New Year by Rich Lo is a book that I feel many children locating to a new school or country can relate too. In this story, we meet a young boy that has relocated from China to America. The story itself is based on the childhood experiences of the author/illustrator Rich Lo and his immigration to America. The differences to adjust are displayed throughout the tale in a way young children can understand.
Relocating anywhere can be hard but when a child’s entire culture changes and there are language barriers it can be even more of a challenge. We see ways the boy has to deal with this at school mainly. Something that helps him get by is drawing. He finds a way to use his talent that reminds him of home but it also reminds him to be proud of his Chinese heritage.
This book is a great way to share with children about how we may share similar holidays but celebrate it differently. I’ve used this book in teaching my children about the Chinese New Year. It has also opened the discussion about change, accepting others despite their race and differences, to always be kind, and to be proud of who we are.
The illustrations in this book are fun to look at. We enjoyed seeing the family talking over dinner and the things the family did to prepare for the New Year, and some of the things that are included in the celebration (brightly colored dragons, fireworks, drums, etc). The text is written in a narrative format and it’s easy to read. My son who is turning six next week had no issues reading it all by himself. It’s a good pick for any home or classroom.
Author Bio: Rich Lo is a professional artist. Born in Canton, China, to an artistic family, his father, Lo Tok, was a famous Chinese opera composer before the family immigrated to the United States. Since attending Eastern Illinois University, Lo has worked on packaging and ads for national brands, books, and large installations in public buildings. He is the author of Father’s Chinese Opera (Sky Pony Press) and lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the Sky Pony Press review program in exchange for an honest review.