April 2, 2023

Thanking the Moon:
Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
Alfred A. Knopf Books
September 14, 2010, $16.99

The Chinese holiday of the Mid-Autumn Festival comes alive for young readers ages 5 to 8 in author Grace Lin’s “Thanking The Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. A celebration of thanksgiving for many Asian peoples, Lin’s story depicts one family as they participate in the festivities that mark this special day.

Lin includes factual information about the Festival, its origins, and the traditions associated with it at the end of the book. This year’s Mid-Autumn Moon Festival will be celebrated on September 22.

“The mid-autumn moon glows in the sky. We go into the night to admire it.” The little girl narrator and her family pay homage to the evening moon on Festival Day by preparing a “nighttime picnic” that includes cups of tea, mooncakes, and fruit.

Joining a community of fellow celebrants, the family lights colorful paper lanterns and gives thanks to the moon for bringing them together and for giving them a good year. Lin’s heartwarming illustrations portray the warmth and love of a family giving thanks on one of the most important days of the year.

In her author’s note, Lin explains that the Mid-Autumn Festival “remains a beloved celebration and, along with the Lunar New Year, is one of the most important holidays of the year. Just as the moon always returns to its fullness, the festival continues to reunite families and inspire peace and gratitude.”

Thanking The Moon is a wonderful introduction to this beloved holiday for young children of all nationalities and backgrounds. Lin’s simple text makes this a read-aloud that both parents and educators will treasure, and which will inspire all to participate in this exceptional day.

Grace Lin has written and illustrated several picture books featuring the Chinese American family depicted in this book. These books include Dim Sum for Everyone!, Kite Flying, Fortune Cookie Fortunes, and Bringing in the New Year. She has also written novels for young readers including The Year of the Dog, The Year of the Rat, and the Newbery Honor Book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Grace resides in Massachusetts. Visit her on the Web at www.gracelin.com.

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