Teach kids about the Chinese Moon Festival with these great book recommendations and encourage them to explore different cultures and countries as they travel the world in books!
As part of our Travel the World in Books Readathon, we traveled to China and Africa with recommendations from book lovers about the best books to read for adults and kids!
General Event Info:
What our readathon is all about:
Explore countries other than the one you live in. Read as much as you can of books set in a different country or by an author from a different country. Read for your own pleasure or learning, read with your kids or both. Travel the world from the comfort of your own home and learn about different cultures. Expand your horizons and show publishers that #WeNeedDiverseBooks to promote cultural understanding and diversity in our reading. Support diverse authors and books. #TraveltheWorldinBooksRAT
Sign up – you must be signed up to be eligible to win a giveaway
Full Readathon Schedule
Book Giveaways and Prize Form page – please remember to fill out prize form so we know what you would like if you win!
Co-Host Becca from Lost in Books Takes Us Away to Africa
Visit my fantastic co-host Becca from Lost in Books today. She is sharing her top 3 recommendations of books set in Africa. In addition, she has a series of 8 “Take Me Away” posts covering Egypt, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Morrocco. In each post, Becca gives us a map of the country and numerous book suggestions covering fiction, nonfiction and even children’s books. A great resource for when you and the kids are ready to travel to Africa in books. Check out her post and bookmark or pin it, cause you’ll want to come back to it later for more great reading about Africa.
Guest Post from Coastal Book Corner: Lin-Yi’s Lantern and Teaching Kids about the Chinese Moon Festival
Today, we are talking all about the kids! I confess, I did not enjoy reading as a kid. I was always out playing with friends or in sports. I learned to love reading from my oldest son and biggest bookworm. We constantly went to the library to curb his insatiable appetite for books. Finally, I picked up some books for myself. I had trouble sleeping and turned to reading before bed to relieve my mind of my endless to-do list. Two years later and I can’t read fast enough.
Now, I look back at my childhood and think of all the time I missed reading great books! As a parent, I have read with my kids since they were babies, more so with the first one than the third (you know how that goes). And it’s interesting to see how their love of books and learning is directly proportionate to when I started reading to them. It’s been my mission for the past year to read 1,000 books with my kids and make 10 book inspired crafts with them to cultivate their love of reading. So I’m ecstatic that Stephanie from Coastal Book Corner wants to share with us the kids’ book Lin-Yi’s Lantern and give us fun ways to teach kids about the Chinese Moon Festival! Welcome Stephanie to Mom’s Small Victories and our Travel the World in Books Readathon!
When we read stories with children about other countries and cultures, we open a window for them allowing them to explore the world that lies beyond their neighborhood. They begin to recognize that people do not always live the way they do, or eat the same foods that they do and that people can look and dress differently. Equally important as exposing them to explore differences and celebrate diversity, is the notion that, though there are many differences amongst us, there is also a universality of human families and love and strength of spirit. As we choose diverse books to read to our children, let us also use it as a springboard to learn more about the country or culture featured in the book. As an example, let me share with you one of my favorite beautifully illustrated books, Lin-Yi’s Lantern: A Moon Festival Tale. The Chinese Moon Festival falls on September 8th this year.
In Lin-Yi’s Lantern*, a small boy from a Chinese village is sent to market on the morning of the Moon Festival to buy some things for his mother to prepare food for the celebration that evening. He asks if he may buy a special lantern for the festival but his mother explains that they only have so much money and need the things on the list. She tells him that if he barters well, he may have the money left over and may use it to buy a lantern. This story allows you to follow Lin-Yi from market stall to market stall as he makes his purchases and see how he solves his dilemma in the end. Reading this story with children, they will be able to relate to wanting an object so badly and empathize with Lin-Yi when he struggles to save enough money at the end of his shopping excursion to purchase the coveted lantern.
Moving beyond the story itself, we can explore with children why the Moon Festival is celebrated. Included in the book,Lin-Yi’s Lantern*, is an endnote of the story of The Legend of the Moon Fairy. This is one version of a story told to explain the Moon Festival and if you have older children, you could also research other versions of this tale and the origins of this ancient festival.
To extend any story with children, it is so much fun to include a craft and/or recipe. Of course when reading a story about Lin-Yi and his lantern, it just makes sense to make a lantern, don’t you agree? Here is a simple paper lantern to make with children and is also featured as an endnote in the book.
Lastly, I love to explore other cultures’ food and recipes with children. During the Chinese Moon Festival, it is customary to serve moon cakes. These can be specially ordered or if you are fortunate to live in a larger city, then you may be able to purchase them at a Chinese bakery. If you are really adventurous, you can try to bake your own. Here is a recipe for them found online.
This is a very time intensive treat to make, so be warned that children will be limited in how much they can help and you may find yourself going alone during most of the baking. I have another Moon Cake recipe to share with you though, and although it is not Chinese in origin, it will be fun to make with children and eat when having your own moon festival.
We recently made this cake again at our house, and though it may not be the healthiest thing to serve (oh well, it is a dessert!), it was very well-liked by all members of our household. Here are a few tips for when you decide to make one for yourself. First of all, it is important to mix the eggs in one at a time! The batter mixes best this way and you end up with a glossy, sticky batter.
This batter can be tricky to spread in the pan and will look something like this going into the oven.
Coming out of the oven is a whole different look!
Also, let me remind you about the importance of using instant pudding mix. It is important! I accidentally bought the cook and serve pudding mix and had a runny mess. After an extra trip to the market by my awesome husband, we had a new container of cream cheese and instant pudding mix to start anew. This is our finished product. My youngest son had fun putting on the finishing touch with his chocolate sauce design.
I hope you have fun exploring and maybe even celebrating the Moon Festival at your house. (Some other titles that fit nicely into the “moon theme” are The Rabbit in the Moon from The Barefoot Book of Animal Tales* and I Took the Moon for a Walk*.
It may lead your child to want to hear more stories about children in China, so be prepared to make some more Chinese food, learn how to write some Chinese characters, listen to Chinese music and learn about Chinese culture and traditions. As Jackie Kennedy Onassis once said, “There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”
I couldn’t agree more!
About Stephanie Bowe from The Coastal Book Corner
Stephanie Bowe is a preschool teacher and mom to six children. She is an ambassador for the independent publishing company, Barefoot Books, which specializes in multi-cultural and diverse books. You can learn more about her, the books and their accompanying crafts and recipes on her Coastal Book Corner Facebook page and visit her online book shop for many multicultural children’s books and more!
Don’t forget to enter to win a free copy of the beautiful children’s book Lin-Yi’s Lantern by Brenda Williams & Benjamin Lacombe and 18 other kids and adult titles to take you on a journey around the world!
Thanks Stephanie for sharing your recipes and crafts to do with our kids to celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival and for giving away a copy to our readers! This looks like a beautiful book and a great way to teach kids about the Chinese Moon Festival!
Have you ever been to a Chinese Moon or Harvest Festival? Or celebrated the Chinese New Year? What international recipes or crafts do you and your kids enjoy?
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Have you ever been to a Chinese Moon or Harvest Festival? Or celebrated the Chinese New Year? What international recipes or crafts do you and your kids enjoy? I hope you and your kids enjoy learning about the Chinese Moon Festival with these good books and fun crafts!