Books by Oliver Chin

THE DISCOVERY OF FIREWORKS AND GUNPOWDER by Phil Amara
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 15, 2018

"In theory, a fun, STEAM-filled story idea; in execution, not so much. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 6-10)"
In this follow-up to The Discovery of Ramen (2018), Dao the red panda takes Emma and Ethan on another adventure. Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF THE DOG by Oliver Chin
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 2018

"Let this puppy pass. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Daniel the puppy learns when to be brave in this bilingual, Chinese zodiac-inspired parable. Read full book review >
THE DISCOVERY OF RAMEN by Phil Amara
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 15, 2017

"A fun read that explores Japanese culture and culinary history—just don't expect a literary tour de force. (glossary) (Picture book. 4-10)"
A time-traveling red panda gives two American schoolkids a tour of the history of ramen. Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF THE SHEEP by Oliver Chin
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

" The Year of the Sheep is cause for celebration, especially for fans of the series. (list of zodiac animals) (Picture book. 4-8)"
In this 10th installment from the Tales of the Chinese Zodiac picture-book series, a curious lamb rallies her friends to keep the town from going thirsty. Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF THE HORSE by Oliver Chin
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 7, 2014

"A one-note ride into an enjoyable Chinese lunar-calendar tradition, this trots instead of gallops. (list of zodiac animals) (Fiction. 4-8)"
The ninth installment from the Tales from the Chinese Zodiac picture-book series offers readers a look into the characteristics of being born in the Year of the Horse. Read full book review >
THE BELT OF FIRE by Oliver Chin
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"Vague martial arts platitudes told but not really taught. (Picture book. 7-9)"
Chua's energetic cartoon scenes of children in graceful martial arts poses fail to animate this ponderous tale of dissonance in kung fu class. Read full book review >
WELCOME TO MONSTER ISLE by Oliver Chin
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 14, 2012

"Tropical illustrations and cheerful music are at odds with the scary creatures and sound effects, making for a less-than-cohesive experience. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)"
An undistinguished story with plodding text and clashing interactions tries to walk the line between humor and horror and doesn't succeed very well at either. Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON by Oliver Chin
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 10, 2012

"For those who want a sugar-coated, didactic Chinese New Year story. (Picture book. 4-7)"
"Strong and passionate…idealistic and independent…": These are some of the characteristics of Dragon-Year people in the Chinese Zodiac. Read full book review >
THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT by Oliver Chin
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2011

The sixth (of a projected 12) in a series of illustrated tales designed to demonstrate traits characterizing those born under each sign of the Chinese zodiac. Rosie, an amiable rabbit with oversize ears, is captured after raiding a garden, escapes and ends up befriending her young captor, Jai, after cleverly rescuing him from a tiger. In labored efforts to crank up reader interest, the author folds in Disney references, including a character named Uncle Remus and even a "zip-a-dee-doo-dah!" Roth depicts his brightly colored figures (all of whom, except for the humans, are zodiacal animals) in an unpleasant, flat-bodied, cartoon style that features exaggerated poses and wide-open eyes and mouths. (The illustrations even look loud.) A topic that can be adequately covered in one volume—such as, for instance, Catherine Louis' What the Rat Told Me: A Legend of the Chinese Zodiac (2009)—thins considerably when stretched out over a dozen, but there's a natural draw here for children born in the corresponding years (1999 and 2011 in this case). (afterword) (Picture book. 5-7)Read full book review >