Dynamic Book Duos: Year of the Dragon and the Zodiac Calendar

Please welcome authors Charlotte Cheng and Maria Wen Adcock to Dynamic Book Duos – a blog featuring two books that pair together in a meaningful way along with educational activities to strengthen reading skills. This week’s pairing focuses on the Year of the Dragon and the Chinese Zodiac calendar.

PERFECT PAIR: Year of the Dragon and the Chinese Zodiac Calendar

In Chinese culture, dragons play an important role in mythology and the Chinese Zodiac calendar. The Chinese calendar designates an animal and its attributes to each year in a 12-year cycle. This year is the Year of the Dragon! As such, it’s the perfect time to celebrate two books by Chinese authors: Roar-Choo! written by Charlotte Cheng and illustrated by Dan Santat and It’s Chinese New Year, Curious George written by Maria Wen Adcock and illustrated by Rea Zhai.

Roar-Choo! features a patient, peaceful Phoenix who tries to take care of a rambunctious and cold-ridden Dragon, which leads to hilarious and sweet results. Here is a sample from the story:

Dragons are fierce. 

Dragons are frightening. 

We take on the world with a mighty ROOOOOAAARR. . .CHOO!

Sit down. Relax.

Sip some orange ginger tea. 

It’s time to stop, to take a breath. . .

It’s Chinese New Year, Curious George follows Curious George as he learns about Chinese New Year by celebrating with his friend, Mei, and her family. Here is a  snippet from the story:

In the Chinese Zodiac

are twelve familiar creatures.

With each year that passes

a new animal will feature.

Hmm…which animals are ours?

wonder George and Mei.

First they need to seek and find

The years of their birthdays.

Book 1: Roar-Choo!

Everyone knows that dragons are fierce, capable of taking on the world! 

But this dragon can’t stop sneezing long enough to get a roar out. Even with friendly Phoenix insisting that Dragon get some rest, this powerful creature refuses to stop for any orange ginger tea or a drop of bone broth soup.

It’s only when Dragon realizes Phoenix has caught the same cold that they are both able to take the break they so badly need. This tale of helping your friends and valuing differences is a sure thing for story time.

Book 2: It’s Chinese New Year, Curious George

Everyone’s favorite curious little monkey celebrates Chinese New Year with his friend Mei in this playful rhyming tabbed board book. 

From cleaning house and finding red clothes to wear, to hanging decorations and enjoying a family feast, to fireworks and a dragon dance, George and readers will enjoy learning about many Chinese New Year traditions.

With a rhyming text, colorful illustrations, and sturdy tabbed pages for the littlest hands, this playful board book makes a great read for all fans of Curious George—those who celebrate Chinese New Year, and those who are learning about it for the first time!   


Click below to find activities for both books!


Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw

Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw is an award-winning nonfiction children’s book author and former elementary special education teacher who is passionate about growing young minds. Suzanne’s first nonfiction picture book, I Campaigned for Ice Cream: A Boy’s Quest for Ice Cream Trucks, debuted in April 2019 from Warren Publishing. Her second book Mighty Mahi launched from Doodle and Peck Publishing in March 2022. Suzanne enjoys speaking to schools about writing, leadership, and how kids can make a difference in our world. The proud momma of two grown boys, Suzanne lives in Waterford, MI with her husband and furry writing companion Ziggy. When she’s not dreaming up new writing projects, you can find her kayaking on the lake, hiking the trail, practicing at the yoga studio, or comparing paint swatches at the local Sherwin Williams.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu