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by Simolds, Swartz, and the Children's Museum, Boston

illustrated by Meilo So


School Library Journal:

Gr 4-7– This book features five holidays: Chinese New Year and the Lantern Festival, Qing Ming, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Each section begins with a one-page description of the history and customs of the festival and is followed by a four- to six-page story, from one to three recipes, and two or three crafts or games. The headings on each page appear in both English typeface and Chinese calligraphy; a guide to Chinese pronunciation is included. The ample white space surrounding the text is filled with small, whimsical watercolor illustrations. Each of the four sections is introduced by a dynamic, detailed watercolor painting on a double-page spread. They include a dragon parade complete with fireworks, kites flying above a family honoring ancestors at a grave, a dragon boat race, and preparations for a moon ceremony. A two-page resource section is divided into three parts: of interest to adults, of interest to young readers, and Internet sources. Most books for young readers about Chinese holidays stress Chinese New Year; only two others feature the full range of annual festivals. Carol Stepanchuk’s Red Eggs & Dragon Boats (Pacific View, 1994) is a shorter book  with a similar scope, but fewer recipes and crafts/activities. Judith Karen Gee’s A Book of Chinese Festivals (Steam RR, 1989; o.p.) offers a brief description of each holiday but no recipes or other activities. Moonbeams is a useful, visually appealing addition to any holiday collection.–Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA –Ginny Gustin (Reviewed November 1, 2002) (School Library Journal, vol 48, issue 11, p192)



4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Ages 9-12, Education, Folklore, Non-fiction