Reading level: Baby-Preschool
Pages: 40 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (September, 2001)
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 9.2 x 0.5 inches
The gentle primer Red Is a Dragon by Roseanne Thong, illus. by Grace Lin, does for colors what their Round Is a Mooncake did for shapes, in a felicitous meeting between East and West. The girl who narrated the previous book here serves as tour guide through 10 hues, each of which dominates a spread redolent with the saturated colors and intricate patterns of Chinese textiles and paintings. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-K-A beautiful Chinese dragon in several shades of red writhes across a double-page spread, accompanied by children carrying drums, cymbals, and strings of firecrackers-a fitting start for a concept book about colors. Although many of the objects portrayed are Asian in origin, such as lychees, incense sticks in a pot, and a jade bracelet, most are universal. The attractive illustrations use large areas of vibrant colors overlaid by varied patterns in the same colors. The text in rhyming couplets is less successful; at times the need for a rhyme sometimes outweighs the regard for exact description. Quibbles aside, concept books are always needed and this one offers a peek at Chinese-American culture.-Marian Drabkin, formerly at Richmond Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Pure, bright colors, excellent use of pattern, and Chinese-influenced composition and perspective dovetail neatly with color rhymes from the pair who brought readers Round Is a Mooncake (2000). A Chinese-American girl catalogues the colors in her life: "Pink is a peony / Pink is a rose / pink is the sunlight / on my nose" and "Green is a bracelet / made of jade / Green is the purse / my auntie made." Like the purple kite, the red dragon, and the white dumplings, many of the items she chooses spring from her Asian heritage. The family festivals and rituals, and the child's open response to nature and to play, are irresistibly apparent, and invite readers in with a double-paged, full-bleed spread for each color. The rhymes bounce along quite effortlessly, buoyed by the vivid colors that echo each verse. A glossary adds strength to this jaunty cultural salute. (Picture book. 3-8)
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