In two and a half weeks, we’ll be leaving the Year of the Rabbit for the Year of the Dragon. And to usher in the new year and its mighty dragon, here’s a short list of dragon-inspired books for kids and adults.
One of my kids’ favorite new acquisitions is this fun picture book illustrated by Grace Lin.
The Seven Chinese Sisters (Albert Whitman and Co., 2003) by Kathy Tucker is a contemporary take on The Five Chinese Brothers from way back in 1938. When a big dragon sweeps down on the sisters’ home and swipes the baby sister, the other sisters work together to save her. It turns out the dragon is skinny and hungry, so the sixth sister–the chef of the family–promises a bowl of her noodle soup the next day.
My kids also love Christoph Niemann’s The Pet Dragon (Greenwillow Books, 2008).
The book tells the story of a girl named Lin who has a pet dragon. The illustrations incorporate one of a couple dozen Chinese characters.
How cool is that? My four year old can already recognize many of these characters.
One of my favorite memoirs is Linda Furiya‘s How to Cook a Dragon: Living, Loving, and Eating in China (Seal Press, 2009). Furiya moves to China to follow her boyfriend and learns to navigate Beijing and Shanghai as a Asian-American who doesn’t speak Chinese. She experiences ups and downs in her relationship, but finds her niche at a Chinese culinary academy. Each chapter ends with a delicious recipe.
If you like a little spice in your reading, check out Jeannie Lin‘s latest romance novel, The Dragon and the Pearl (Harlequin Historical, 2011). When Li Tao, the warlord from her first novel, Butterfly Swords (Harlequin Historical, 2010), kidnaps courtesan Ling Suyin, he finally meets his match.
Before Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See wrote a brilliant memoir of her Chinese family as well as a three-part mystery series starring Liu Hulan, a rising star in the Chinese Ministry of Public Security, and her husband, David Stark, an American lawyer. The last in this series is Dragon Bones (Random House, 2004), which takes place on the Yangzi River and its controversial Three Gorges Dam.
Of course, there’s also Swedish blockbuster, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which has already been turned into a film twice.
Do you have a favorite dragon book?