Celebrating The Chinese New Year With The China Institute’s We All Live In The Forbidden City ( BOOK GIVEAWAY)

18 Feb

Tomorrow, February 19 is the start to the Chinese New Year.  The year of the Horse has come and gone and we are moving into the year of the Sheep.  The China Institute’s We All Live in the Forbidden City program includes children’s books and educational workshops that celebrate Chinese cultural history and fun for kids, a great resource for at home or in a classroom. 

Image from The China Institute

Image from The China Institute

Living in NYC, a city rich in culture, my girls are always asking about different cultures.  To celebrate the Chinese New Year, we received two books from the China Institute to teach them about the culture and history of China’s Forbidden City (mentioned below).

Image from The China Institute

Image from The China Institute

This is the Greatest Place!, published by The China Institute, is an adorable book for children ages four to eight (which happened to be the age range my girls fall into).

Rabbit is eating breakfast with his friends Baby Squirrel, Young Porcupine, and Little Brother Panda when an unexpected visitor arrives. He is a master builder, searching for inspiration to design a great palace for the Emperor of China. Together, Uncle Builder and the little animals explore how nature supplies us
with the wonders that enrich our lives. Created by internationally renowned children’s book artists Brian Tse and Alice Mak, this book teaches children about Chinese architecture, how nature’s influence can be seen around us, and how people and animals can live together in harmony. The illustrations capture the majesty of both the natural world and the Forbidden City and are enhanced by interactive components for readers, including a gatefold spread and lift-flaps. -http://www.walfc.org

My girls loved the illustrations and the characters.  They loved the flip pages that describe how nature inspired the Forbidden City.  It’s an educational book in which engaged my daughters.    It is available here for $12.95.
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In the Forbidden City, also published by The China Institue, is a book for children ages nine and up.  This was a little above my girls but I think they would gain good knowledge when they are older.   It’s more in-depth with the history of the Forbidden Palace.  The drawings and details are incredible.

This large format book conveys the grandeur of the Forbidden City through highly detailed line drawings of its buildings, gardens, and courtyards with numerous foldout spreads. Each page is populated by a large variety of characters and peppered with entertaining anecdotes.  Every book includes a plastic magnifying glass for looking at the  drawings more closely. -http://www.walfc.org

Picture 19

Image from The China Institure

Find activities, lessons, crafts and more at http://www.walfc.org/play/activities/ 

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Or why not make your own dumplings to celebrate The New Year! Recipe from China Institute

Image from The China Institute

Image from The China Institute

Ingredients:  Dumpling (jiaozi) Dough

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pork & Chive Filling:

  • 1 cup ground pork (can also use beef)
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 green onion, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
  • 4 Tablespoons shredded bamboo shoots
  • 2 slices fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

 Directions:

Stir the salt into the flour. Slowly stir in the cold water, adding as much as is necessary to create a smooth dough. Don’t add more water than is necessary. Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling ingredients. Add the soy sauce, salt, rice wine, and white pepper to the meat, stirring in one direction. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the same direction, and mix well. Now, prepare the dough for the dumplings. First knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 60 pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle about 3-inches in diameter to create the dumpling wrappers. Place a portion (about 1 Tablespoon) of the filling into the middle of each dumpling wrapper. Wet the edges of the dumpling with water. Fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal. Continue with the remainder of the dumpling wrappers. To cook the dumplings, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, giving them a gentle stir so they don’t stick together. Bring the water to a boil, and add 1/2 cup of cold water. Cover and repeat. When the dumplings come to a boil for a third time, they are ready. Drain and remove. If you want, they can be pan-fried at this point. Repeat this process for the second half of dumplings.
GIVEAWAY:  A lucky winner will receive a copy of This is the Greatest Place! OR In the Forbidden City.   Leave a comment below with your Zodiac Sign and/ or your favorite Chinese dish/ recipe.  Contest ends February 28, 2015 at 11:59 pm.
Image from Calendar777.com

Image from Calendar777.com

To learn more or find out about events to celebrate the Year of the Sheep, visit: http://www.chinainstitute.org/
Disclaimer:  I received copies of the books for review.  Information in italics as well as the recipe are from the China Institute.  All other opinions expressed are my own.
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2 Responses to “Celebrating The Chinese New Year With The China Institute’s We All Live In The Forbidden City ( BOOK GIVEAWAY)”

  1. Kate February 19, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    Dog!

  2. beth February 25, 2015 at 10:10 am #

    I am the year of the rat.

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