PoPo’s Lucky Chinese New Year by Virginia Loh-Hagan

PoPo’s Lucky Chinese New Year by Virginia Loh-Hagan
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Middle Grade (8 – 12 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

When her Chinese grandmother comes to visit, a young Chinese-American girl learns of and participates in the customs and beliefs celebrating an authentic Chinese New Year.

Everyone in this family needs to pitch in to ensure a successful new year!

Some of the most memorable sections were the ones that explored the relationship between the unnamed narrator and her baby brother. They had the usual sibling rivalry that occasionally flared up when he got into her things or when she was feeling irritated, but they also genuinely loved each other. I adored watching them prepare for and then celebrate Chinese New Year. They were a wonderful example of a wholesome but realistic sibling relationship.

This was a delightful example of how to write a story for children from a wide age range. Some scenes in it were definitely geared for older or younger kids, but each one had something appealing for every age group in it. There were also multiple layers of meaning so that it could be understood in different and deeper ways as a young reader grew older. I was thrilled with how it pulled all of this off.

PoPo was a fabulous character. She was filled with opinions about how her grandchildren should behave and what they should or should not do to bring luck in the new year. I chuckled at the warnings she gave to her family members. They were always wrapped in love no matter how serious she looked in the moment or how surprised the main character was by some of them.

PoPo’s Lucky Chinese New Year was a cheerful and uplifting read that I can’t recommend highly enough.

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