Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bella and the Year of the Dragon

This is the first Mia & Mommy's Book Blog of 2012, and we have a great book for you from a local author.

Bella and the Year of the Dragon by Barbara Nick and Elaine Steckler is the follow-up to Bella the Dragon and tells the story behind the Chinese zodiac signs of the New Year. First Mia's review: A dragon named Bella wants to learn how to fly, but she's too scared, so her grandpa tells her the story of how the Chinese Calendar began. The Emperor declares a race between several animals, and the first twelve that finish the race will be in the calendar. But the cat doesn't make it because he was too scared of the water, so everyone finishes before him. It was kind of surprising to me that they have a dragon and not a cat, because a cat is a normal animal!  The artwork is pretty amazing, really well done. The horse looks really pretty!My favorite part of the book was when the horse came in seventh, because I was born in the year of the horse. I liked the book so much that I told Mommy, and she bought me a jade necklace of a horse! I learned not to be afraid to try or you might miss out on things you really want to do. Barbara Nick did a good job of choosing this story. Now my review: I thought the book was really fascinating. I was always curious about the origin of the Chinese Calendar, and Nick tells the story in a way that is easy for younger readers to understand, while making it interesting for parents as well. Steckler's artwork is good and she makes all of the animals look charming and friendly. Bella's story has a great lesson for kids (which Mia obviously picked up on). This book will be one kids pick up again and again because Nick has included the Chinese Calendar on the back so kids  will have a blast finding what year they and their friends and family were born in. Mia's been checking out everyone we know for over a week!