Grumpy New Year

little bee. Dec. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781499812824.
K-Gr 2–The Lunar New Year is 10 days away. Daisy knows this will be the best one yet, because she gets to spend it in China with her grandpa, Yeh-Yeh. Daisy does not want to miss anything, so despite being advised to sleep on several occasions, she stays awake instead. Over time, Daisy exhibits ever-increasing levels of grumpiness. When the big day finally arrives, Daisy worries that her behavior will lead Yeh-Yeh to second guess his choice to celebrate with her. This vibrant picture book elegantly blends a reverse counting scheme with many of the traditions surrounding Lunar New Year. The narrative itself is written for a young audience, especially as it focuses on the events that lead to Daisy’s less-than-ideal behavior. However, there are moments within the text that require inferences to be made—these will engage older readers as well. Dynamic illustrations accompany the narrative, not only providing a visual representation of the myriad foods and activities surrounding this holiday, but also giving readers an excellent, balanced visual experience on each page. From endpaper to endpaper, Chinese traditions, foods, and language are infused within the book. Young readers from all backgrounds will appreciate the universal effects of fatigue and the rich details of the story.
VERDICT A superb celebration of the Lunar New Year, particularly accessible to young elementary aged readers.

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