Kid’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac – book review

A Kid’s Guide to the Chinese Zodiac
written by Aaron Hwang, illustrated by Qu Lan
* * * * Stars (Great!)

The Chinese Zodiac is much more complicated than I’d thought. Previously, I’d only ever looked up my “animal” using my birth year, and since I’m born in January, before the Chinese calendar/New Year officially starts, it’s actually a different animal than I’d thought. In addition, predictions and horoscopes can be plotted out depending on the time of day you were born as well, and you can have monthly and daily horoscopes based on the animals that are associated with those. Elements ALSO come into play – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water – and influence outcomes. This book attempts to simplify and make comprehensible a very complicated system! It goes through each of the birth year animals and talks about their personality traits, relationships, strengths/weaknesses, etc. in a kid-friendly way (discussing family, friendships, school, activities, etc.). After reading this you might have some fun trying to do your own readings, or seeking out a more nuanced one using free tools online! Although this was written/published for kids, it’s probably sufficiently advanced for grades 5+ (teens and adults may find it a good introduction to more detailed guides).

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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