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Children’s Books From Viet Nam

Lighting Our World: A Year of Celebrations
Catherine Rondina (Author) and Jacqui Oakley (Illustrator)

On each spread, a fictional child introduces one festival, and on the facing page a festival from a different area of the world is described in straight nonfiction. For example, for January readers meet Sophie from Scotland who introduces Up Helly Aa, a fire festival that the Scots participate in memory of their Viking heritage. It faces a description of the Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony in Canada. Each spread is accompanied by a small illustration of the child, a large illustration depicting the festival, and another small picture showing an aspect of the second festival. Overall, 31 festivals are discussed, ranging from the familiar (Christmas) to the less familiar (Tet Trung Thu).

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Vietnam A to Z: Discover the Colorful Culture of Vietnam!
Elka K. Ray

With creative illustrations and bilingual English and Vietnamese text, this colorful ABC book introduces Vietnam’s culture to small children.

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Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam
Sherry Garland (Author) and Trina Hyman (Illustrator)

Vietnamese folk tales retold for a modern audience. In poetry and literature the Vietnamese call themselves the “children of the dragon.” Their oral tradition is a strong one and this volume includes three of the familiar teaching tales told by the elders. Readers will learn how the tiger got his stripes, why there are monsoons, and the story of the Moon Festival.

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Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories
Phuoc Thi Minh Tran (Author), Dong Nguyen (Illustrator), and Hop Thi Nguyen (Illustrator)

This colorfully illustrated multicultural children’s book presents Vietnamese fairy tales and other folk stories—providing insight into a rich literary culture. Vietnamese Children’s Favorite Stories, is a charming collection of fifteen tales as told by prominent storyteller Tran Thi Minh Phuoc. In it, Tran—Minnesota’s first Vietnamese librarian and an active member of the Vietnamese-American community—recounts cherished folktales such as “The Story of Tam and Cam” (the Vietnamese version of Cinderella), “The Jade Rabbit,” and “The Legend of the Mai Flower.” With beautiful illustrations by veteran artists Nguyen Thi Hop and Nguyen Dong, children and adults alike will be enchanted by Tran’s English retellings. Stories in which integrity, hard work and a kind heart triumph over deception, laziness, and greed—as gods, peasants, kings and fools spring to life in legends of bravery and beauty, and fables about nature. The Children’s Favorite Stories series was created to share the folktales and legends most beloved by children in the East with young readers of all backgrounds in the West. Winner of Creative Child Magazine 2015 Book of the Year Award

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