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12 LUCKY ANIMALS by Vickie Lee


A Bilingual Baby Book

by Vickie Lee ; illustrated by Joey Chou

Pub Date: Dec. 31st, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-250-18424-5
Publisher: Godwin Books/Henry Holt

An introduction to the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac in an entertaining bilingual format.

This delightful board book opens with the rat, the first animal in the repeating zodiac cycle, and ends with the pig. Each oh-so-cute animal is presented in vivid color on the left page and again in a more muted tone along with its English moniker and Standard Chinese character on the right. Pinyin and phonetic pronunciations are also included. In pinyin, “rat” is pronounced “shu” and phonetically as “shoo.” In addition, the traits ascribed to a person born in a particular year (much like Western astrology) are also listed. According to the book, someone born in the Year of the Rat is “clever, curious, loves to eat and stay up late,” which readers familiar with the zodiacal principles may feel is somewhat true but is also unsurprisingly simplistic. Little ones will love the adorable illustrations, and older ones will enjoy trying to pronounce the Mandarin Chinese words. Developmentally en pointe, the book’s familiar animals take on striking geometric shapes that children will recognize. However, if precise pronunciation is the goal, this book is best read aloud by someone who knows basic Mandarin Chinese.

A welcome addition to the limited English–Mandarin Chinese bilingual board books available.

(Bilingual board book. 1-5)