Project Description


The Dragon New Year

by David Bouchard
illustrated by Zhong-Yang Huang

“This dragon is a sea dragon. It does not know fire! This dragon’s home is muffled by the sea. It knows nothing of loud sound! Let us create for it a welcome it will not soon forget!”

The essence of ancient China is charmingly evoked for young readers by David Bouchard’s tale of courage, kindness, love, and inspiration.

Every spring, the Chinese New Year is heralded by noise and sound: a clash of cymbals, the splash of colorful fireworks across the sky, shouts and whistles and bright lights. Yet how did these traditions begin? A young girl, frightened into sleeplessness by the celebrations outside her bedroom window, takes comfort in her grandmother’s wise, soothing words as she tells a tale of the Dragon New Year.

Children will be fascinated by this mythic story, which weaves together a monstrous sea dragon, a mother’s sorrow, and a powerful Buddha. Illustrator Zhong-Yang Huang’s lavish paintings capture the imagery of the grandmother’s words. Colorful, evocative, and haunting, they are a perfect accompaniment to this modern-day fable.

Hardcover: $16.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-210-1
Total Pages: 32
Size: 9 7/8 x 12 1/4
Language: English
Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 32259
AR Reading Level: 5.1
AR Points: 0.5

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: R
F&P Grade: 4

Reading Counts
Reading Counts Level: 4.1
Reading Counts Points: 2
Reading Counts Interest Level: 3-5


“It’s the extra-large pictures that are most dramatic here…. Children will enjoy the reversal that the flaming pictures show: it’s the fiery noisy festival that frightens the monster away and keeps the child safe at home.” ―Booklist

“Rich paintings translate the legendary spirit of the story into a realistic family setting.” ―Childhood Education


The Original Art ―Society of Illustrators 2000

Storytelling World Resource Awards (honor, Tellable Stories-Ages 8-12) ―Storytelling World magazine 2000

You May Also Like

Meet the Author

David Bouchard is the author of many books, including The Dragon New Year and the award-winning bestsellers The Elders Are Watching and If You’re Not from the Prairie, as well as the internationally renowned The Great Race. Bouchard won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award in 1997. He lives in Canada. You can visit his website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Zhong-Yang Huang has built an impressive international career as an artist, melding contemporary Western influences with traditional Chinese painting. He has illustrated several children’s books, including The Dragon New Year, The Great Race, Buddha in the Garden, The Mermaid’s Muse, and Dragon of Heaven: The Memoirs of the Last Empress of China, all by David Bouchard. His striking paintings can be found in private and corporate collections around the world.