We kicked off our February with Lunar New Year celebrations and enjoyed these picture books.
Happy, Happy Chinese New Year by Demi.
This is a beautifully simple informational text that provides a great and interesting overview of Chinese/ Lunar New Year traditions and rituals.
Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim and Grace Zong
Goldy Luck, born in the year of the Gold Dragon (the luckiest of them all), is a bit of a klutz.
Her mum asks her to take a plate of turnip cakes to the Chans’ apartment for Chinese New Year.
No one is home and Goldy Luck does all the things Goldilocks did, but with a Chinese twist.
She eats Little Chan’s congee (rice porridge), she breaks his rocking chair (foregoing Daddy Chan’s massage chair) and falls asleep on Little Chan’s futon.
The illustrations have beautiful little nods to Chinese tradition and customs- as she enters their house we see the shoes lined up neatly by the door next to the house slippers; a fortune plant stands in the entrance way; the rug on this spread features the animals of the zodiac.
The book ends with an explanation of some CNY symbols and traditions and we are left with a recipe for turnip cakes.
This is one of my new fave CNY reads.
Lanterns and Firecrackers: A Chinese New Year Story by Jonny Zucker and Jan Barger
Another simple and bright text introducing the traditions of Chinese New Year.
We follow a family as they prepare for the start of celebrations.
They hang lanterns, watch the dragon dance and celebrate with a feast.
We also enjoyed Fang Fang’s Chinese New Year by Sally Rippin. (Not pictured.)
This book tells the story of Fang Fang who was born in China but now is Australian.
She invites her friend Lisa to celebrate Chinese New Year and is embarrassed by all the different traditions.
She fears that Lisa will think that all the traditions are strange and silly.
On the contrary, Lisa is excited and entranced by all the celebrations.
A great story about Chinese New Year in the Australian context that gently explores the themes of tolerance and diversity.
Animal Myths by Hong Kong Kids edited by Judy Butler
This book is a bit tricky to source online. My dad and sister returned with it from a trip to Hong Kong.
It contains seventeen stories written by kids aged 6-13 creatively explaining why the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac look the way they do today.
Edited by their teacher, Judy Butler, each spread contains illustrations completed by the students, their creative tale and a blurb about the student author.
On this spread you can read about “Why Roosters Have Beautiful Tail Feathers” by 6-year-old Querida, whose favourite drink is a banana Coke float.
Pink is her favourite colour and she wants to be a lawyer when she grows up.
The parents of the students shared the cost of publication and all proceeds go to Room to Read which seeks to change the lives of children though literacy.
Well worth trying to get your hands on. Perhaps a good excuse for a trip to HK?
One More Tickle by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram
Little Nutbrown Hare wants to find out how ticklish Big Nutbrown Hare is in this new story from the creators of “Guess How Much I Love You.”
This interactive board book, with it’s accompanying soft puppet, is sure to be a hit with the toddler crowd and fans of the GHMILY book.
With it’s sweet and simple text, it would make the perfect Baby Shower / 1st Birthday gift.
One Bear Extraordinaire by Jayne McGowan
What does a one-man band do when he wakes up with an incomplete tune in his head?
I found that the process behind the creation of the illustrations in this book overshadowed the story.
Jayne McGowan uses paper craft to create each element.
She adds in detail with paint and pencil.
Jayne then creates miniature theatres to “stage” her scenes using wire, toothpicks, pegs and string to keep everything in place.
Once each scene is ready, she photographs them.
I cannot even comprehend the patience required.
The illustrations are colourful and joyous.
Alphonse, That Is Not OK To Do! By Daisy Hirst.
This book hilariously examines the complex relationship of siblings (who happen to be endearing monsters.)
Big sister Natalie mostly enjoys the company of her little bro, Alphonse.
They like naming pigeons together and bouncing things off the bunk bed.
Until one day when Alphonse eats Natalie’s favourite book.
Well that’s just not okay. Because no one likes having their favourite book consumed by a sibling.
I suspect that kids with siblings everywhere will love this book and empathise with the highs and lows that go along with loving a brother or sister.
February 14th isn’t just about the lovers. It’s also about the book-lovers.
Valentine’s Day also happens to be International Book-Giving Day.
I celebrated with my lovely French bloggy friend, Cathy from Peregrination Gourmande.
She was in town with her daughter, taking in all the sights, sites and sounds of Sydney.
I gave Cathy and her kids some of my favourite Aussie picture books. And I got these fab French books.
(Together with some amazing vintage Croatian books- but that’s a story for another day!)
Look at the colourful paper bag the books came in from the book shop- even that is so Frenchy, so chic!
Cathy and I have some exciting bloggy, bookish plans we are working on. Stay tuned!
I love preparing these posts each month. When I purchase my books, I use Booktopia. Their prices are competitive and their delivery is prompt. The titles and images of each book will take you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. As a Booktopia Affiliate, purchases clicked through from my blog result in a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books! Commission is used to maintain Oh Creative Day and a portion of commissions made is donated to the Touched By Olivia Foundation. Happy Reading!