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A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  324 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Maomao's dad works many miles away, but he is coming home for New Year!

Little Maomao's father works in faraway places and comes home just once a year, for Chinese New Year. At first Maomao barely recognizes him, but before long the family is happily making sticky rice balls, listening to firecrackers, and watching the dragon dance in the streets below. Papa gets a haircut,
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 31st 2011 by Candlewick Press
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Randie D. Camp, M.S.
A young girl, Maomao, is excited for the Chinese New Year because for those few days her Papa returns home from working far away. Maomao experiences a whirlwind of emotions. She is a little bit frightened because her Papa looks like a stranger at first. She is content sleeping between her parents at night while the firecrackers can be heard from outside. She is excited to find the fortune coin! And she is upset after a day out in the snow. Throughout all those different events and emotions, Maom ...more
Eve Huang
opening for this book: let student share their experience in Christmas Day, what they like to do during the holiday, how big families they have. Beside Christmas, any other holidays they like to celebrate with their family members. Then, I would like to ask them if they know something about Chinese New Year, and introduce them the sheep year of 2015.

Opening moves: making students to rethink about the background knowledge, that about the American holidays, like Christmas Day. Raising some questi
Jul 30, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amy by: Cheryl
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
This was a bittersweet story, and my niece, nephew, and I all appreciated it. I think that the children identified with the little girl in this book, because they don't get to see their father as often as they'd like. They were able to understand what it feels like to miss Dad, see him, and then have to go back to missing him again. I think it was a challenging story for them to hear, but one that stirred their emotions a bit, which is important. I think that it's good for children to learn that ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
In some parts of China, parents may work far away and only get to see their children once a year. In this story, a little girl describes how she and her mother get ready to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the return, for a short time, of her father. New Year's customs are described as well as the girl's relationship with her father. I loved the bright illustrations, and especially how cute the little girl looks. For other books about absentee parents, see Jacqueline Woodson's Coming Home Soon ...more
Jan 19, 2012 Bobby rated it really liked it
Ouch...Lots of emotions packed into this one.
Jo Oehrlein
May 21, 2017 Jo Oehrlein rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A story about a girl whose father works far away and only comes home to visit for the New Year's holiday. Shows traditional New Years activities in China.

Could also be useful for military kids whose parents are deployed.
Jan 28, 2017 Melki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holiday, kidstuff
Imagine seeing your father only once a year . . .

This is a very bittersweet reunion as Maomao's father returns home to celebrate Chinese New Year. The days are packed with activity, but soon, much too soon, her father must go back to work.

Beautiful illustrations - so much red!
Jun 30, 2017 Lea rated it liked it
Shelves: a-z, children-s-books
Bittersweet story.
Rosseli Ramirez
Mar 15, 2016 Rosseli Ramirez rated it it was amazing
A New Year's Reunion is a story that many children may find relatable regardless of their cultural background. I enjoyed reading this book because I could relate the story to my past experience because my dad immigrated to the U.S. when I was a child, looking a better job. He would then visit us only once a year during the winter. This is the same situation that many families have to go through because many times parents have to leave their countries and families behind to look for better job op ...more
Susie White
Nov 26, 2014 Susie White rated it really liked it
A New Year’s Reunion follows Maomao and her parents during the Chinese New Year as her father returns home only at this time. The author explains afterward that he is a migrant worker like some 100 million others in China who are away from their families throughout the year except for the New Year’s celebration. Maomao’s father is there for a total of four days, in which three of those are part of New Year’s. On the first day they go New Year visiting, watch the dragon dance on the second day, a ...more
Brooke Nadzam
Jun 29, 2015 Brooke Nadzam rated it liked it
Categories/Genres for this class fulfilled by this book: Picture Books

Estimate of age level of interest: Preschool-Grade 3

Estimate of reading level: Grade 2

Brief description:

Maomao’s father comes home from time away working to celebrate the Chinese New Year with his family.

