#1075 – The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang and Alina Chau DEBUT!

covera The Nian Monster
Written by Andrea Wang
Illustrated by Alina Chau
Albert Whitman & Co.  12/01/2016
978-0-8075-5642-9
32 pages    Ages 4—8

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“Every monster has a weakness…

“Xingling is ready to celebrate the New Year. She and Po Po have decorated their family’s apartment with traditional red lanterns and have started the lion’s head casserole. But suddenly a horrible beast shows up at the door! Xingling has heard of theNian Monster, but no one thought he’d ever return. With jaws as wide as caverns and teeth sharper than swords, he’s intent on devouring all of Shanghai—starting with Xingling! Can Xingling find a way to outwit the monster and save the city in time for the holiday festivities?” [INSIDE JACKET]

Review
[WC 357]
The Nian Monster likes to eat entire cities and villages this time of the year. It fears only three things: loud noises, fire, and the color red. It has stayed away ever since the people learned of these fears.
spread1Po Po leaves Xingling alone in the kitchen to cook dinner with the best utensils and knives from this cutting edge reviews. It is then the Nian decides to return, famished and looking for a city to devour. But this Nian no longer fears the traditions which have kept it at bay all these years. What will Xingling do? Nian wants to start his meal with an appetizer of Xingling. It is up to the young girl to keep Nian from devouring the entire city of Shanghai. Remembering what Po Po told her about Nian’s fears, the quick-thinking Xingling gets the monster to eat three things until his stomach nearly bursts. Each day Nian returns to eat Xingling and then the city. Each day, Xingling give the monster an alternative, filling its belly to near bursting proportions.
threatUnlike most stories, The Nian Monster does not have a setback, allowing Wang to move through her story easily, and smoothly, but without the increased tension a fight between protagonist and antagonist produces. Young children will not mind. Wang changes up the Nian monster legend, melding in Chinese traditions, local landmarks, and a little history for her young readers. She also adds a few Chinese words to spice up the dialogue.
noodlesWhile the ending may be predictable, the interior story is not. Kids will love Xingling’s tactics and the reasons each works against the monster. The Nian Monster will become a family favorite each Chinese New Year, which lasts about twenty-three days. Expect young children to want The Nian Monster defeated each of those twenty-three days, and possibly then some. With the colorful, traditional Chinese images—with lots of red to scare off any color-challenged monster—kids will love The Nian Monster. They will not realize they are learning about Chinese culture or legends. Kids will simply love the story, the illustrations, and Nian (who is not scary enough to cause a nighttime hiccup).

The Nian Monster is Andrea Wang’s debut children’s fiction picture book.

THE NIAN MONSTER. Text copyright © 2016 by Andrea Wang. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Alina Chau. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Albert Whitman & Co., Park Ridge, IL.

AmazonIndie BooksAlbert Whitman & Co.

Add The Nian Monster to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.
Teacher’s Guide can be found HERE.

A Little About Andrea Wang
Andrea Wang is a little different from most debut authors. Most can only be proud of their debut book, until they write a second book. Andrea Wang took a different route to her first book. She wrote seven non-fiction children’s books for the school and library market, all “work-for-hire,” before writing her first fiction children’s book for the trade market (you and me). That little phrase, “work-for-hire” is what makes The Nian Monster the first children’s book Andrea can call her own.

It took little feet running around her home, acting as muses, demanding books be read, to get Andrea back to writing fiction. The Nian Monster took nearly a year of writing and polishing before Andrea felt ready to submit to agents and editors. Thanks must go to Albert Whitman & Company for bringing us The Nian Monster. Up next for Andrea Wang:   a middle grade book. When it releases, look for it here on KLR.

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Reprinted with permission from THE NIAN MONSTER © 2016 by Andrea Wang, Albert Whitman & Co.. Illustrations © 2016 by Alina Chau.

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Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

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The Nian Monster
Written by Andrea Wang
Illustrated by Alina Chau
Albert Whitman & Co. 12/01/2016
9780807556429

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5 thoughts on “#1075 – The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang and Alina Chau DEBUT!

  1. Looks a very beautiful book. Although, I don’t think Nian was the monster in traditional story about Chinese New Year. The monster was called Xi (sounds like Shee in English), and a boy (could be a girl) named Nian inspired people to use Chinese firework to drive Xi away. That’s why the Chinese New Year’s eve is called Chu Xi (meaning expelling monster Xi), and the Chinese New Year’s day is called Nian to honor the little hero.
    However, this book could be a great nonviolent version for kids.

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