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The Dragon New Year: A Chinese Legend by…

The Dragon New Year: A Chinese Legend

by David Bouchard

Other authors: Zhong-Yang Huang (Illustrator)

Series: Chinese Legends Trilogy

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In this original fairy-tale, David Bouchard - a Canadian children's author of Metis descent - imagines how the Chinese New Year's celebration may have originally come to be. Using the framework of a grandmother comforting her frightened grandchild, by telling her a story, The Dragon New Year transports readers to a long-ago time, when a hungry dragon used to appear on land every year, gorging himself on the hapless human residents, before returning to the sea. One year, an old woman, grieving for the son killed by the dragon the year before, finds a most unexpected visitor on her doorstep, and together, she and the Buddha devise a plan to frighten the dragon away...

As a fellow reviewer has already noted, this title won the Canadian Library Association's 2000 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, and Zhong-Yang Huang certainly deserved the honor! His illustrations make wonderful use of light and color, whether depicting the serene Buddha on the doorstep, or the fierce fire-man that battles the dragon. The story, unfortunately, was a little disappointing, partly because I picked it up expecting a real Chinese myth, rather than an original creation. In any case, this Chinese New Year title is worth looking at, for the artwork alone. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Apr 29, 2013 |
David Bouchard’s The Dragon New Year, is the retelling of how the New Year came to be. This is a touching story told by a grandmother to her granddaughter who is frightened by the loud commotion and bright lights of the celebration outside her window. There is a very nice explanation of Buddha, the Dragon, and the New Year in the back of the book that compliments the story.

I would definitely use this book during a unit on China and the Chinese New Year. I would have the students make firework art with glitter, make dragons, and maybe even noise makers.
  SavanahDayhoff | Oct 19, 2010 |
The Story Dragon New Year is about a Chinese grandmother and her granddaughter. It starts of with the little girl frightened by fireworks. When her grandmother comes and is asked to tell the story of the new year. The new year began back in time. Were a dragon would come and fest on a village. One day a young fisher man was out at sea at the arrival of the dragon. The young man fight fore shore but never makes it and the dragon eat him. His mother was at the top of a mountain and spots the whole thing and hopes the dragon bring her son back. The following year her town was evacuating before the dragons arrival and the women decides to stay. There is nothing more she can loss. After the town is empty a man nocks on the door and is in need of food. She shares and questions why he has not left. He incurrages her to make noise and start a fire because, the dragon is unaware of what it is. At the end the dragon approaches and the huge fire turns in to the fisherman and he beats the dragon away. And as the Grandmother ends her story the little girl falls asleep.

The story does relate to me but in an opposite way. When I was little I was not scared of fireworks. I would have to sleep for two hours and wake up before midnight to see the fireworks in my home town. Were the grand daughter is frightened. I also like reading the story because it shows a lesson in the new year traditions and were it came from.

I would use the story as lesson of getting over fears of loud noises and fireworks. Also, I would teach the class some Chinese tradition and have the class compare it to the way they celebrate new years.
  olive_mucho | Mar 21, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Bouchardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Huang, Zhong-YangIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Frightened into sleeplessness by the noisy celebration of the Chinese New Year, a young girl takes comfort in her grandmother's soothing story of a dragon, a mother's sorrow, and Buddha.

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