Identify at least 2 characteristics of this genre and subgenre and discuss how they appear in your book:

Picture books use text and illustrations together to tell the story. In A New Year’s Reunion Li-Qiong uses a mixture of
Lisa Sandidge
Mar 14, 2016 Lisa Sandidge rated it liked it
This book is about how a little girl and her family celebrate the Chinese New Year. While they are making rice balls, her father puts something in one of the balls and tells her that if she finds it that it will bring her good luck. The little girl of course finds the rice ball that has the hidden object and she puts it in her pocket. As they are going about their day, the little girl notices that she has lost the object. She tells her father what has happen. He gives her a hug and slips another ...more
Mar 22, 2016 997997 rated it it was amazing
When I saw this book, I felt was really familiar with this book because it mainly shows that the Chinese year. In this story, it discusses that the little girl is looking forward to having a spring festival in China because at this time, she can reunion with her dad. Her dad does not work in his own city, he cannot went to home when he work outside, every spring festival, she always can get gift, like a doll from her dad because her dad was really loved her and does not want to make her feel ups ...more
Grace Bradley
Apr 22, 2014 Grace Bradley rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a story of a migrant worker and his family traditions celebrating Chinese New Year's. A young Chinese girl wakes up the day before Chinese New Year's waiting outside her door for her father to arrive from working hundreds of miles away all year long. He only returns to his family from working once a year, to celebrate the holiday. As a family they partake in Chinese traditions such as making sticky rice balls. Inside one of the sticky rice bowls is a gold coin. Whoever finds the gold coi ...more
Xinwen Xu
Mar 14, 2016 Xinwen Xu rated it it was amazing
I really like this book. At the beginning of the story, the book show us somethings about Chinese new year. I come from China, so when I saw these traditional activities in new year I felt very amiable. For example, they put a coin in dumplings. If who eat this coin he will become lucky in the whole year. The activity is so common in Chinese this is a ancient custom. The story also start from here. A little girl had a coin from the dumpling. She was very happy in the Chinese new year with her fa ...more
Mar 14, 2016 Topanga rated it did not like it
This book is about how a little girl and her family celebrate the Chinese New Year. While they are making rice balls, her father puts something in one of the balls and tells her that if she finds it that it will bring her good luck. She ends up finding it and puts it in her pocket. Later in the book she looses it and tells her father when he goes to give her a hug he slips another one into her pocket. When she checks and finds it she is extremely happy and tells her father that she was sure it w ...more
Jan 04, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
The New Year is a particularly happy time for Maomao because her father gets to come home for Chinese New Year. His job is far away, and he can only visit once a year. [A page at the end of the book claims that more than 100 million workers in China work hundreds or thousands of miles away from home, making it difficult to visit very often.] While he is at home, the family spends time together, doing simple things such as forming sticky balls of rice, eating, talking, and getting a haircut. They ...more
Barbara Ann
Mar 19, 2015 Barbara Ann rated it it was amazing
Adorable tale told by a young child named Mao-Mao about her family's celebration of Chinese New Year. She is all excited because not only is it Chinese New Year, but this is the only time of year that Mao-Mao sees her father, who builds houses far away from home. Daddy brings gifts and is eager to celebrate. He makes sticky rice balls and hides a coin in one of them. Mao-Mao rides her father's shoulders so she can see the Dragon parade. As the days of the celebration progress, dad is busy fixing ...more
Mary Ann
Children will get a sense of how important New Year’s celebrations are in China today in the lovely new book A New Year’s Reunion, by Yu Li-Qiong, illustrated by Zhu Cheng Liang (Candlewick; 40 pp.; $15.99; ages 4 - 8). Maomao and her mother eagerly await for her father to come home. “Papa builds big houses in faraway places, / He comes home only once each year, / during Chinese New Year.” Papa’s time with his family is filled with sweet, tender moments: making sticky rice balls with Maomao and ...more
Shelby Rini
Mar 14, 2016 Shelby Rini rated it really liked it
This story is about a family where the dad works away from home and on Chinese New year, comes home to see his wife and his little girl. During the time that he is home, the family participates in traditions involving cooking, adventuring, watching parades, and much more. One day the little girl's dad gives her a lucky coin. The next day when she is playing in the snow she loses it and becomes very sad because she wants to remember her dad buy it when he leaves again. Later she finds it and real ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Nicole rated it really liked it
Maomao’s papa works far away from home and only comes home for the Chinese New Year, January 23. Maomao hardly recognizes her papa when he arrives, but before no time the family is making rice balls, listening to firecrackers, and watching the dragon dance the streets. Although Maomao loves doing everyday things such as cuddling and fixing things around the house, this soon comes to end because her papa has to leave again for work. This is a great text to read on January 23- the Chinese New Year ...more
Danielle Leider
Apr 29, 2014 Danielle Leider rated it really liked it
Maomao’s father is a working very hard at a faraway job and he only come home once a year, on Chinese New Year. At first, she does not recognize who her father is, but after some time thing begin to return to normal. The family comes together to participate in all the Chinese New Year traditions like making sticky rice and setting off fireworks. Each year they have the tradition of hiding a coin in one of the balls of sticky rice and whoever finds has good luck. Maomao finds and decides to give ...more
Kristi Scramlin
It’s the New Year’s holiday in China Meomeo is excited because this is the only time of year her dad gets to come home. This year is special because he has brought her a lucky coin that he hides in a rice ball. She takes the lucky coin with her everywhere even to go play in the snow with her friends. But when she gets home it seems that her lucky coin feel out of her coat while she was playing and Meomeo gets very upset. Then when she gets ready for bed the lucky coin falls out of her jacket and ...more
Michelle Kim
Oct 17, 2013 Michelle Kim rated it it was amazing
This narrative is about a young girl, Maomao. Her father works far away and only comes home for Chinese New Years. They celebrate 3 days together and eat traditional meals and see the dragon dance in the street. After the 3 days the father has to leave again. As a teacher I could use this book in many ways. For one I can use this to inform the students of some of the customs that go with Chinese New Years. Also I can help the students understand and practice empathy. Another way I could use this ...more
Tricia Pham
This is a short story of a family’s Chinese New Year celebration. A little girl name, Maomao waits for her father to return with her who works for construction somewhere far for a year. Maomao’s father has annual visits for Chinese New Years, which means a lot to Maomao and her mother. This book provides an interesting yet new story about a family’s celebration. The story sheds different aspects of life on a particular family of migrant workers. This is a great book for children in early element ...more
Deanna Colburn
Apr 15, 2013 Deanna Colburn rated it really liked it
Maomao’s father works very faraway and only comes home once a year for Chinese New Year. At first Maomao does not recognize her father but after a while things return back to normal and the family is happy to be together. The family does all of their Chinese New Year traditions such as making sticky rice balls and listening to firecrackers. One tradition that Maomao’s family does is they hide a coin in one of the sticky rice balls, whoever finds it will have good luck for the next year. Maomao f ...more
SJ Cheng
Jan 30, 2014 SJ Cheng rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Chinese New Year, as experienced by Maomao, a young girl whose father works far away, and can travel home only for the important holiday. When the father arrives home, the family of three make sticky rice balls (yuanxiao), fix up the house, and watch a dragon dance weave its way through town.

