Reviews for Red Is a Dragon : A Book of Colors


Booklist Monthly Selections - #2 November 2001
Ages 4-7. The creators of Mooncake: A Book of Shapes (2000) offer a companion devoted to colors. Using rhymed verse, a young Chinese American girl introduces onlookers to some of the elements of her world. Many of the items mentioned are of Asian origin (for example, red dragons and firecrackers seen in Chinese New Year parades), but almost all the objects have a universal child appeal. Less familiar items, such as bottle gourds, chopsticks, and lychee fruits, are explained at the end of the book. Lin's simply drawn gouache illustrations, outlined in black, fairly explode with color, and Lin never lets a solid color serve where a pattern (many depicting Asian motifs) can be used. Although some spreads feature as many as 10 different patterns, they never appear cluttered, and the dominant hue is always clear. The endpapers, stripes of multihued dragon scales, are an attractive bonus. This is a must-have for libraries serving Chinese American populations, and it will be a welcome addition to preschool story hours for children of all backgrounds. ((Reviewed November 15, 2001)) Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Spring
In a gentle concept book, a Chinese-American girl identifies various colorful objects in her world. Many of the objects, including lychees, a bottle gourd, and chopsticks, are distinctly Chinese, while others are not. The lush gouache paintings are rendered in deep, bold hues, and unfamiliar terms in the rhyming text are defined in a short glossary. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 2001 September #2
Pure, bright colors, excellent use of pattern, and Chinese-influenced composition and perspective dovetail neatly with color rhymes from the pair who brought readers Round Is a Mooncake (2000). A Chinese-American girl catalogues the colors in her life: "Pink is a peony / Pink is a rose / pink is the sunlight / on my nose" and "Green is a bracelet / made of jade / Green is the purse / my auntie made." Like the purple kite, the red dragon, and the white dumplings, many of the items she chooses spring from her Asian heritage. The family festivals and rituals, and the child's open response to nature and to play, are irresistibly apparent, and invite readers in with a double-paged, full-bleed spread for each color. The rhymes bounce along quite effortlessly, buoyed by the vivid colors that echo each verse. A glossary adds strength to this jaunty cultural salute. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus 2001 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 October #3
The gentle primer Red Is a Dragon by Roseanne Thong, illus. by Grace Lin, does for colors what their Round Is a Mooncake did for shapes, in a felicitous meeting between East and West. The girl who narrated the previous book here serves as tour guide through 10 hues, each of which dominates a spread redolent with the saturated colors and intricate patterns of Chinese textiles and paintings. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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SL Reviews 2002 January
PreS-K-A beautiful Chinese dragon in several shades of red writhes across a double-page spread, accompanied by children carrying drums, cymbals, and strings of firecrackers-a fitting start for a concept book about colors. Although many of the objects portrayed are Asian in origin, such as lychees, incense sticks in a pot, and a jade bracelet, most are universal. The attractive illustrations use large areas of vibrant colors overlaid by varied patterns in the same colors. The text in rhyming couplets is less successful; at times the need for a rhyme sometimes outweighs the regard for exact description. Quibbles aside, concept books are always needed and this one offers a peek at Chinese-American culture.-Marian Drabkin, formerly at Richmond Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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