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Bronze Medal, 2012 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, Holiday Category
Emma’s American Chinese New Year
by Amy Meadows
by Amy Meadows
Experience the Joy of the Chinese New Year with Emma in America
About the book:
Emma is a delightful little Chinese girl living in America with her adoptive parents. Her folks know how important it is to honor Emma’s American life and Chinese heritage, including Chinese New Year, one of the most important holidays in China.
In "Emma’s American Chinese New Year", Emma takes us through the preparations for the Chinese New Year, which occurs annually in January or February. She and Mommy bake moon cakes, enjoy oranges with Daddy, and decorate the house with colorful Chinese lanterns cut from paper. Every year, Emma also receives a red envelope with money enclosed, signifying good luck.
Emma and her parents join their extended family to celebrate at the cultural center, where Emma and other little girls wear traditional “qipao” dresses. And what would a party be without music and dancing, including a roving lion and a swooping dragon!
The evening culminates with a trip to the family’s favorite Chinese restaurant for traditional food, including spring rolls, noodles and fortune cookies. Before parting, Emma and her parents wish their relatives “Gung Hay Fat Choy” or “best wishes and congratulations; have a prosperous and good new year!”
Author Amy Meadows presents a fun and respectful look at Chinese New Year through the eyes of a young Chinese girl adopted by American parents. The text, written in rhyme, is perfect for ages three to eight. Chinese artist Soon Kwong Teo illustrates the color and gaiety of this significant Chinese holiday.
In Amy's words:
As a freelance feature writer for more than a decade, I never intended – or expected – to write children’s literature. However, the idea for "Emma’s American Chinese New Year" came to me not long after my sister and brother-in-law brought my niece home from China. I had seen so many wonderful books about international adoption, many written specifically for children. But I did not see anything that depicted an adopted child celebrating a holiday from her culture with her American family. And that is what I truly admire about the families that have been created through international adoption. So often, parents spend a great deal of time helping their children understand and honor their birth cultures. It gives these children a real sense of who they are and where they came from while still allowing them to be active and amazing All-American kids.
"Emma’s American Chinese New Year" was a way for me to celebrate all that my niece has brought into our lives and capture an experience that our entire family enjoys so much. It’s an experience that we share with so many other families throughout the country.
About the author:
Amy Meadows enjoyed a decade as a freelance feature writer before venturing into children’s books. She has penned more than a thousand articles during the course of her career. These stories include health features, community spotlights, biographical profiles and how-to articles. She has also created marketing materials for corporations of all sizes. Additionally, Meadows has contributed to more than a dozen hardcover pictorial books about small and mid-sized cities throughout the country. Meadows holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication and a Master of Arts degree in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University.
Facts behind the story:
Facts behind the story:
"Emma’s American Chinese New Year" is a children’s picture book that assists American families with adopted children from China as they merge two unique cultures into their homes and observe a significant Chinese holiday. The first book to address the topic of adoptive parents celebrating their children’s distinctive international heritage annually, "Emma’s American Chinese New Year" takes a fresh look at the ongoing adoption experience.
More than 66,000 children have been adopted from China in the last decade alone, and Meadows’ story will make it easy and entertaining for families to integrate this dual heritage into everyday life. The story of Emma is inspired by the adoption of the author’s niece from China in 2007. "Emma’s American Chinese New Year" is a medalist in the Holiday category of the 2012 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards.
Meadows wrote Emma’s American Chinese New Year as a way to recognize those families that have been created through international adoption. She explained, “Having watched parents in the Chinese adoption community embrace their children’s heritage and help them participate in and understand the traditions of their birth country, I thought it was important to provide those children with a book that reflects them and what makes them so special.”
Meadows has done that, not just for children of Chinese heritage, but also for children everywhere who will benefit from learning more about the diversity of the world, creating an engaging read for families and educators.
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Enter our giveaway and win a copy of "Emma's American Chinese New Year". Send an e-mail comment to our Book Talk address (link here) or comment below. Be sure we can contact you if you are our winner! Drawing to be held on November 14.