Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Year of the Horse: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because January 31st is the Chinese New Year, and 2014 is the Year of the Horse, and I’ve been highlighting multicultural books this week and it’s a GREAT picture book! 

9781597020800_lgThe Year of the Horse: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac

By Oliver Chin

Illustrated by Jennifer Wood

36 pages – ages 3+

Series: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac (Book 8)

Published by Immedium on December 31, 2013

Theme/Topic- Chinese New Year / Zodiac / Friendship

Genre- Fiction/Informational

Opening and Synopsis- Opening –

“After months of waiting, Mama and Pap horse finally welcomed their new baby. The foal tried to stand, wobbled, and gradually gained a sure footing. Her parents were thankful and named her “Hannah.” 

Amazon description – “2014 is The Year of the Horse! Hannah the horse has a wonderfully talented family and a very special friendship with a boy named Tom, but she wants more than that. She yearns to have special skills like those of her parents and relatives. When Tom offers to take his art teacher s newest painting to the governor in a far off capital, Hannah jumps at the chance to show a little horse can have a lot of courage.

Why I liked this book – This is a great story with great illustrations! It is a whimsical story about friendship, and the Chinese Zodiac. I like how you see the other animals of the Chinese Zodiac in the illustrations – that can make it fun for the younger kids to look at. The story has a great feel to it, and I like the friendship part of it! The illustrations are bright and the characters are cute. The characters in the story have the characteristics that people born in the year of the horse have – active and energetic being two of them. It is a fun way to learn about the Chinese Zodiac and the Year of the Horse plus it has a fun story.

Activities and Resources – There is a page in the front of the book that tells you about the Chinese Zodiac and a page in the back of the book that says what it means if you are born in the year of the horse. I love it when books have their own resources built in!

Nick Jr has a great Chinese Zodiac coloring book you can download and learn about the signs. You can also figure out what year you were born in. I am a snake. 🙂 Click HERE to go to the coloring book!

Celebrate the Chinese new year! Activity Village has a ton of ideas to celebrate and there are crafts, coloring pages, and worksheets. Click HERE to go THERE!

This book is the 9th book in the Chinese Zodiac series. Check out Immedium’s website and see if your year has been written about! Click HERE!

With Multicultural Children’s Book Day coming up on January 27th and the Chinese New Year coming up on the 31st, this is a great choice for reading!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Categories: Perfect Picture Book Friday

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56 replies

  1. Always a pleasure to visit you, Erik! I love the idea of mixing a story with the Chinese Zodiac. This looks like a wonderful series.

  2. This book is sure to please. Who hasn’t sat in a Chinese Restaurant and looked whimsically at the Chinese Zodiac. I was born in the year of the OX and I have a son who is a snake and his name is Eric. 🙂

  3. I’m going to call my Hannah, Hannah the horse all year now lol.

  4. This is more personal book about the Chinese Zodiac. I like the story a lot. I am a rabbit.

  5. I think you win the prize for most perfect picture book for the Chinese New Year, Erik! Great choice…and wonderful activity and resource list. I will try to get a copy…it sounds like a sweet story!

  6. So it’s the year of the horse. I really need to start paying attention. Thanks to your review, I’ve been brought up to speed and made aware of another wonderful read to check out. Thanks Erik 🙂

  7. Would have liked this growing up. For a while I was totally into Chinese zodiac, origami fortune telling, magic 8 balls. Still have a sweet spot for the possibilities!

  8. This is a great choice for multicultural book day! I hope to find it.

  9. What a unique find! I like the illustrations too. I never much cared for the CHinese zodiac tho….I’m a snake….ewww…I ‘d rather be a rabbit…at least they’re cuddly! Fun pick, Erik…you always find the one-of-a-kind!

  10. I guess you know The Year of the Dog is my favorite year. I may or may not have been born then, but still….

    Love and licks,

  11. Love this cute story. The illustrations are adorable. I love Chinese zodiac and reading fortunes….. I am a sheep or goat, depending on your choice. Creaative and patient…. yep!

  12. That is one of the most adorable horse drawings I have ever seen. Sooo cute. Thanks for sharing!

  13. It’s fun to learn about the Chinese Zodiac. I’m a Rabbit. 🙂 Looks like a cute story. Nice review + activities!

  14. Well, hmmmm. I thought for sure I would have been born in the year of the dog. But it says HORSE. It did say that I liked to run free and that’s true. Fun book Erik. and some fun links as well! Thanks!

  15. This looks like a fun, interesting book, Erik. I would like to be year of the horse because I love horses, but I am a snake. I’ll have to find a different book to tell me about that! Thanks so much for sharing this one!

  16. I love the cover. The horse is adorable. Just my kind of book. Need to look into this one. Thanks Erik.

  17. I need to track this book down this week. We are learning about Chinese New Year in my kindergarten class next week. thanks

  18. It looks like we have a couple of Chinese zodiac books this week. How cool!

  19. Looks like a fun book to share for MCBD! Great review and activities!

  20. Thank you so much Erik for your support for Multicultural Children’s Book Day and for this wonderful picture book find!

  21. Thanks for the heads up. I had an idea about Chinese New Year during PiBoIdMo, so I’ll definitely have to read this series. i’m glad you’re spreading the word about Multicultural Children’s Book Day. It looks like we had the same idea.

  22. Singapore is quite big on this one (Chinese zodiac, Chinese New year, feng shui). I think it would be a book that my teacher-students would enjoy knowing about. 🙂


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