It will be Chinese New Year next week, January 31. Growing up, the abundance of tikoy from my parents’ friends was my only clue to the holiday. Having married into a family with some drops of Chinese blood, I inevitably learned to pay attention.
To help my kids celebrate part of their heritage, I’m filling up our learning basket with different books and activities. Pick one, two, or all books to celebrate your family’s own Chinese roots, or at least the Philippines’ long relationship with China!
1. The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
This is the story about Ping, a duck who lives in a boat on the Yangtze river. This is one of our favorite Five in a Row books. You can easily use this as a jumping point to explore or learn about China. Click here for activity ideas. Find it at TLB for P70.
2. The Brothers Wu and the Good-Luck Eel: A Tale from the Philippine Islands by Fran Ng
Set in the Philippines (Binondo, Pasig River, and Divisoria Market are mentioned) “The Brothers Wu” gives a glimpse of the life of the ancestors of those in the Filipino-Chinese community. Published by Tahanan Books, we always stock this book. Find it at TLB for P295.
3. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
Children love this story of a boy whose veeeeery long name almost causes him to drown after falling into a well. Set in ancient China, this is an imagined legend of why the Chinese have short names. Find it at TLB for P80.
4. The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Bishop
A funny story about five brothers who have different gifts but look exactly alike. Find out how they use this fact to their advantage in escaping the wrath of a judge who condemns the first brother to his death! The illustrations by Kurt Wiese depicts the brothers bearing the traditional Chinese hairstyle, the “queue.” Find it at Fully Booked for P240.
5. Adventures of the Treasure Fleet: China Discovers The World by Ann Bowler
A story about the real life explorations of Admiral Zheng He 85 years before Columbus discovered America, this book will give your older child (6 and up) a glimpse of a particular time in Chinese history. I found our copy at National Bookstore, but it’s only available in ebook format on their website. Find it at National Bookstore for P546.69 or visit the nearest NBS branch.
6.Lanterns and Firecrackers: A Chinese new Year Story by Jonny Zucker
A simple introduction to the celebration of Chinese New Year, this book is great for kids ages two to four. This is the perfect tag-along book for those with older siblings. I haven’t been able to find where else this is locally available, but you can get it from Amazon for next year 😀
7. Ming Lo Moves The Mountain by Arnold Lobel
A folktale set in rural China, this book is about Ming Lo and his wife who live beside a big mountain. Ming Lo’s wife is angry because rocks always fall to their house and it always rains too. She asked Ming Lo to move the mountain so they can live peacefully. How the mountain moves will give the young (and even old) reader a good laugh! Oh, and we used this too when we talked about perseverance. Watch out for this when it becomes available at our shop, or get it from Amazon.
tomorrow this week for my short list of activities to prepare kids for Chinese New Year! (Here it is!)