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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Joyce Chng
Age Range: 6-8
It is the eve of Chinese New Year and Yao, the dragon dancer, is preparing to wake the ancient sky dragon, Shen Long, from his year-long sleep. Yao has inherited a special duty and he knows that his predecessors, including his grandfather, will be watching over him as he performs. From the moment Shen Long opens his eyes and unfurls his siver-blue tail, Yao will become immersed in his dragon dance as he does battle with the bad luck of the previous year and ushers in good luck for the new one.
Joyce Chng has created a magical story around the customs of Chinese New Year. Accompanied by stunning ethereal artwork from French illustrator, Jérémy Pailler, that perfectly complements Chng's poetic, atmospheric prose. As the language can be complicated in places, this is a book that would also be suitable for up to age ten.
Dragon Dancer is one of the first titles to be released by newly-formed independent publishing house, Lantana Publishing. It is supported by an extensive range of teaching resources that can be downloaded for free from the publishers' website.
Perhaps the only thing that would enhance this book even further, is a slightly larger font size for accessibility, particularly for young independent readers, but this is only a small niggle, in what is an otherwise a gorgeous book. Because of the smaller font and slightly complex language at times this is also a book that would be suitable up to age ten.