January 27, 2022


Playing With Lanterns by Wang Yage and Zhu Chengliang and translated by Helen Wang celebrates exciting and joyful moments during a Chinese New Year celebration!

Zhao Di and her friends are excited to celebrate the Chinese New Year. There's snow on the ground, everyone is surrounded by family, and each day presents a new tradition to follow (stay home, visit friends in the snow, and lanterns which is Zhao Di's favorite). On the fifteenth night, Zhao Di grabs her candlelit lantern and carefully makes her way through the snow to her friends who are all celebrating together. At the end of the evening all of the kids in the area come together to smash and burn their lanterns, marking the last day of celebrations.

The gouache illustrations are bright and colorful, perfectly reflecting the energy and celebratory tone of the story and the annual event. Zhu Chengliang makes excellent use of the color red (very fitting for the New Year!) and many action words or words associated with specific rituals are also highlighted in red within the text. But there's no stopping at red, as every part of each spread is covered in brightly colored clothing patterns, exploding fireworks, or ornamental decoration that burn with a feeling of warmth and fun.

Playing With Lanterns published earlier this month from Amazon Crossing Kids.

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