Book Title: The Nian Monster
Author: Andrea Wang
Illustrator: Alina Chau
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co.
Age Range: 4 – 8
Happy Chinese New Year! 2019 marks the Year of the Pig, the symbol of wealth
To celebrate, I’m excited to share this gem of a story, The Nian Monster, which was also
recently named an APALA Honor book!
As they hang the traditional decorations for their new year celebration, Xingling’s
grandmother explains that these adornments have served as protection from the wicked
Nian monster. Filled with hunger at the start of the year, Nian would gobble up entire
villages – but, then the people figured out how to keep him away.
“Every monster has a weakness. Nian had three – loud sounds, fire, and the color red.
Our traditions have kept Nian away ever since.”
Thousands of years later, Nian has returned and is threatening to eat Xinling and the
whole city. Now, it’s up to her to use her clever nature to outsmart the monster and
save the holiday.
This is not only a fun read, but it’s filled with interesting facts about China and its
“Nian’s wide, wicked jaws were stuck fast. The grandmothers had used only glutinous
rice flour. The stickiest kind! So sticky it had been used to build the Great Wall.”
Wang’s exhilarating storytelling matched with Chau’s vibrant illustrations makes this
a truly riveting read for all ages.
BONUS! Alina Chau was kind enough to share a link to a DIY Lunar New Year
Celebration kit that you can do with kids. To download, click here.
The little thinker
The future creator
The future storyteller
Where to Buy: