Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Year of the Horse: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin

24 Jan

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because January 31st is the Chinese New Year, and 2014 is the Year of the Horse, and I’ve been highlighting multicultural books this week and it’s a GREAT picture book! 

9781597020800_lgThe Year of the Horse: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac

By Oliver Chin

Illustrated by Jennifer Wood

36 pages – ages 3+

Series: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac (Book 8)

Published by Immedium on December 31, 2013

Theme/Topic- Chinese New Year / Zodiac / Friendship

Genre- Fiction/Informational

Opening and Synopsis- Opening –

“After months of waiting, Mama and Pap horse finally welcomed their new baby. The foal tried to stand, wobbled, and gradually gained a sure footing. Her parents were thankful and named her “Hannah.” 

Amazon description – “2014 is The Year of the Horse! Hannah the horse has a wonderfully talented family and a very special friendship with a boy named Tom, but she wants more than that. She yearns to have special skills like those of her parents and relatives. When Tom offers to take his art teacher s newest painting to the governor in a far off capital, Hannah jumps at the chance to show a little horse can have a lot of courage.

Why I liked this book – This is a great story with great illustrations! It is a whimsical story about friendship, and the Chinese Zodiac. I like how you see the other animals of the Chinese Zodiac in the illustrations – that can make it fun for the younger kids to look at. The story has a great feel to it, and I like the friendship part of it! The illustrations are bright and the characters are cute. The characters in the story have the characteristics that people born in the year of the horse have – active and energetic being two of them. It is a fun way to learn about the Chinese Zodiac and the Year of the Horse plus it has a fun story.

Activities and Resources – There is a page in the front of the book that tells you about the Chinese Zodiac and a page in the back of the book that says what it means if you are born in the year of the horse. I love it when books have their own resources built in!

Nick Jr has a great Chinese Zodiac coloring book you can download and learn about the signs. You can also figure out what year you were born in. I am a snake. 🙂 Click HERE to go to the coloring book!

Celebrate the Chinese new year! Activity Village has a ton of ideas to celebrate and there are crafts, coloring pages, and worksheets. Click HERE to go THERE!

This book is the 9th book in the Chinese Zodiac series. Check out Immedium’s website and see if your year has been written about! Click HERE!

With Multicultural Children’s Book Day coming up on January 27th and the Chinese New Year coming up on the 31st, this is a great choice for reading!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

56 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Year of the Horse: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin”

  1. ontheplumtree January 24, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Always a pleasure to visit you, Erik! I love the idea of mixing a story with the Chinese Zodiac. This looks like a wonderful series.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 27, 2014 at 8:14 am #

      I am going to look at the others in the series. I like how it doesn’t jut tell about the zodiac but has a story around what each year means. Thanks Dr. Clune!


  2. clarbojahn January 24, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    This book is sure to please. Who hasn’t sat in a Chinese Restaurant and looked whimsically at the Chinese Zodiac. I was born in the year of the OX and I have a son who is a snake and his name is Eric. 🙂


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 27, 2014 at 8:16 am #

      Ha Ha! Maybe all Erik(c)s should be snakes! 🙂


      • clarbojahn January 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

        There should be some data on that in new mommies delivery suites at hospitals, Huh? 🙂


      • thiskidreviewsbooks January 27, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

        Good idea! “I’m sorry, Miss, but, your new-born baby girl is… uh, she’s, well, a real boar. *snort* No, really – she’s a Pig via the Chinese Zodiac.” Yeah, I’m sure that mothers will love it 😉 I like your idea though. 🙂


  3. Catherine Johnson January 24, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    I’m going to call my Hannah, Hannah the horse all year now lol.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 27, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      Ha Ha Ha! Was she born in the year of the horse too because that would be hysterical?!


