Happy Chinese New Year! The year of the Dragon

January 24th, 2012

by Katrina Brooke

Mei Li: A Vintage Chinese New Year Story

Burgin Streetman January 23, 2012

Hurray for January, the month of New Years! According to this book’s jacket, the author and etcher, Thomas Handforth, visited the Far East on a Guggenheim Fellowship and published Mei Li in 1938 based on his experiences. The Caldecott Medal-winning story follows a young girl on the eve of the Chinese New Year as she ventures out to the streets of Peiping to enjoy all the mysteries the holiday has to offer. The black and white etchings are divine, and the story has a great flow to it, each sentence giving a nod back to the one that preceded it.

In North China, near the Great Wall, is a city shut in by the Wall. Not far from the city in the snow-covered country is a house with a wall around it, too. Inside the house on the morning before New Year’s Day, everyone was busy. Mei Li, the little girl with a candle-top pigtail, was scrubbing and sweeping and dusting. Her mother, Mrs. Wang, was baking and frying and chopping. Her brother, San Yu, was fixing and tasting and mixing. A fine feast prepared for the Kitchen God, who would come at midnight to every family in China to tell them what they must do during the coming year.

Packed full of Chinese tradition, it’s wonderful to experience another culture from a child’s point of view. The girl herself is extremely charming, and wins your heart by how she deals with each adventure as it arises. Pictured here is “the good luck bell under the Bridge of Wealth”, and I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to incorporate this tradition into an American holiday. So fun! As the Chinese New Year falls on February 3 this year, we might all break out our good luck bells and celebrate.


Comments Closed

About The Shyne School
 
facebook
Message Board
Coming Events
Download our annual Calendar for Shyne Calendar 2022 to 2023

Updated 9/3/2022 – Updates to calendars sent to current parents with Lesson Plans and Newsletters as well as posted in the lobby.

*We follow the NSD calendar for breaks. We

Read more
Important Information

Center Hours: Monday to Friday 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM

We are happy to be engaging Tri Landscape & Design Inc {(206) 953-0722} for landscaping and for snow removal.

If Northshore School District closes, we will cancel our …

Read more
Tour Our School

When we are full we do not offer tours.  Once we have an opening I will call from the waiting list and set up an individual tour, by appointment.  Once a family has toured they can decide if they wish …

Read more