If you get a chance to see Andrea Wang at a Chinese New Year author event for The Nian Monster, I highly recommend going, especially if you have small children! Her picture book author event was delightfully interactive!
The Nian Monster Chinese New Year Author Event
The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Alina Chau
The ancient legend of the Nian monster gives background to why Chinese New Year is celebrated with the color red, loud noises and fire. XingLing knows about the Nian Monster but is shocked to see it appear in Shanghai, ready to devour her and her city. She uses her wits to outsmart the Nian monster. The special foods used to celebrate Chinese New Year also have a role to play in defeating the Nian monster. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Andrea’s family were at the event, helping out. Her son acted out the part of the Nian Monster and also helped the kids with the craft. This was a coming home event for Andrea; she grew up in Newton and graduated from Newton North High School though now she lives in Colorado.
Andrea had red treat bags (a.k.a. Nian Monster Protection Kits), but these weren’t goody bags to take home. Inside, were items to use for her read aloud.
As the the Nian Monster make ready to devour Shanghai, a little girl named XingLing thwarts it by feeding it other foods. The kids at the event happily took part feeding the pretend Nian Monster.
The most exciting moment, however, also utilized the red bags. Firecrackers are traditionally used to scare away monsters for Chinese New Year, but that wouldn’t work in a book store. Andrea used the paper bag ingeniously to make a firecracker sound! The kids had so much fun blowing up and then smashing their bag!
Andrea Wang reads The Nian Monster:
p.s. Andrea Wang has a craft for The Nian Monster here. You can do it at home!
p.p.s. Other Chinese New Year related posts:
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