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A New Year’s Reunion

A New Year’s Reunion | Little Lit Book Series

It’s Chinese New Year and it’s a very special time because Maomao’s father, a migrant worker who lives and works away from home the whole year, is coming home to celebrate!  Exchanging gifts, hearing firecrackers and watching dragon dances in the street are part of the annual festivities.  Maomao and her parents also make rice balls with a lucky coin hidden inside one of them.  New year traditions including culinary ones vary from region to region in China and we love reading about how this particular family celebrates Lunar New Year.

A New Year’s Reunion was written by Yu-Li Qiong, illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang and published by Candlewick Press.

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’Twas Nochebuena: A Christmas Story in English and Spanish

’Twas Nochebuena | Little Lit Book Series

Latin American Christmas Eve traditions abound in this playful take on Clement C. Moore’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Montones of tamales are being made before everyone goes out to join the traditional posadas taking place in the neighborhood.  Afterwards, it’s back indoors to enjoy mugs of chocolatey champurrado at family fiestas.  And that’s only the start of the evening!

We truly enjoyed the book’s joyous, vibrant illustrations and bouncy, rhyming text celebrating family, friends and traditions.  A glossary of Spanish terms and lovely author’s note finish off this wonderful holiday story.

’Twas Nochebuena: A Christmas Story in English and Spanish was written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by Sara Palacios and published by Viking Books for Young Readers.

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Thank You Very Mochi

Thank You Very Mochi | Little Lit Book Series
Thank You Very Mochi | Little Lit Book Series
Thank You Very Mochi | Little Lit Book Series

Every year Kimi and her family go to mochitsuki, a time when they get together with their relatives to make a dessert called mochi.  This year, they hit a snafu when they discover that Grandma’s mochi machine is broken.  Everyone gathers ‘round as Grandpa shows them how to make mochi the traditional way using wooden mallets, a huge stone bowl and hard work, giving them glimpses of their family history in the process.  Grandpa teaches Kimi about the most important ingredient of all in mochi — and it’s not rice.  A lovely story about Japanese culinary traditions and the importance of family.

Thank You Very Mochi was written by Sophie Wang, Craig Ishii and Paul Matsushima, illustrated by Jing Zheng and published by Kizuna, a Japanese community non-profit based in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

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