Awakening the Dragon: The Dragon Boat Festival
Awakening the Dragon introduces young readers to the Dragon Boat Festival, a Chinese festival celebrated to ensure happiness and good health.
In ancient times, the Chinese believed the dragon to be at once a protective and threatening creature, with the power to bring rain or drought. To honor the dragon, they built long, narrow boats that they raced in an annual rainmaking festival.
In Awakening the Dragon, author Arlene Chan explores the origins and customs that surround the festival, such as the popular custom of eating rice dumplings, or zongzi, to feed the dragon.
Chan, a librarian and experienced dragon boat racer, also explains how the racing teams train. Her informative, yet graceful prose captures the flavor and excitement of the festival, while Song Nan Zhang's vivid illustrations complement the text perfectly.