Saturday, June 11, 2022

Children's picture books provide cultural introduction of China to kids [Review & Giveaway]

Chinese Kite Festival by Rich Lo 

My thoughts: 
This is a bright, beautiful book. Simply written with a short sentence for each illustration. If the goal is bilingual, this serves well for the young bilingual reader. If for a single language child, the text is simple to understand and the additional language can be a source of illustration for that language.

In Chinese culture, the kite festival is a looked forward to occasion. Other cultures enjoy kite flying, but the festival in China has different conations. 

I like that the publisher and author/illustrator have provided short back material that defines the Chinese significance of each animal, bird, or fish.

A lovely book for personal use or library additions 

About the book: Children can learn animal names in both English and Chinese with this beautifully illustrated book!
A tiger pounces across the sky.
A ladybug takes flight from a leaf.
Animal names and their significance in Chinese culture is beautifully explored for young readers in this stunning book. Simple bilingual text helps teach children animal names in both English and Chinese, and little ones will learn that butterflies are a sign of love, bees signify hard work, and more through the very simple and accessible backmatter. Paired with Rich Lo's vibrant digital watercolors, this simple and practical introduction to Chinese animal names and symbolism is irresistible.

All You Need by Howard Schwartz 

My thoughts: 
Simply written in sparse text, this sweet story has deep insights that will touch your heart, expand your concept of your reality, and provide opportunities for layers of insight.

All you need is the essentials. The life essentials. The day-to-day, live on the Earth essentials. And these essentials are beautiful and a blessing.

The book is not a religious or spiritual publication but will surely touch your heart with the blessings you receive on a daily basis to simply exist.

I highly recommend this book. While it presents a glimpse into Chinese life, it is multi-cultural in that it is a life book.


About the book: A little girl grows up to be an accomplished artist in this sumptuously illustrated book about the small things that lead to a rich and fulfilling life.
All You need
Is a planet to live on,
A sun to give you light,
And warmth…
In All You Need, poet Howard Schwartz’s graceful, deceptively simple text describes a handful of things anyone needs to live a rich and fulfilling life, made all the more potent by the illustrations of debut picture book artist Jasu Hu, who uses her talents to create a rich and powerful narrative describing her own journey, creative and otherwise, from a childhood in China to her arrival to study art in New York. Ultimately, she creates her own book, this book, a gift to her distant parents.

Luli and the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang

My thoughts: 
Many nationalities and cultures enjoy tea of various forms. Possibly none quite to the extent of China.

In Luli and the Language of Tea, the story opens in a multi-national classroom. Possibly kindergarten. Possibly in America or English speaking country. Luli enters and she can't speak English. But neither could the others. 

Luli proceeds, whilst sitting alone at a table, to place a tea set and thermos and begins to pour hot water from the thermos into the teapot in which she has placed tea leaves. 

Children quickly respond in their own language to Luli's call for "tea" in Chinese. They each respond in their own language.... Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, etc. (So dear reader, you get to "see" how "tea" would sound and look in each language!) 

They all joined together to enjoy their tea as they shared the warmth and taste of the familiar drink.

A sweet story invoking a warm feeling in this reader. I love the back material that gives some information on immigrants living in the US. I also like the pictures of the types of tea cups from different countries.  And, yes, I am a tea-drinker and love pretty tea cups.

About the book: Though they may speak different languages, kids from all over the world come together to enjoy the shared pastime of tea in this delicious book for young readers.

When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can’t speak English, neither can anyone else. That’s when she has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring them all together.

Luli removes her teapot, thermos, and teacups from her bag and calls out “Chá!” in her native Chinese. One by one, her classmates pipe up in recognition: in Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, and Spanish, Portuguese, and Swahili. Tea is a tasty language they all know well, and it gives them a chance to share and enjoy each other’s company. When all the tea is gone and it’s time for dessert, Luli gets to use her favorite English word, cookie! After that, the playroom isn’t so quiet.

Informed by her own experience as the child of Chinese immigrant parents, Andrea Wang makes the point that when you’re looking to communicate with people, you look for a common bond. The word for “tea” is similar in many languages, and tea becomes the unifying metaphor that brings a diverse group of children together. Additional material at the back of the book explores the rich and ancient history of tea drinking across cultures all around the world and contains maps, statistics, and fascinating details that will delight young readers. 
Prize: All 3 books featured
June 11 to July 9 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prize is provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. A Place for Bats and A Place for Frogs. Not the most popular critters but two of my favorites.

  2. Boo Stew --- Going Down Home with Daddy

  3. The Cats and the Cake and Dear Beast interest me!

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  5. I read Worser and it is excellent! See Me Run looks good too.


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