PJ Masks Save Lunar New Year!

Simon Spotlight/S. & S./. (PJ Masks). Dec. 2021. 24p. pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781534497238.
PreS-Gr 2–Adapted by Nakamura from the television episode “Munki-gu’s Dragon,” this book follows a series of other holiday-adjacent “PJ Masks Save...” titles, including Halloween and Christmas. Children by day and superheroes by night, Owlette, Catboy, and Gecko are joined by An Yu from Mystery Mountain to protect the Lunar New Year parade from the antics of Monkey-gu. Unfortunately, the artwork and plot lines do not translate well from the original cartoon to the board book format. The action sequences do not flow naturally, and jumps in the story make the plot difficult to follow. Additionally, the shift in title from the original “Munki-gu’s Dragon” to the new one is problematic. The current title suggests a greater connection to the holiday than is expressed in the plot, and it is An Yu who saves the day, not the PJ Masks. The latter issue, at best a misrepresentation, appears culturally insensitive to those who celebrate Lunar New Year. While the underlying message of friendship as the ultimate superpower is laudable, the execution is not.
VERDICT Consider alternative selections for the holiday, such as Hannah Eliot’s Lunar New Year.

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