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The Lucky Red Envelope

Lucky Red Envelope

Lucky Red Envelope

This review was written by: Joni McNeal

About the Book

The Lucky Red Envelope follows a little girl and her family as they get ready for and celebrate the Lunar New Year festival. With a new little brother, Mei expresses interest in her family’s heirlooms and traditions. Facts offered throughout the book, often hidden under one of the 144 flaps, explain the significance of certain rituals through the eyes of a child.

This book is a heartwarming and culturally rich tale that takes readers on a journey through the vibrant traditions of the Lunar New Year from the perspective of a Chinese-American family with well-drawn characters, evocative storytelling, and thoughtful exploration. Zhang skillfully weaves together themes of cultural identity, family bonds, and the significance of traditions as Mei explores her roots and comes to understand the importance of familial ties. 

Zhang’s vivid descriptions bring to life the festive atmosphere and customs surrounding the Lunar New Year, creating a sensory experience for readers. While I wish it explained when the Lunar New Year takes place, hopefully readers are inspired to dig deeper on their own—perhaps even embrace their own family traditions and heritage.

The illustrations in the book are lively, but it’s the folds that make it even more fun, whether you’re uncovering dumpling flavors or your own lunar sign. The narrative is both tender and insightful, offering a poignant exploration of the universal themes of identity, belonging, and the ties that bind us to our roots. 

This peek into Asian culture provides a rich and immersive experience that adds depth to the narrative, fostering an understanding and appreciation of diverse cultural experiences. With its engaging storytelling and cultural authenticity, The Lucky Red Envelope is a delightful read that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

About the Author

Vikki Zhang is an illustrator, artist and founder of kids brand NIANYI年年, currently living between Shanghai and New York. She was born in China, Jiangsu. She studied traditional Chinese painting, which has had a fundamental influence on her artwork. She has produced artwork for Gucci, Burberry, Fila, The New York Times, and China Post, among many others. She is the winner of The 63rd Society of Illustrators NYC (book category) and The 16th CACC Best Illustration. She has held solo exhibitions in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

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The Lucky Red Envelope

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The Lucky Red Envelope

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