Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

D Is for Dragon Dance

D Is for Dragon Dance

Ying Chang Compestine
Illustrator:  Yongsheng Xuan 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Holiday House, 2005   ISBN: 978-0823418879

It is Chinese New Year and there is so much to do and to see. The children write “good luck” on posters and have their hair cut so they can look their best for the special days to come. They watch the long dragon dance through the streets and listen to the firecrackers pop, hoping that the fierce dragon face and the loud noises will scare away evil spirits. Then the children fly kites and light paper lanterns, celebrating in the glow of the new moon.

During these special days the children and their family eat all kinds of distinctive foods many of which symbolize things. There are noodles, oranges, duck, steamed dumplings and much more. Best of all the family gets to spend time together to share good luck wishes for the year to come, and to honor long gone ancestors.

Full page artwork beautifully illustrates the simple text in this unique alphabet book. Using a combination of acrylic, watercolor, and latex the illustrator of this picture book has created vivid artwork which perfectly captures the unique flavors of Chinese life.

At the back of the book the author includes some further information about Chinese New Year including a recipe for New Year’s Dumplings. The artist also provides some information on the calligraphy that was used in the book.