      • Catherine Johnson January 27, 2014 at 9:35 am #

        Oh Erik whenwas the year of the horse? 2008 she was born. I’m going to investigate 🙂


      • thiskidreviewsbooks January 27, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

        2002 and 2014 are the latest years of the Horse. She is a… *giggle* A Rat. *giggle some more* 😉


      • Catherine Johnson January 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm #



  4. Patricia Tilton January 24, 2014 at 11:33 am #

    This is more personal book about the Chinese Zodiac. I like the story a lot. I am a rabbit.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 27, 2014 at 8:18 am #

      That is what I liked about it Mrs. Tilton! It isn’t just a book to explain the zodiac, there is a story wrapped around it. 🙂


  5. viviankirkfield January 24, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    I think you win the prize for most perfect picture book for the Chinese New Year, Erik! Great choice…and wonderful activity and resource list. I will try to get a copy…it sounds like a sweet story!


  6. Angela Brown January 24, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    So it’s the year of the horse. I really need to start paying attention. Thanks to your review, I’ve been brought up to speed and made aware of another wonderful read to check out. Thanks Erik 🙂


  7. julie rowan zoch January 24, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    Would have liked this growing up. For a while I was totally into Chinese zodiac, origami fortune telling, magic 8 balls. Still have a sweet spot for the possibilities!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 27, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

      Origami fortune telling??? That sounds interesting… I find the Chinese Zodiac interesting, and I have a Magic 8 Ball. 🙂


  8. Wendy January 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    This is a great choice for multicultural book day! I hope to find it.


  9. Laura Anne Miller January 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    What a unique find! I like the illustrations too. I never much cared for the CHinese zodiac tho….I’m a snake….ewww…I ‘d rather be a rabbit…at least they’re cuddly! Fun pick, Erik…you always find the one-of-a-kind!


  10. Genevieve Petrillo January 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    I guess you know The Year of the Dog is my favorite year. I may or may not have been born then, but still….

    Love and licks,


  11. patientdreamer January 24, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Love this cute story. The illustrations are adorable. I love Chinese zodiac and reading fortunes….. I am a sheep or goat, depending on your choice. Creaative and patient…. yep!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 27, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

      Hmm… You being patient – just a wild guess, right? 😉 This is a great book! 😀


  12. stanleyandkatrina January 24, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

    That is one of the most adorable horse drawings I have ever seen. Sooo cute. Thanks for sharing!


  13. jama January 24, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

    It’s fun to learn about the Chinese Zodiac. I’m a Rabbit. 🙂 Looks like a cute story. Nice review + activities!


  14. readingwithrhythm January 24, 2014 at 8:24 pm #

    Well, hmmmm. I thought for sure I would have been born in the year of the dog. But it says HORSE. It did say that I liked to run free and that’s true. Fun book Erik. and some fun links as well! Thanks!


  15. Susanna Leonard Hill January 24, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    This looks like a fun, interesting book, Erik. I would like to be year of the horse because I love horses, but I am a snake. I’ll have to find a different book to tell me about that! Thanks so much for sharing this one!


  16. KidLitReviews January 24, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

    I love the cover. The horse is adorable. Just my kind of book. Need to look into this one. Thanks Erik.


  17. Sandi Purdell-Lewis January 25, 2014 at 1:30 am #

    I need to track this book down this week. We are learning about Chinese New Year in my kindergarten class next week. thanks


  18. Kirsten W. Larson January 25, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    It looks like we have a couple of Chinese zodiac books this week. How cool!


  19. LovableLobo January 25, 2014 at 11:35 am #

    Looks like a fun book to share for MCBD! Great review and activities!


  20. PragmaticMom January 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    Thank you so much Erik for your support for Multicultural Children’s Book Day and for this wonderful picture book find!


  21. Joanne Roberts January 25, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    Thanks for the heads up. I had an idea about Chinese New Year during PiBoIdMo, so I’ll definitely have to read this series. i’m glad you’re spreading the word about Multicultural Children’s Book Day. It looks like we had the same idea.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks January 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      I would love to read your Chinese New Year book when it comes out (notice the “when” – no “if”!)! 😀


  22. Myra GB March 18, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    Singapore is quite big on this one (Chinese zodiac, Chinese New year, feng shui). I think it would be a book that my teacher-students would enjoy knowing about. 🙂



  1. Rebels of the Kasbah by Joe O’Neill | This Kid Reviews Books - January 27, 2014

    […] Year of the Horse” – click HERE to read my review of […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: