The Nian Monster

Published by Albert Whitman & Company

ISBN-13: 978-0-8075-5642-9

Age Range: 4-8

Tong tong! The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales, and wide, wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling! The old tricks to keep him away don’t work on Nian anymore, but Xingling is clever. Will her quick thinking be enough to save the city from the Nian Monster?

“Wang’s story thrills but doesn’t threaten: Chau’s wonderfully vivid watercolors give the monster doe eyes and a round body that make him seem like a cranky, overgrown teddy bear, and Wang shares cultural information about the Chinese New Year with the lightest of touches.”

~ Publishers Weekly, starred review

Additional Resources:

Teacher’s Guide: This comprehensive teacher’s guide, created by Anna Chan Rekate, contains additional information about Chinese New Year, discussion questions, and curriculum-related activities. Download here.

Story Time Event Kit: Download the Event Kit created by Curious City here. This kit gives you all the materials to create a Nian Monster Mask so that one person can play the hungry Nian Monster with a wide-open mouth, while the other person reads the book. The kit also turns your audience into clever Xinglings, each equipped with a paper bag of “food” to “feed” the Nian Monster. In the end, the paper bag serves as a noisemaker to send Nian Monster away for good. A handy video shows how to assemble the mask. The Nian Monster Origami Bookmark craft is included in this kit, too.

Origami Bookmark Craft: The Nian monster will chomp down on your page and hold your place for you! Just print out the PDF instructions here and click here to watch the instructional video. It’s super easy!