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

Friday 12 January 2024

Review: Our Family Dragon

Celebrating family, culture and tradition, Our Family Dragon takes readers on a joyful journey with a young boy and his family.

They’re getting ready for Lunar New Year, and there’s lots to be done. Hanging lanterns and decorations, so much cleaning, cooking all sorts of delicious foods and lots of waiting for the dragon to arrive.

Everyone gets ready to eat. There’s a knock on the door. Could it be the dragon?

This book is like an invitation. It invites readers to share a special time of year with a family and learn all about their culture.

The details are special and delicious. You’ll learn about the food that’s cooked, several Lunar New Year traditions you may not have known about, and new words that are dotted throughout the book.

We’ve made dumplings spring rolls and long life noodles; a hotpot of mushrooms, dried oysters and veggies.

We’ve cooked Eight Treasure Rice and sweet round tāng yuán for dessert, that look like family gathering around the table, all together again.

This is the kind of book kids will love to read together as a class or with friends. Most kids will recognise at least one of the traditions and some kids will know them all. Everyone will delight in sharing their experiences.

Beautifully written by Rebecca Lim, the language is flowy and descriptive, yet stunningly simple. Lim gets all the facts into the book, but the story doesn’t read like non-fiction. It’s full of heart and excitement as the little boy eagerly awaits the arrival of the dragon.

A special twist at the end also provides a nice surprise.

Cai Tse’s illustrations are also beautiful. They’re filled with colour and detail. The characters — the family we get to meet— come alive on the pages.

This is a captivating picture book that will engage audiences while it shares a story about a special yearly tradition.

Title: Our Family Dragon
Author: Rebecca Lim
Illustrator: Cai Tse
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: 28 November 2023
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781761180637
For ages: 3 - 6
Type: Picture Books