Playing With Lanterns by Wang Yage, illustrated by Zhe Chengliang, translated by Helen Wang

Published by Amazon Crossing

Playing with Lanterns: Yage, Wang, Chengliang, Zhu, Wang, Helen:  9781542029841: Amazon.com: Books
Welcoming the New Year with a blog tour: Playing with Lanterns – Mom Read It

Summary:  Zhao Di and her friends live in northern China, where the new year is celebrated for 15 days.  A highlight is the lanterns, traditionally given by uncles, that are lit and carried through the dark nights.  The children gather each night, chasing each other, waving their lanterns, and enjoying fireworks.  On day 15, Zhao Di feels sad that the holiday is coming to an end.  The lanterns are smashed and burned.  The next night, Zhao Di misses going out with her friends, but remembers that the new year will be celebrated again next year.  Includes an author’s note with additional information about the Lunar New Year and the lantern tradition.  40 pages, ages 4-8.

Pros:  Another good resource for the Lunar New Year, this one translated from the original Chinese.  The illustrations celebrate the color and magic of the lanterns.

Cons:  The first three pages of the story are in the first person (“We spent the first day of the new year at home.”); after that it switches to Zhao Di’s third person narrative for the rest of the book, which felt like an unnecessarily awkward transition.

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