Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week I reviewed Hammond‘s new release The Secret Life of Princesses (all age) written by Virginie Hanna and illustrated by Cathy Delanssay. This week my kids are in the mood for a little Chinese culture, since Chinese New Year is just around the corner (Feb 14), so we’re reading Barefoot Books Lin Yi’s Lantern: A Moon Festival Story. It’s written by Brenda Williams and illustrated by Benjamin Lacombe. I have to thank Rebecca at Barefoot Books for my review copy.
Lin Yi is excited about the Moon Festival but first he must help his family prepare. He has to go to the local market to buy items for the family’s picnic: moon cakes, star fruit, rice, yams and peanuts for Uncle Hui. If he barter’s well, Lin Yi can use the money left over to buy a new red rabbit lantern for the festival. And boy would he like one.
At the market Lin Yi barters well, even his mom would be proud. Now he’s able to buy his lantern. But wait, he’s forgotten something — peanuts for Uncle Hui. Lin Yi now has a difficult decision: buy the red rabbit lantern that he so desperately wants or the peanuts for Uncle Hui liked he promised his mom he would get.
Even though the Moon Festival isn’t until the fall, my kids loved reading about it. Lin Yi’s Lantern gave the kids a peek into a great Chinese festival, like that of Chinese New Year. Brenda did a great job having Lin Yi repeat his shopping list as he travelled through the market. As we read the story my kids started to recite his also. When Lin Yi decided he was ready to buy his lantern, my kids were quick to point out that he forgot to buy peanuts. They loved being part of the story.
For added enjoyment the book includes Uncle Hui’s retelling of the Moon Fairy legend, plus a brief description of market life in China. Since most of the story took place in the market as Lin Yi bartered to save enough for his prized red rabbit lantern, this added a nice extension to the story. It took a fictitious account and added the reality of chinese life.
But I must admit the part my kids enjoyed most was the instructions to make a chinese lantern. After we read the story the kids made their own Chinese lanterns, even if they weren’t red rabbit lanterns, and enjoyed parading around the house with them. These will make great decorations for our Chinese New Year celebration.
You can add Lin Yi’s Lantern: A Moon Festival Tale to your home library by visiting your local bookstore or Amazon.ca. If you’re looking for other great kids books, read through some of the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.