Hi, all! I hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday season and are ready for a hopeful New Year. I’ve been sick (not THAT one, just an awful cold) for the last few days, so my triumphant return to blogging has been waylaid a bit, but I’m back, medicated, and rested.
My first post of the New Year is also about a New Year: Lunar New Year! Playing with Lanterns is a new book from Amazon Crossing Kids, translated from Chinese, about a group of children and their special New Year lanterns.
Zhao Di and her friends are so excited to celebrate Lunar New Year! They run, dance, and play together, waving their colorful lanterns each night until the last night – the 15th day of the New Year – when they smash their lanterns! But Zhao Di doesn’t want to smash her lantern just yet. That would mean the New Year celebrations are over, after all; or what if it’s not the right time yet? That would bring bad luck!
Originally published in China, Playing with Lanterns is such a wonderful winter story about childhood and tradition. Back matter includes an author’s note about the tradition of smashing lanterns, and the story reads at times like verse, at times like a folk tale, creating a wonderful atmosphere for readers and making this a great readaloud choice. Colorful artwork decorates the text and sets warm atmosphere in the middle of winter, with colorful lanterns, clothing, warm fires, and cheery homes. For a colorful lantern craft that can easily transition into a grab-and-go, visit First Palette.
“A colorful wintry tale ushers in Chinese New Year over two weeks…A charming illustration of childhood memories during the holiday season.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“Quiet, elegant passages stud the text…Tenderly detailed gouache paintings by Zhu render the children as small, patterned bundles frolicking against expanses of snow…A quiet celebration of a Northwestern Chinese tradition.” ―Publishers Weekly
Wang Yage was born in Shaanxi, a central and historical province of China, where the custom of playing with lanterns was once a popular Chinese New Year tradition. A doctor of classical Chinese literature, she teaches at the University of Tibet. Playing with Lanterns is her first picture book. First published in China, the book made the prestigious White Ravens international book list.
Zhu Chengliang is an award-winning Chinese illustrator. Born in Shanghai and raised in Suzhou, he studied at the Department of Fine Art, Nanjing University, and has worked as an author, illustrator, editor, and designer. He was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2016, which is the highest international distinction given to authors and illustrators of children’s books. His books have been named one of the Ten Best Illustrated Books by the New York Times and to the IBBY Honor List.
Helen Wang is a writer and translator from the UK. In 2017 she was given a Special Contributor of the Year honor as part of the Chen Bochui International Children’s Literature Awards for her work in bringing Chinese children’s literature to English-speaking audiences. Wang has translated novels, picture books, and graphic novels, including Cao Wenxuan’s Bronze and Sunflower, which won the Marsh Christian Award for Children’s Literature in Translation.
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Playing with Lanterns, courtesy of Amazon Crossing Kids (U.S. and Canada addresses). Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!
Amazon Crossing Kids aims to increase the diversity of children’s books in translation and encourage young reading from a range of cultural perspectives.