Christopher Corr

Happy Chinese New Year!


When I first spotted this little beauty in the window of The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop in Tetbury, I knew I would have to add it to my collection!


'The Great Race' tells the classic story of how the Chinese Zodiac was created. The Jade Emperor decides he needs to be able to measure time and so declares there will be a race between the animals with the winning twelve having years named after them.


Each animal's characteristics are praised or commented on by the Emperor as, one by one, they reach the end- except Cat who misses out as Rat failed to wake him., explaining why cats have chased rats ever since. 


Brightly coloured pictures leap off the page as Corr uses contrasting colours to created bold, folk art style images. Pagodas and Chinese carp flourish under a beaming sun and the Emperor is splendid in his golden, decorated robes in this imaginative view of ancient China. 


Traditional tales, folklore and legends are so important to keep alive and share and this is a delightful retelling to compare and contrast with other versions. The illustrations will encourage children to create their own paintings of their favourite animal or that of the year of their birth. They could find out more about the characteristics attributed to each animal and how well they match it!

However you celebrate, have a very happy Chinese New Year!

The Great Race  Christopher Corr

Frances Lincoln  ISBN: 978-176030658

You can read other posts suggesting books for Chinese New Year here and here.

A book list of traditional Chinese myths, legends and folklore will be available on the Members' section of the website soon.

LONGLIST REVIEW: A Year Full of Stories

'A Year Full of Stories' is a fantastic collection of 52 folk tales and legends from around the world. The collection includes the more familiar stories such as “The Magic Porridge Pot”, “The Frog Prince” and “Gelert the Hound” to the less familiar. The less familiar stories include tales from First Nations, Japan, America and Scandinavia.

Angela McAllister writes with an economy of style that gets to the heart of the story each time. Her style of writing is beautifully complimented by the deceptively simplistic style of illustrator, Christopher Corr. This is a great read aloud book and an excellent resource for writing in the classroom as there are so many ideas that can be drawn upon and adapted for different genres. This is a beautifully designed book that is thoughtfully put together with stories matched to the months of the year and the world events that happen in that month. So, for example, at Halloween there are two English ghost stories. This book would be a great edition to any bookshelf.

A Year Full of Stories: 52 Folk Tales and Legends from Around the World by Angela McAllister illustrated by Christopher Corr

Frances Lincoln Children's Books      ISBN: 978-1847808592


You can read another review of 'A Year Full of Stories' here.