'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 3 March 2016

Review: New Year Surprise!

Little Brother is impatient to be part of the preparations for the Spring Festival. He has been told that he has a very special responsibility on the day, but it seems that all of the important jobs are already being done by other members of his family. What will his special job be?

Beautifully illustrated with traditional Chinese paints and brushes on rice paper by Di Wu, New Year Surprise! captures the excitement of Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) celebrations in a snowy rural northern Chinese village. The text by Christopher Cheng follows Little Brother as his family prepares for Spring Festival and as they celebrate this special event with their extended family and friends.

The story includes information on some Spring Festival customs, with additional information at the end of the book which includes brief notes on the setting for New Year Surprise!, festivals in China, and the Chinese Collection at the National Library of Australia, which includes items that inspired Christopher Cheng to write this story.

New Year Surprise! is a lovely story to read with young children to introduce them to some of the traditions of Chinese New Year. There are extensive teachers’ notes available to assist with discussions of the book at home or in the classroom.

And what is Little Brother's special Spring Festival responsibility? You'll have to read New Year Surprise! to find out!

Title: New Year Surprise!
Author: Christopher Cheng
Illustrator: Di Wu
Publisher: NLA, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: February 2016
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9780642278838
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book