I love the autumn and all the wonderful traditions that go along with this time of year. I was really looking forward to learning about a new custom for my favorite season. This is the story of Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by Grace Lin.
The illustrations were lovely, the vocabulary was simple enough for an early reader, and the story was quick enough for a child without a long attention span.
Before I read the book to my son, maybe I should have read the expanded explanation of the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival provided by Grace Lin at the end of the story, so I could have explained it to him in my own words, because the pace on the story and the explanations were off for us.
For us, the story itself felt too short, and didn't give enough detail; yet the explanation was too long for my son to listen to without the help of more illustrations. As I said, I should have read it before I sat down with my son, so he could flip through the pages of the book as I went into further detail about the festival.
The way we read it, he didn't enjoy it like I hoped he would and wasn't open to another telling a few nights later.
Fans of Grace Lin's Dim Sum for Everyone! will love this book, since it is the same Chinese-American family celebrating another tradition.
Synopsis (From Grace Lin's Website): The family from Dim Sum for Everyone! and Bringing in the New Year are now celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. This simple, young, and satisfying story follows a Chinese American family as they celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
Each member of the family lends a hand as they prepare a moonlit picnic with mooncakes, pomelos, cups of tea, and colorful lanterns. And everyone sends thanks and a secret wish up to the moon.
Includes an informative author's note with further details on the customs and traditions of the Moon Festival for parents and teachers. The Moon Festival is one of the most important holidays of the year along with the Lunar New Year, so this book makes an excellent companion to Bringing In the New Year!
About the Book:
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 14, 2010)
About the Author: Grace Lin includes an informative author’s note with further details on the customs and traditions surrounding the Lunar New Year for parents and teachers. Grace Lin has written and illustrated several picture books about this Chinese American family (based on her own!): Dim Sum for Everyone!, Kite Flying, and Fortune Cookie Fortunes. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.