A Sweet New Year for Ren

S. & S./Paula Wiseman. Nov. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534496606.
PreS-Gr 3–A young girl and her family prepare for Lunar New Year by cooking a sumptuous feast. Ren is eager for the upcoming celebration. She hopes this year she can finally help make her favorite New Year’s treat, pineapple cake. Unfortunately, the grown-ups deem Ren “still too little” to assist in hanging lanterns, folding dumplings, and stirring noodles. Despite being relegated to an observer for these tasks, Ren’s spirits remain high. She attempts to impress her older brother Charlie by making pineapple cakes on her own, but instead makes a big mess. Charlie patiently teaches Ren how to roll the dough, and an aunt advises Ren on how to press it into molds. Ren is proud to have contributed to the dinner offerings and grateful to be surrounded by her family on this joyous occasion. Cheerful cartoon illustrations bring a lively, upbeat tone in keeping with the sense of festivity. The palette of radiant reds, golden yellows, and budding greens reflects shades traditionally associated with the holiday and reinforces the warmth and love of this family-focused celebration.
VERDICT A delightful charmer that touches on practices associated with Lunar New Year and highlights a variety of foods.

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