The Children’s Book Review | January 14, 2018
Written by Virginia Loh-Hagan
Illustrated by Renné Benoit
Age Range: 6-10
Hardback: 32 pages
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
What to expect: Chinese New Year, Family
It’s time for Chinese New Year, and a little girl’s Popo (Chinese for grandmother) has come to help them ring in the new year the right way!
Chinese New Year is a time for new beginnings, and Popo has arrived to make sure that the new beginnings are good ones. Our narrator, a sweet little Chinese-American girl with adorable pig-tails, takes us through the process. First they clean, clean, clean! Sweeping, window-washing, and baths all need to be done before Chinese New Year. Next comes delicious lucky food, like whole chicken and long noodles, to help the family stay together and have long lives. Then our little narrator sips her green tea to stay awake on New Year’s eve and celebrate with her family – even her baby brother stays awake. Then, “Gung Hay Fat Choy!” It’s happy Chinese New Year to all! There are beautiful red outfits, special almond cookies, offerings to ancestors and fantastic Chinese dragons.
This is a perfect book to read for Chinese New Year. Children will find all the details of the festivities incredibly interesting. Lucky red envelopes filled with cash, special treats and juicy oranges will appeal to all little ones. Author Virginia Loh-Hagan does a nice job incorporating the serious aspects of the holiday, like remembering ancestors, with the more light-hearted traditions of making decorations and staying up way past bed time. Illustrator Renné Benoit’s colorful pictures elegantly capture the spirit of Chinese New Year and our sweet and sometimes mischievous narrator. The story and illustrations work perfectly together, making this an excellent addition to any child’s library.
About the Illustrator
Renné Benoit is the illustrator of numerous award winning picture books, including Proud as a Peacock and Brave as a Lion, winner of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award. Renné lives in Southern Ontario.
Popo’s Lucky Chinese New Year, by Virginia Loh-Hagan and Renné Benoit, was reviewed by Denise Mealy. Discover more books like Popo’s Lucky Chinese New Year by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with China, Chinese New Year, and Family.