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Little Sen’s Chinese Holidays


Little Sen’s Chinese Holidays (Written by Yujia Zhao and illustrated by Yulin Li) is a bilingual picture book written in both simplified Chinese and English.


This book is delightful pictorial of the following Chinese holidays:


· Spring Festival / Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year)

· Lantern Festival

· Qingming Festival / Tomb Sweeping Day

· Duanwu Festival / Dragon Boat Festival

· Mid-Autumn Festival

· Double Ninth Festival


Each description includes what a family typically does to celebrate, including the foods eaten on the day of the special event.


As a Korean reading about Chinese holidays, I assumed the Koreans and Chinese shared many of the same holidays because of the countries’ proximity. I learned that is not the case. Chinese festivities were fascinating to learn about because they differ from the holidays with which I’m familiar.


Little Sen is the main character of this book and the holidays are described from his point of view. Based on the beautiful illustrations and cute descriptions, a few things seem clear to me about Chinese culture: The value of family and tradition. I can also appreciate the little foodie in Little Sen. His favorites foods, their ingredients, are described in detail. Imagining the taste of these delicious-looking and sounding foods was a real treat. My favorite page details the different types of mooncakes and their geographic origins. Yum!


What I most enjoyed about Little Sen are the great illustrations. From the clothing to the décor to the architecture, they are a cultural experience unto themselves, doing visual justice to what I know about Chinese culture. A good read for anyone interested in Chinese culture!

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