The author of Bringing in the New Year is well-known for her stories about the customs and traditions of a Chinese-American family. The other children’s books written and illustrated by Grace Lin include: Dim sum for Everyone!, Fortune Cookie Fortunes, Kit Flying, Year of the Dog, and Year of the Rat.
In Bringing in the New Year, Grace Lin tells an exciting tale of a Chinese-American family preparing for the Lunar New Year, one of the most important holidays for the Chinese people. There is much to do so every member of the five family members help out to sweep out dust from the old year, string up firecrackers outside, hang Spring-Happiness poems, and make Get-Rich dumplings.
Even with all these tasks to do, there’s always time to cut the children’s hair. Before you know it, it’s time to put on your new Qi Pao clothes and celebrate the holiday with your friends and family. Not only are there fireworks and shining lanterns, but there’s an exciting, long parade that feature lion dancers. The revelers blow horns, drum drums, and bang cymbals.
Grace Lin’s artwork is cheerful and bright. The gorgeous gouache illustrations are saturated with bold colors. There’s one illustration of costumed people that represents the lions that will be scared away, which symbolically is bad luck from the previous year, and the dragon brings in the new year. What’s more, there’s even a surprise at the end of the book. The last page stretches out, showing a very long and brightly-colored parade. And her story is made to be read out loud. The final two pages include a description of the Chinese New Year.
Few things are more exciting to a kid than a parade, especially one with long dragon puppets and fireworks. Grace Lin’s Bringing in the New Year is an educational book that doesn’t read like one. It’s fun. It’s bright. It’s exciting. Every kid will wish they had their own celebration to join in on! The festivities surrounding the holiday are eloquently and clearly told through simple text and incredible illustrations. The author knows how to attract readers from the 3 to 6 persuasion, although their parents may want to learn more too.