Storytime: Chinese New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

 

The Paper Dragon by Marguerite W. Davol &  illustrated by Robert Sabuda

The Paper Dragon by Marguerite W. Davol & illustrated by Robert Sabuda

The Paper Dragon by Marguerite W. Davol &  illustrated by Robert Sabuda

Mi Fei is a humble painter of scrolls. Between each day’s sunrise and sunset, he paints scenes of the gods and their festivals’ portraits of heroes and their deeds. Although the scrolls bring him fame, Mi Fei is content to live in his village, surrounded by people he loves. But one day a messenger enters the village with terrible news: the dragon Sui Jen has awakened from its hundred years’ sleep and is destroying everything in its path. Someone must find a way to return Sui Jen to its slumber. To the villagers, only one among them is wise enough to confront the scaly beast — Mi Fei.

 

The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine &  illustrated by Tungwai Chau

The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine & illustrated by Tungwai Chau

The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine &  illustrated by Tungwai Chau

It’s the Chinese New Year, and the Chang Family has only enough rice flour to make one nián-gão, a special New Year’s rice cake, for the entire family to eat. But this delicious little nián-gão has other ideas. “Ai yo! I don’t think so!” it cries, coming to life and escaping. Ming, Cong, little Da and their parents chase the nián-gão all over the village until it runs into a hungry, old woman and sends her tumbling to the ground. Though Da is a small boy, his heart is big enough to share the treat with her, even though that leaves Da’s family with nothing to eat for their own celebration. But the Changs’ generosity doesn’t go unnoticed. When they return home, they find the Kitchen God has left a wonderful surprise for them.

 

Silk Peony, Parade Dragon by Elizabeth Steckman &  illustrated by Carol Inouye

Silk Peony, Parade Dragon by Elizabeth Steckman & illustrated by Carol Inouye

Silk Peony, Parade Dragon by Elizabeth Steckman &  illustrated by Carol Inouye

Mrs. Ming has a dragon farm-and hers are the most spectacular of dragons in China. When the mandarin visits to pick out a dragon for rent for the New Year’s Day parade, he is awestruck by the beauty & dignity of one in particular. So he chooses Silk Peony-despite the fact that she is a female, & despite the fact that he intends to cheat Mrs. Ming out of her fee. But Mrs. Ming is smart, & so is her prize dragon. Between the two of them they are more than a match for the petty mandarin. This original story is drawn from authentic sources in Chinese folklore & legend.

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