Reading level: Baby-Preschool
Pages: 40 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (July, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN: 0811826767
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 9.4 x 0.5 inches

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Awards + Reviews
Round is a Mooncake


Publishers Weekly
Debut author Thong cleverly uses a concept book to celebrate Chinese culture. "Round is a mooncake/ Round is the moon/ Round are the lanterns/ outside my room," explains the unnamed young heroine as she takes the reader on a tour of her neighborhood, where circles, squares and rectangles abound. Lin's (The Ugly Vegetables) full-bleed, double-page gouache pictures, radiant with traditional Chinese colors and patterns, offer a witty melange of the old and new, the cultural and the universal, the everyday and (for most of the audience, anyway) the exotic. A family feasts on pizza and dim sum, both of which come in square boxes; her father talks on his rectangular cell phone while the narrator practices the ancient art of ink writing using a rectangular inking stone and paintbrush rack. A brief glossary on the final page explains the meaning and role of Asian words and things that appear in the book. Tipping its hat to both the melting pot and ethnic pride, this makes an enchanting primer for children of all backgrounds. Ages 2-5. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

School Library Journal
PreS-K-This concept book prompts children to look at circles, squares, and rectangles through the eyes of a Chinese girl. The rhyming text describes things like dim sum, inking stones, lucky money, and an abacus as they relate to the various shapes. The last page defines unfamiliar terms. The rhymes, at times perfectly structured but sometimes somewhat forced, lack a consistent beat, which makes this a challenging read-aloud. "Round is a mooncake/Round is the moon/Round are the lanterns/outside my room/Round is a pebble/that I found/A bowl of goldfish/that make no sound." The illustrations, brilliantly colored gouache paintings outlined in black, are large, crisp, and inviting. A useful purchase for young patrons interested in Chinese culture.-Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
The Asian theme sparks a multicultural learning opportunity as a lively young girl observes shapes in the world around her in this delightful debut by Thong and Lin. A round shape is a mooncake and a rice bowl, a square is a name chop and a checkerboard, and a rectangle is a mobile phone and an inking stone. Only three shapes are introduced but a few objects represent each shape; some are universally recognized and others are specific to AmericanChinese culture. Simple rhymes accompany each illustration. Thong's text provides discussion starters for audience participation. "I can name more square things, can you?" This feature lends itself to a group readaloud or an intimate storytime with a single child. Lin's gouache illustrations are bold and colorful, lively, and filled with childlike wonder. Family and friends interact in scenes that depict everyday life in a suburban setting. The image of "square," for example, has the reader looking through the windows of the house where the family is eating pizza and dim sum. Another illustration shows the girl writing Chinese letters with brush and inking stones as her father standing nearby speaks on a mobile phone. A charming and instructive math concept book. (Picture book. 37)