The Race for the Chinese Zodiac by Gabrielle Wang
As a child, I was always intrigued by the Zodiac placemats at Chinese restaurants. My year is the Horse, which honestly never meant much to me…I was just happy not to be a Snake due to my intense phobia. However, after reading The Race for the Chinese Zodiac, I have a new appreciation for Chinese folklore.
In a simple yet witty manner, Wang is able to take children on a journey through an epic animal race, resulting in the year assignments for the Zodiac. While this tale may not match the numerous fables surrounding the Zodiac, it is still an easy and effective way to teach children about other cultures and their traditions.
My favorite part of this book was the ending. In a clever and fun twist, Wang relates the ancient tale of the Chinese Zodiac with present day. Children will be able to connect a common theme among animals today with the Zodiac in order to relate to the race being conducted.
A good read for any child interested in animals and diversity.
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