Written by: Lyla Lee
Illustrated by: Dung Ho
For ages: 6-9 years
Language: English & some Korean
Topics Covered: Korean-American Experience, Lunar New Year, Culture & Traditions, Holidays, Friendship, Single-Parent Family, Lunar New Year, Safety, Social-Emotional Development, Own Voices.
Happy Lunar New Year! This book was released on January 14th, but we decided to wait to feature it until the actual holiday. Mindy Kim is back for another adventure, this time taking the plunge and attending a parade in Orlando with her dad and friend Sally.
Mindy is feeling a little apprehensive because it’s the first Lunar New Year since her mom died, and she’s not quite ready to have as much fun as in years prior. She insists on wearing her old hanbok (a ceremonial Korean garment) despite it being too small, because it was the last one her mother bought her. This book, like the last one, offers a multitude of conversation options about Mindy’s feelings and events that happen at the parade. Sally is a great character too. Despite being white, she’s very excited to try Korean foods and learn different customs like how to bow properly. She embraces the unfamiliar with gusto, and is excited to learn more about her friend.
Lunar New Year Parade normalizes the bicultural experience that so many kids and families live. We love having an early chapter book that seamlessly weaves in Korean vocabulary and social-emotional learning into it’s story. Definitely excited to see the next installment in the series!
This book was generously sent to us by our friends at Simon & Schuster, but all opinions are our own.
About the Author & the Illustrator:
Lyla Lee is the author of the Mindy Kim series as well as the upcoming YA novel, I’ll Be The One (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins). Although she was born in a small town in South Korea, she’s since then lived in various parts of the United States, including California, Florida, and Texas. Inspired by her English teacher, she started writing her own stories in fourth grade and finished her first novel at the age of fourteen. After working various jobs in Hollywood and studying Psychology and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, she now lives in Dallas, Texas. When she is not writing, she is teaching kids, petting cute dogs, and searching for the perfect bowl of shaved ice.
Dung Ho is an illustrator based in Viet Nam. I’m focused on children books, game design, character design.