The illustrations are touching, the bright colors of the Chinese New Year celebration and child’s clothing contrast with dark colors of the father’s clothing. I love this book because i
Jeffrey Lin
Jun 16, 2013 Jeffrey Lin rated it it was amazing
Previous reviewers have done excellent jobs but I just want to add that I work with people described in this book. They leave their young child (singular in most cases in China with the one-child-policy) at home with the grandparents to raise and move to the coastal cities for better economic opportunities. They do this so they can provide for their family at home and maybe a better future for their child. Often times the parents get to see their child perhaps once a year sometimes longer. I hav ...more
Sep 28, 2012 Hailee rated it really liked it
"A New Year's Reunion" by Yu Li Qiong shows insight to young children about the Chinese New Year as well as the joy and sorrow that accompanies reunions. MaoMao narrates this book as she tells how her Papa works in a far away place and comes home every year just for the New Years festivities. After she warms up to him, MaoMao is given a special coin to bring good luck. When the holiday is over, Papa has to leave once again to go back to work. The illustrations in this book do a wonderful job of ...more
Jan Rue
Jun 11, 2013 Jan Rue added it
Shelves: ed-689-books
Written by Yu Li Qiong (2007) & illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang Illustrations done in gouache. It is a picture book which tells the story of a young Chinese girl who only sees her father once a year at New Year's. The father builds houses in another place. The after pages explain that this is a normal occurrence for migrant workers in China - over 100 million - who are only home once a year, for just a few days. I was surprised to read this and thought at first it was just a crazy story but n ...more
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Yu Li Qiong was born in Anqing in the People's Republic of China in 1980. She holds a BA in literature from Nanjing University and an MA in dramatic art. Yu Li Qiong lives in China.
More about Yu Li-Qiong...

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