Tastes of Lunar New Year – Press Kit
New Children's Book Gives Families a Diverse Look at Lunar New Year
Introducing Tastes of Lunar New Year, a brand new illustrated children's book that shows how Lunar New Year foods differ around the world. Unlike other books on the holiday that are focused mostly on Chinese practices, Tastes of Lunar New Year is inclusive of Singaporean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Korean traditions too. This hardcover, 8x8" book introduces twelve unique cultural dishes across different cities, explains the special meanings behind each dish, and includes twelve playful zodiac animals to appeal to young readers.
"So many people celebrate Lunar New Year, as it's one of the biggest holidays in Asia," said Cheryl Chepusova, the book's author. "As a child, I knew my own family's traditions well and remember them fondly. As I grew up and met more people, I was fascinated by how other families had very different customs I had never heard of."
Chepusova grew up in Hong Kong and is part Cantonese, part Shanghainese. She was always aware that there were regional differences in her heritage. "Even within China, which is a vast country, flavors and cuisines vary. Many things are consistent though: the idea of unity, abundance, and enjoying the holiday eating auspicious foods with one's family. We wanted to explore that in a children's book, and make it inclusive of many cultures and practices."
Tastes of Lunar New Year is the third book written and published by Chepusova.
As new mothers, Chepusova and her illustrator, Isabel Foo, were disappointed by the void of well-written, well-designed English language books that represented their own Asian backgrounds authentically. Both have roots in Hong Kong and have lived, worked, and traveled extensively around Asia. They also share a background in design as they attended the same university in Canada. Finding the offerings in the children’s genre to be stereotypical and lackluster, they created the Big Cities Little Foodies series in 2019.
“Food is a huge part of exploring and experiencing cultures, so we want to use that theme to introduce little ones to quintessential Asian foods that they can learn to recognize both at home and abroad,” said Chepusova. “We hope other families with an Asian heritage or an appetite for learning about other cultures will also enjoy reading these books with their children.”
Tastes of Lunar New Year deviates from the board book series, and will be a 36-page hardcover book, aimed at children ages 3-6. The book will be produced in a limited run, in time for Lunar New Year in February 2021, and will be taking pre-orders as part of a Kickstarter campaign on August 28, 2020. The book will also be available in a bilingual English and Chinese edition.
Tastes of Lunar New Year was written by Cheryl Yau Chepusova, designed by Isabel Foo, illustrated by Mori Chiang, and published by Little Picnic Press.
"The books are fun to read and starts as a wonderful foundation to introduce your little one to various foods and cultures." – Bryan Li, father
"I work at a school in Massachusetts that serves children, kindergarten through grade 9. We have students who come from all over the world. Some live at our school as boarding students. Your book is wonderful to add to our collection to help our youngest readers (and younger siblings of students) learn about foods from around the world and to show our commitment to learning about the globe around us." – Kim Loughlin, Director of Admissions
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