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Happy New Year! / Kung-Hsi Fa-Ts'ai! by Demi

Happy New Year! / Kung-Hsi Fa-Ts'ai!

by Demi

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I enjoyed reading “Happy New Year!” for three main reasons: the language, the illustrations, and the writing style. This book is a unique informational book that teaches children about the Chinese New Year celebration. The illustrations display colorful images of all of the festivities. The illustrations show pen-drawn sketches of Chinese boys and girls who prepare for the special holiday. The language is extremely descriptive in terms of the preparations for the celebration, the kinds of foods they cook and eat, and the kinds of decorations they create. The book also tells of the long dragon creation (and the dancers that hide underneath the dragon), the lanterns the people create, and the fireworks that the people use for the parade. The book explains how the Chinese people pray to their Gods during Chinese New Year for good fortune and for their ancestors. The writing is very organized because the book starts and ends in the same sequence as the holiday itself. This book also teaches readers some Chinese words. I learned how to say Happy New Year (Kung-His-Fa-Ts’Ai) in Chinese. The big idea of this story is to teach children about the fascinating Chinese New Year holiday. ( )
  sstelz2 | Oct 16, 2014 |
Although I usually enjoy Demi's work, I found myself mostly indifferent to this picture-book about Chinese New Year, probably because it was less of a story, and more of a series of lists. Here the young reader can learn about the signs of the Chinese Zodiac (arranged by year, rather than month), the preparations necessary for the New Year festival, the many traditional greetings, the gods and heavenly beings associated with this time, and the meaning of different gifts, foods, and flowers.

This is all interesting information, but I found the presentation a little overwhelming, and Demi's trademark illustrations - with their use of gold tones, and a multitude of tiny figures - weren't enough to save the experience for me. I can readily believe that other readers will enjoy this more than I did (indeed, I hope they do!), and that it would make an excellent resource for elementary-school students, but my overall feeling is that there is too much information here, with not enough synthesis and explanation. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 24, 2013 |
This book gives the reader an idea of what the New Year is like in China. It informs the reader about the traditions, what, give an animal Zodiac in the lunar cycle. Illustrations are pictures that remind the reader of China and the Chinese customs. ( )
  elizacats | Aug 2, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0517885921, Paperback)

"Happy Chinese New Year!" this lovely book exuberantly proclaims. Full of extraordinary, richly colorful illustrations resembling lacquered boxes, this book is as visually delicious as Demi's previous books The Stonecutter and The Empty Pot. Children will love closely examining the flurry of activity associated with this important holiday. They will also appreciate the accompanying minimal, straightforward descriptions of everything from heavenly beings to candied coconut. As they learn the basics of this ancient holiday, they'll also enjoy finding their own animal sign of the Chinese New Year based on the year of their birth: "Each Chinese year is named after an animal, and each animal has certain characteristics. Because the moon's cycle begins again every 12 years, there are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac--one for each year of the lunar cycle." The book proceeds to romp through sections such as "Sweep and Dust," "Make a Fresh Start," "Decorate!," "Paint and Parade!," and "Cook." "Pop! Pop! Pop!" explains the importance of firecrackers in the New Year celebration. This delightful, elaborate picture book is a fine introduction to the Chinese New Year. (Ages 4 to 8)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:36 -0400)

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Examines the customs, traditions, foods, and lore associated with the celebration of Chinese New Year.

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