'Grandma Panda's China Storybook', by Mingmei Yip, is one of those 'gift-worthy' books. Really special, with beautiful, vibrant art. The longer part of the title says "Legends, Traditions and Fun" and that's exactly what's inside this delightful picturebook.
Through a storytelling 'Grandma Panda', we learn about how certain Chinese traditions (in food, holidays, and Chinese culture) came about - things like the art of calligraphy, dim sum treats, and the folklore behind some of China's most loved tales. And DRAGONS. To quote from the book, "For the Chinese, dragons are not evil, but represent strength, nobility and good luck."
More fun things: Chinese opera. Kung fu. Kites. All described and detailed in charming stories and fables. Did you know that long ago, people used to send messages and mail to their ancestors via kite?
And the best bit is that on the front and end inside covers of the book, there are Chinese words written out, with a picture, and with the Chinese calligraphy symbol. Julia loooooved that immensely, and she spent the better portion of two weeks practicing Chinese calligraphy by copying the symbols in the book.
This one has become a permanent and often read addition to our bookshelf ~ it's perfect for ages 5-9. Gorgeous and festive!
(I received a review copy of the book but all opinions are my own. P.S. blog disclaimers are silly.)