THE PIE THAT MOLLY GREW Written by Sue Heavenrich Illustrated by Chamisa Kellogg (Sleeping…
MICHELLE JING CHAN,
LUNAR NEW YEAR
Written by Mary Man-Kong
(Big Golden Books; $10.99, Ages 2-5)
ABOUT LUNAR NEW YEAR
Celebrate the Lunar New Year and learn about all of its traditions with this Big Golden Book!
Every year, millions of Asian families come together to celebrate the first new moon in the sky. Now preschoolers can learn about the zodiac animals, the delicious food, the exciting parades, and all the fun traditions. Filled with colorful illustrations and simple, yet informative text, this Big Golden Book is perfect for reading again and again to the whole family. Happy Lunar New Year!
Q: What initially drew you to the manuscript for Lunar New Year: A Celebration of Family and Fun?
Growing up, I read many Golden Books, but never one about my own culture. When I first read this manuscript, I was so excited to see a story about a holiday that I grew up celebrating and with characters who reflected me and my family. I’m thrilled that this next generation of Asian children will get to grow up seeing themselves represented in ways that we didn’t have. It was also a treat to bring the words of Mary Man-Kong, the author, to life! She has written several other stories for Golden Books, Disney, and other licensed properties.
Q: What was your process for illustrating the cover?
The art director, Roberta Ludlow, provided very detailed guidelines for illustrating the cover and each spread–which I really appreciated. For the cover, she and the team at Golden Books wanted two children in traditional outfits running with a dragon. I started with three different rough sketches.
Once the team picked their favorite, I filled in base colors and finally rendered the details and lighting.
Q: What traditions are covered in this book?
Though this book mostly focuses on 春节 (The Spring Festival, aka the Chinese term for Lunar New Year), it also touches on other cultures and countries that celebrate Lunar New Year, including Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Q: What was your favorite part about illustrating this book?
I designed the family to look like mine! The parents and grandma are modeled after my own, and the designs for the little girl and boy are based on my brother and me as kids.
Q: What do you love most about how the book turned out?
I love how the festive scenes like the fireworks and dragon scenes remind me of my own childhood celebrating Lunar New Year with my family!
Q: Do you have other projects in the works?
Yes! I have three other picture books releasing in 2024 (MAMIE TAPE FIGHTS TO GO TO SCHOOL by Traci Huahn, Crown/Penguin Random House; STAY ANGRY, LITTLE GIRL inspired by the words of Madeleine L’Engle, FSG/Macmillan; GOODNIGHT SOUNDS by Debbie S. Miller, Bloomsbury). My author-illustrator debut picture book, CELEBRATING DONG ZHI: THE WINTER SOLSTICE is releasing in 2025 with Bloomsbury.
BUY THE BOOK
Support a local independent bookstore and purchase a copy here.
Paper Boat Booksellers in Seattle – Order by phone at 206-743-8283, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person.
Or from Bookshop.org here.
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FOR ILLUSTRATOR MICHELLE JING CHANG
FOR AUTHOR MARY MAN-KONG
Michelle Jing Chan is a queer Chinese American author-illustrator who works on picture books and comics for kids and teens. Ever since she could hold a pencil, Michelle has loved using art to bring the daydreams in her head to life. Her work has been featured in the Wing Luke Museum, Buzzfeed, and Upworthy. When not drawing, Michelle is petting the neighborhood cats, obsessing over a book, or getting jump-scared by spooky TV shows. Visit Michelle at www.michellejingchan.com or on social media @michellieart.
Mary Man-Kong is a children’s book editor and author living in New York City. When she’s not editing or writing, she loves traveling with her amazing family on awesome adventures.