THIS NEXT NEW YEAR by Janet S. Wong

THIS NEXT NEW YEAR

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The lunar new year doesn’t begin on the first of January; it begins on the day of the first new moon. This celebration is commonly called the Chinese New Year but it is one celebrated by many cultures. A young boy (who is “half Korean”) explains in a simple way his own family’s traditions, which include a big bowl of duk gook, the Korean new-year soup, and then he tells about his friends. There’s Glenn, “who is French and German” and “who celebrates . . . by eating Thai food to go.” His other best friend Evelyn, “part Hopi and part Mexican,” receives red envelopes “stuffed with money from her neighbor who came from Singapore.” Going through his preparations, he literally cleans up the house, his clothes, and his own body, getting rid of all the bad luck to make room for the good. Wong’s (Night Garden, 1999, etc.) poetic voice creates art from the ordinary: “A river of leaves from the plant that died even thought I meant to water it soon—gone.” A new year vow becomes, “I will not say one awful thing, none of that, can’t do, don’t have, why me, because this is it, a fresh start, my second chance.” Choi’s (Nim and the War Effort, 1996, etc.) lively, two-page spreads in bright colors, perfectly complement the energetic text, adding visual reinforcement to the scenes described by the narrator. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2000
ISBN: 0-374-35503-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2000




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