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Reviews

What holiday coming up is filled with dragon dances, fire-crackers, long-noodles, and gifts of red envelopes filled with money? Chinese New Year! There multiple choices for those who want to celebrate this holiday via the power of books. Here are a few festive options:

According to Chase’s Calendar of Events, 2014 edition, the Year of the Horse begins on January 31st and the New Year's celebration lasts for fifteen days.

The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine and illustrated by Sebastia Serra. This is a tale of a young boy named Ming and his magical wok. This cooking pan looks rusty and lacks a handle, but it is definitely special. The story has elements that mimic the tales of The Gingerbread Man, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Robin Hood. While the moral obviously warns against greed, the overall tone of the book is joyous. At the end of the book, Compestine writes that people celebrate this holiday, also known as The Spring Festival, in the ways described in the first paragraph of this blog. The author also includes a recipe for stir-fried rice.

Multiculturalism is a complex concept, and a seven-syllable word, to boot. Little kids might not be able to say it, let alone understand it. How does a kid in preschool wrap his or her head around it? Luckily, there are a few books that take this abstract idea and make it really accessible. Here are three that I like.

Get ready to go an epic adventure with the Bone cousins in Jeff Smith’s graphic novel series, Bone.

Bone is the magical adventure of 3 bone-looking cousins — Fone Bone, Smiley Bone, and Phoney Bone — and their new misadventures living in the Valley, after Phoney gets them ran out their hometown of Boneville. All hope seems lost for the Bones, until Fone Bone runs into Thorn, a generous and kind human teenager who lives with her Grandma Ben on a small farm. Thorn and Grandma Ben eventually take in the Bone cousins, even against the Valley people’s wishes. Weird things begin to happen in the Valley upon the Bones arrival and no one knows who to trust. Word is that the evil Lord of the Locusts is back and for some reason interested in the Bone cousins. No one knows why, not even the Bones!

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