The Lion Dance by David Seow

The Lion Dance by David Seow
Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di #5
Publisher: Epigram Books
Genre: Childrens, Holiday, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Age Recommendation: 3+
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di are three siblings who love doing things together. Today is extra-special because they are going to see a lion dance. Doong doong chang went the lion dance band. Doong doong chang went the lion dance gong.

Doong doong chang!
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But where is the lion? Is he still at the zoo? Or stuck backstage? When the siblings open the curtain to find the lion, they are surprised to see a lion costume. They decide to put on the costume and start performing for everyone. And no one is more surprised than their parents to see that the lion dancers were none other than Sam, Sebbie, and Di-Di-Di.

What could be a better way to celebrate the new year than with some dancing?

This tale did a wonderful job of explaining what the Lion Dance was to preschoolers. It gave exactly enough information to keep up with the plot without slowing down the pacing with details that kids this age probably wouldn’t appreciate. I loved the fact that it spoke to young children on a level they could understand while still treating the audience with respect. There were a few parts of this celebration that were left up to readers to figure out, but it was done in a very appropriate manner for little ones.

Sam, Sebbie and Di-Di-Di were adorable kids. It was fascinating to see what they imagined this performance would be like before it began. They all knew what lions were, but they couldn’t quite figure out how such a creature would dance. I won’t give away what they discovered, but I will say that it was as endearing as it was heart warming.

There was a twist at the end that made it impossible for me to choose anything but a five-star rating. It was exactly the sort of thing that this age group might imagine, and yet it was also something that I wasn’t expecting to find. It was delightful to be surprised by it.

This is part of a series, but it can be read as a standalone story.

I’d heartily recommend The Lion Dance to anyone who loves dancing or is interested in learning more about how the Chinese New Year is celebrated.

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