Although this illustrated children’s book is directed at bilingual homes, or those trying to be, it is as charming a picture book as I’ve reviewed in years. It is very well done, and a real accomplishment for children’s literature. The writing is warm, fun, and engaging. The charming illustrations, printing, paper, and cover are all top-notch. The story is literally a fairy tale, where a darling little fairy offers to help a little girl complete a project. With the help of her family, can they win the contest for the festival?
The book is really endearing, and fun to read for all ages, especially when the parents and grandparents pitch in to help. Further, the text is also rendered in Chinese characters, yet even if you aren’t bilingual, that won’t get in your way of this wonderful story. I love how the illustrations vary, from two-page spreads of the town’s festival, with so much going on, to where the story tells how the lantern float is made, with simple step-by-step images to carry the reader along. There is a cultural explanation on the back.
My kids wanted to watch some videos of Lantern Festivals as soon as we finished the book the first time, and with its cute illustrations and lovely story, it’s become a family favorite we’ve read again and again. Highly recommended!