Readers are taken back in time to 1940, when the narrator was four years old. The world was in the midst of a war, yet in this small Canadian village of Sainte-Justine, families were able to carry on with holiday celebrations. And what joyful celebrations they were, with large groups gathered for the New Year's feast. This is a joyous recollection of just such a day. One can almost feel the warmth and spontaneous gaiety that unfolds when the family gathers together. The text is simple and clear, describing many fascinating details of daily life. Yet the story transcends time as this family could just as well be a contemporary one. The writing is cohesive and does not linger in sentimentality or nostalgia. Playful illustrations are well suited to the text. Full-page paintings are done in a primitive style using bright, bold colors. They sparkle with energy and fun. Intricate details hold viewers' interest and will guarantee repeated readings.
This Next New Year by Janet S. Wong and Yangsook Choi PreSchool-Grade 2
-A Chinese-Korean boy relates how he and his friends celebrate the "lunar new year, the day of the first new moon." One child celebrates the holiday with "Thai food to go," while a non-Asian child likes to get "-red envelopes stuffed with money from her neighbor who came from Singapore." The narrator's mother cooks a special Korean soup, and his family observes the traditions of house cleaning, lighting firecrackers, and being extra good to ensure a lucky new year. Wong carefully and clearly presents the reasons behind the rituals in a manner understandable to young children. She explains in an appended note about her own confusion as a child about the timing and meaning of the holiday. Choi's vibrant, somewhat primitive paintings realistically capture the details of and preparations for this hopeful time of year. Youngsters will enjoy the bright colors and the sense of motion and activity conveyed as the boy helps his mother clean, flosses his teeth, and cringes from the noise of the firecrackers. A good choice for anyone getting ready to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Happy New Year Everywhere
by Arlene ErlbachGrade 2-5
-Through interesting text and colorful, dynamic illustrations, this excellent offering briefly describes traditional New Year's celebrations and customs in 20 countries. The introduction explains that varying cultures observe different calendars and seasonal celebrations. Each spread highlights a different country, providing the dates of the observance; the name of the holiday; the traditional greeting (with a helpful pronunciation key); and a related game, recipe, song, or craft. Simple, colorful line drawings illustrate the projects and a world map pinpoints the location of each celebration. Festive side borders with stars and fireworks adorn each page. This title's particular strengths are the activities and the lengthy bibliography. A book that will greatly enhance research projects or study units.
Just In Time For New Year's!: A Harry & Emily Adventure (Holiday House Reader)by Karen Gray Ruelle Kindergarten-Grade 2
–Two kittens want to stay awake to welcome in the new year, and their parents finally agree that they are old enough to do so. The real problem is, how to keep from falling asleep when their eyes are closing and the clock moves slowly. On the big night, they finally come up with a great idea. They set all of the alarm clocks to ring just in time for midnight. This enjoyable book deals with a subject with which many youngsters can identify. The story shows Harry and Emily playing games, reading books, and bantering about who is snoring at night. The colorful illustrations depict a comfortable house, and observant readers will notice many humorous touches (such as a cat's version of Matisse's The Dance). This is a fun story that beginning readers will enjoy at holiday time or any time it's important to stay up late.
Happy New Year by Emery Bernhard Gr. 3-5, younger for reading aloud.
In this attractive, informative volume, Bernhard explains the history and superstitions surrounding the New Year holiday and describes how ancient and modern day cultures celebrate. He begins by associating the history of New Year celebrations with the coming of spring, then briefly discusses the basis of various cultures' calendars. From there, he skips around, jumping from New York City's Times Square to ancient Rome to the Wild West. The lack of a logical time progression may confuse some children, who won't grasp whether what is being discussed is current practice or part of history. However, the colorful illustrations provide a few time clues and also give youngsters a sense of each culture's landscape and dress. Libraries promoting multiculturalism will want to add this to their collections.
Miffy's Happy New Year! by Dick Bruna
It's the last day of school before winter break. Miffy is especially excited because her best friend Melanie will be staying at her house. The girls plan all kind of fun things including a party to celebrate the new year. They make beautiful invitations attached to colorful balloons, but the balloons fly away in a gust of wind! How will their friends find out about the party?