#1070 – New Year by Rich Lo

new-year-9781510707238 New Year
Written and Illustrated by Rich Lo
Sky Pony Press   11/15/2016
40 pages    Ages 3—6

“Moving is hard enough—
but to a whole new country?

“A young boy and his family have just come to Los Angeles from Hong Kong. They live below Dodger stadium—so cool. But things at school, not so much. Only one other student in class can speak Chinese, so the young boy can barely understand what’s going on. And these kids are so different.

“One day the teacher decides the class is going to decorate their classroom. The boy loves art, finally something he is good at! Since it is almost Chinese New Year, the boy decides that is going to be his project. Lanterns, paper firecrackers, dragon boats—all the wonderful memories come back, and his artwork is gorgeous. Everyone goes crazy for it.

“And suddenly, the boy sees he’s not so different after all.”  [INSIDE JACKET]

The Story
A young Chinese boy begins school in America with limited English skills. He understands very little and receives no help from the other students. He feels alone and different. At home, the boy tells his family, “I don’t feel good about being Chinese in America.”

In February the class is redecorating their room. The homework assignment is to come up with ideas. At home, the boy asks his mother for help, but she is too busy preparing lotus leaves for the family’s traditional Chinese New Year meal. The boy decides this is his idea and draws all he can remember from past celebrations. At school, the teacher is impressed, as are the kids. Everyone draws dragon boats and paper lanterns.
[WC 236]
Saturday, January 28th will be the Chinese New Year, celebrated on the day of the first new moon between January 21st and February 20th each year. Rich Lo’s New Year is as aesthetically pleasing as his first picture book, Father’s Chinese Opera (review here). Lo’s watercolor illustrations are beautiful, especially when he draws the boy’s Chinese New Year memories. These include colorful dragon boats, Chinese street celebrations with music, and huge-headed, flowing ornamental dragons. Young readers will love these images, just as the boy’s classmates did. As the boy relates the celebrations, he is out of his shell, smiling and dancing, and proud of his Chinese heritage. What a terrific message for other Chinese kids feeling lost in their new American home.
new-year-spread-2New Year will entertain all children with the excitement of the Chinese New Year celebrations. Any child who was ever experienced being the new kid at school can identify with this aspect of the boy’s story. The teacher’s admission is a nice touch. The boy is never named, making it easy for children to envision themselves in the story. Lo knows how to tell a compelling story for all children, not just Chinese children. The story is about the new kid in school, who finally finds a way to feel a part of his class. The Chinese New Year adds a nice layer of a different culture for young children to learn and enjoy.

NEW YEAR. Text and illustrations copyright © 2016 by Rich Lo. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Sky Pony Press, New York, NY.

AmazonIndie BooksSky Pony Press

Add New Year to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

Reprinted with permission from NEW YEAR © 2016 by Rich Lo, Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing. Illustrations © 2016 by Rich Lo.

Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

New Year
Written and Illustrated by Rich Lo
Sky Pony Press 11/15/2016


7 thoughts on “#1070 – New Year by Rich Lo

  1. I love everything about this story! I can see all children relating to being the new kid on the block. I think as adults we feel this way a bit when we travel to a foreign country, I can only imagine how hard it must be to relocate to one.


    • I was the new kid once and don’t remember the feeling. Must have been okay. But you are right about kids relocating from a new county (especially), or even from across town. Not speaking English makes this even harder. Rich Lo does a nice job relating the young boy’s feelings and his difficulties in the short PB form. And his art make the pages sing. This is a must have PB for teachers and homeschooled kids. (But this is simply my non-teacher opinion).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Rich Lo’s ” Father’s Chinese Circus” and his gorgeous artwork. Was searching for a new Chinese New Year book to review and missed that he had a new release. Will have to check it out! Perfect for Children’s Multicultural Day/Month! Great story line about being the new kid at school. Great review!


    • The title—New Year—doesn’t give away that this is about Chinese New Year. I had no idea until I read it. I love Rich Lo’s art. He is so expressive.

      There is another Chinese New Year book, (I wanted it reviewed by now.) It is called The Year of the Rooster: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac, by Oliver Chin and Juan Calle (Immedium). It is bilingual Chinese-English. It is planned for Friday. The same author did last year’s Year of the Monkey. I reviewed it, and you can find it using the search function on the home page, if interested. (sorry, I don’r know how to add links to comments).

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Patricia Tilton Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.