Bowls of Happiness and What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor? were given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. Both of these books provided factual information about the Chinese cultural. They would be great to read in celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day which is on January 27th this year.
Bowls of Happiness
I read Bowls of Happiness to a group of children and they found humor in the child’s nickname of Piggy. Many of them could relate to silly names their parents called them. It even lead to a conversation about the meaning of their given name.
Bowls of Happiness was divided into different sections with the fictional story at the beginning. The story showed how Piggy’s mom decided to make a porcelain bowl and paint it with special symbols that depict happiness.
Towards the back of the book there was a portion of the book that discussed the meaning behind certain items on the bowls. For instance, bats symbolized happiness in the Chinese cultural while the color yellow represented the earth. I found this information interesting but do think it should have been a little shorter and to the point to keep the attention of children.
As a writing and art activity the children were eager to design their own bowls of happiness.
What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor?
Have you ever wondered what life was like in China’s Forbidden City? Those particuarly interested in Chinese history would find this book fascinating. Each page contains brief facts about a wide array of topics such as the foods the Emperor ate, schooling, military and lots of other information.
The pictures on each page and speech bubbles add to the appeal of this book. I think a large factor on determining whether one would like this book or not depends on how interested you are in nonfiction information and the Chinese cultural. There are many words some children wouldn’t be able to pronounce or understand, so, to get the most of out of the book it would be helpful if an adult clarified the information.
I learned new facts from both Bowls of Happiness and What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor?.