In the recent book-reviews, several children’s books on Christmas have been introduced. Now, the new year is just around the corner (this article is written on Dec 31, 2019). We, grown-ups, try to make a fresh start every new year. We make a new resolution and it is usually effective for refreshing ourselves. Like what we do, we can also motivate our children to refresh themselves in the New Year. Telling them that “the New Year’s day is a good time for a new start and making a new start through a resolution is effective” is highly recommended.
A number of children’s books on New Year are introduced herein. All of them are about the New Year. But, they also encompass further meaningful messages or helpful skills and knowledge. Hoping that our children love these books while these books are beneficial for them, the reviews are introduced herein.
Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas
(Author: Gail Piernas-Davenport, Illustrator: Marioin Eldridge, Age range: 4~6 years)
Its summary is introduced first. Shanté Keys who seemed to have an African origin visited her grandma with her parents to celebrate the new year. She expected that she would eat lucky new year’s peas. But her grandma forgot to prepare the peas. So, Shanté Keys tried to borrow black-eyed peas from the neighbors.
She kept asking a number of neighbors until she finally borrowed black-eyed peas. While asking for the peas, she invites all of them to the New Year’s party at her grandma’s place. Later, all the invited neighbors came over to the grandma’s house for the party, and everyone enjoyed the party while eating the lucky black-eyed peas.
The book introduces several cultural celebrations of the new year through the story of the neighbors. The introduced cultures include those of China, Scotland, Mexico and India (Hindu). Children can be exposed to diverse cultures and get familiar with them.
At the end of the book, the origin of the black-eyed peas is briefly introduced. Then, a lot of special foods for the New Year from all over the world are introduced. Moreover, more detailed cultures of diverse countries are introduced including Australia, Germany, Greece, Japan, the Jewish community, Korea, etc.
The introduced YouTube video narrates the contents of the book with a comfortable and clear voice. At the end of the video, more explanations on the origin of the black-eyed peas are followed.
P. Bear’s New Year’s Party: A Counting Book
(Author: Paul Owen Lewis, Age range: 3~7 years)
P. Bear (probably a polar bear) invited many animals for a new year’s party. A lot of animals came to the party at P. Bear’s house on December 31 to celebrate the new year. The first guest came at 1:00 PM. The number of visiting guests increments by one from 1 to 12. The guests were one whale, two horses, three cows, four zebras, five panda bears, six mountain goats, seven snow leopards, eight Dalmatian dogs, nine skunks, ten geese, eleven cats, and twelve penguins. All of them came over at the interval of an hour from 1:00 until midnight.
This book is highly recommended for young children who need to learn how to read a clock. The book introduces 12 animals and clearly shows the time on a clock when the animals came over. Our children can get familiar with reading a clock. The illustration is very cute.
The Night Before New Year’s
(Author: Natasha Wing, Illustrator: Amy Wummer, Age range: 3~5 years)
It is a story of an ordinary boy who wants to celebrate the new year’s eve with his family. On Dec 31st, the boy asks his mom to allow him to stay up until midnight to celebrate the new year. This part explains well a lot of children’s wishes who want to stay up late especially on a special date. His mom says yes, and the boy is very excited and enjoys the night. The boy’s family visit a store to buy some celebration materials and decorate the house. Then, a fancy dinner and other family activities follow. the boy tries to stay up late and experience New Year’s Eve midnight, but he falls in sleep before the moment. When the boy wakes up the next morning, he resolves to stay up on the new year’s eve next time.
The story illustrates a normal family’s experience on New year’s eve. The book shows a very typical daily life of a normal family. Probably, a lot of children can assimilate the story to their experience on the new year’s eve.