Anyone looking for multicultural books to add to their collections - this is one your children, students, or patrons will enjoy. In a display of cleverness reminiscent of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, the little heroine of the story, Xingling, outwits the Nian Monster and avoids being eaten up. When the monster appears during the preparations for Chinese New Year, Xingling comes up with one trick after another to prevent him from turning her into "a tasty appetizer." And while we watch and read about each of her plans, we also see the details of the festival going on around her. Everything from red decorations, fire crackers, long-life noodles, rice cakes, and dragon dancers fill the pages with color and life.
The author's note explains the legend of the Nian Monster, and the traditions of Chinese New Year. Descriptions of the foods eaten during the celebration and other cultural tidbits help to answer questions that young readers may have after reading the story. The artwork has an anime feel to it that will also appeal to youngsters.