Mulan's Lunar New Year

illus. by Sophie Li. 48p. Disney Pr. Oct. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368023269.
PreS-Gr 2—In this oversize picture book, Disney's Mulan is seven years old and eager to bring good luck to her family as the Lunar New Year approaches. Grandmother Fa shares many traditional Chinese beliefs as she reminds the girl that everything done during the New Year festival brings luck—good or bad. Mulan's family joyfully woo happiness, prosperity, reunion, and longevity by picking fresh flowers; eating steamed buns, dumplings, and noodles; and hanging dragon-shaped lanterns. Good-hearted but clumsy, Mulan makes a mess of many of the preparations. Has she brought bad luck on the whole family? No matter the blunder, her father, mother, and grandmother support her good intentions. The story culminates with a parade full of loud noises meant to drive away evil spirits. The digital illustrations are aglow with deep reds and golds (good luck colors) contrasting with charcoal black, stone gray, and other earth tones. Brush strokes add texture and depth. However, the symbolism of each tradition is only briefly explained in the text, lacking the supporting details that could truly expand readers' cultural knowledge. For instance, readers learn that eating noodles during Lunar New Year brings luck, but there's no context as to how and why that belief came to be.
VERDICT This simple introduction to Chinese traditions surrounding the Lunar New Year will be most appealing to Disney fans, with some additional interest during seasonally appropriate times.–Amy Seto Forrester, Denver Public Library

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing