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.