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TEN MICE FOR TET by Pegi Deitz Shea Kirkus Star


by Pegi Deitz Shea & Cynthia Weill & illustrated by Tô Ngoc Trang & Pham Viet Ðinh

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8118-3496-4
Publisher: Chronicle

Readers and pre-readers alike will get generous measures of cultural information from this look at preparations for the Vietnamese New Year celebration. After “1 Mouse plans a party,” “2 Mice go to market,” and so on, “10 Mice watch fireworks,” before closing at last with a merry “Chúc M?ng Nam M?i!” The illustrations, done in brightly hued embroidery so thick that it looks like brushed felt, feature stylized mice (they actually look more like whiskered pigs, but let it go) in traditional dress, happily cleaning, eating, exchanging gifts, playing musical instruments, and parading in a village setting. The authors enhance the minimal main text with extensive end notes, pointing out significant details while describing traditional foods, beliefs, and customs associated with Tet. Altogether, an inviting, informative introduction to the holiday—and the only separate title for younger readers that’s not routine assignment fodder. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)