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From the Everlasting Tales series

A lovely retelling.

Set long ago, “when the Earth was very young,” this story explains the origins of the Chinese moon goddess.

Chang’e is full of love. Her love is returned—by the trees, the animals, the wind, and, most of all, her husband, Hou-Yi. The pair travel together “to protect the people and create caring communities.” One day, 10 scorching suns appear in the sky. With life on Earth on the brink of destruction, Chang’e and Hou-Yi cannot stand by. A formidable archer, Hou-Yi pierces the suns with his arrows until only one remains. In thanks, the heavenly Jade Emperor and his goddess wife, Xiwangmu, give them an elixir that grants them immortality. But there’s only enough for one of them, so the lovers decide to live out the rest of their lives as humans—together. When Peng Meng, Hou Yi’s jealous apprentice, schemes to steal the elixir for himself, Chang’e sacrifices their mortal future together and drinks the elixir herself. As explained in the author’s note, the legend of Chang’e has many variations. Moore centers her retelling on the couple’s kindhearted qualities and their enduring love. As moon goddess, Chang’e watches over the Earth for all eternity. Hou-Yi spends the rest of his living days devoted to honoring Chang’e and their shared passion of community care, and the story of her sacrifice sparks a celebration in her honor: the Mid-Autumn Festival. Li’s painterly illustrations beautifully capture Moore’s text.

A lovely retelling. (Mandarin version of the tale) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2024

ISBN: 9780063295803

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2024

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Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among

Pete, the cat who couldn’t care less, celebrates Christmas with his inimitable lassitude.

If it weren’t part of the title and repeated on every other page, readers unfamiliar with Pete’s shtick might have a hard time arriving at “groovy” to describe his Christmas celebration, as the expressionless cat displays not a hint of groove in Dean’s now-trademark illustrations. Nor does Pete have a great sense of scansion: “On the first day of Christmas, / Pete gave to me… / A road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” The cat is shown at the wheel of a yellow microbus strung with garland and lights and with a star-topped tree tied to its roof. On the second day of Christmas Pete gives “me” (here depicted as a gray squirrel who gets on the bus) “2 fuzzy gloves, and a road trip to the sea. / GROOVY!” On the third day, he gives “me” (now a white cat who joins Pete and the squirrel) “3 yummy cupcakes,” etc. The “me” mentioned in the lyrics changes from day to day and gift to gift, with “4 far-out surfboards” (a frog), “5 onion rings” (crocodile), and “6 skateboards rolling” (a yellow bird that shares its skateboards with the white cat, the squirrel, the frog, and the crocodile while Pete drives on). Gifts and animals pile on until the microbus finally arrives at the seaside and readers are told yet again that it’s all “GROOVY!”

Pete’s fans might find it groovy; anyone else has plenty of other “12 Days of Christmas” variants to choose among . (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-267527-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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