon. Information about the celebration--"the thanksgiving holiday for the Chinese and many other Asian peoples"--and its symbols is appended. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 September #1

Opposing the exuberant energy found by this same Chinese-American family in Bringing in the New Year (2008), the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is a much more contemplative and quiet observance. The story begins on the title page, the family in their car driving toward the moon. There is a hush as they admire the moon in the sky. Then everyone does their part to help set up the nighttime picnic. The moon-honoring table is arranged, sweet mooncakes are eaten and rounded cups of tea are carefully poured. Children then parade with bright paper lanterns, and everyone sends a secret, unspoken wish up to the moon. Not all is solemnity: "Mei-Mei plays with the pale green pomelo peel," as Ma-Ma chuckles. A gentle text and Lin's rounded art style with her signature night-sky swirls lend themselves nicely to the moon symbolism that is so very important to this celebration. An endnote further describes the festival, emphasizing families coming together, just like the moon returning to its fullness. (Picture book. 4-8)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2010 September

PreS-Gr 3--In the style of Bringing in the New Year (Knopf, 2009), Lin fashions a child-friendly introduction to the mid-autumn harvest moon festival with engagingly simple text and colorful, oversize gouache illustrations. A family travels to a moonlit meadow where each individual helps with preparations for a nighttime picnic. The full moon's shape symbolizes harmony and wholeness, and the family members unpack round-shaped fruit and paper lanterns. The young narrator pours round cups of tea, and everyone nibbles on soft, sweet mooncakes. As a glowing moon "peacefully watches over all of us," the family sends their secret wishes to it and relishes being together. The writing is concise and accessible, and an author's note adds further information on the holiday and its significance. The inviting nocturnal landscapes are vivid with interesting details, and readers will long to join in this peaceful celebration.--Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA

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