Two things make this Chinese New Year story remarkable-Zhu's meticulously observed gouaches and the family's poignant backstory...Yu and Zhu create a memorable portrait of China's most joyous holiday and a testimony to the love that holds Maomao's family together.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This bittersweet and poignant story not only tells of a family celebrating a holiday, but also explores the trepidation and joy of a reunion... The story of an absent parent returning only during special occasions is one that speaks to more and more American children. The celebrations and traditions might differ, but the story of missing distant family is universal.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Chinese New Year brings a young family joyously but all-too-briefly back together in this poignant import... simple patterns and bright red highlights give the inside and outside settings a particularly inviting look, and the artist captures the emotional backdrop with delicate clarity in her figures' postures and expressions.
Appropriate for Chinese New Year, this exceptional family story will move readers at any time of the year and will resonate especially with children whose parents must leave their families for long periods of time.
The gouache paintings use lots of red and bright colors, with design elements like stripes, squares, and dots in the characters’ clothing and in the backgrounds, tying the pages together harmoniously. This is an excellent introduction to Chinese New Year as it is celebrated in China and also a poignant and thoughtful examination of the joys and sorrows of families living apart.
—The Horn Book
"Vibrant" hardly even begins to cover it here. These are colors, compositions and emotions that jump right off the page without wasting any time about it...The reds! Oh! The rich, deep reds! Cheng-Liang's detailed gouache illustrations are inviting, popping off the page with warmth and energy.
—Kirkus Reviews children's blog
Illustrations saturated with bright colors depict scenes in which a little girl finds her father's short-lived homecoming a joyous and bittersweet occasion as well as an opportunity to grow up.
—The Boston Globe
On the surface, this is a picture book about celebrating the Chinese New Year, but at its heart, it is a heartwarming story of homecoming, and about keeping a connection to home even when you're away from it...A love that will last the whole year through.
A story from China that is neither fable nor folk tale but an emotionally resonant contemporary picture of what countless small children must experience, in a society with as many as 100 million migrant workers.
—Wall Street Journal
Small pleasures do not hide the sense of sacrifice that grounds this tender and thoroughly realistic tale of family love.
—San Francisco Chronicle
A fascinating glimpse of this way of life.