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If this image doesn’t reach out and capture your imagination, I don’t know what will….
From the moment we picked up this book we embarked on a journey through a magical China with a girl named Minli who was looking to change her families fortune. This Newbery Honor book features magic, adventure, friendship, and even a dragon who can’t fly!
In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.
Minli is a girl whose family is very poor. Her mother is very bitter about their lack of fortune. Her father tries to cheer the family up with his nightly tales. All day the three work in the rice fields and barely eek out enough to survive on, only one bowl of rice a day.
A gift of a gold-fish, a talking gold-fish, steers her in the direction of finding the Old Man of the Moon. It is he who holds the book of fortune and can not only tell you of your future, but he can change it.
On her journey to Never Ending Mountain to find the home of the Old Man of the Moon, she encounters a wingless dragon who cannot fly. He has lived years in the forest all alone. During their journey together they meet the very rich and the very poor, learning lessons from all about herself, her family, and her fortune.
Told by the characters they meet, and interwoven into the story are Chinese folk tales. They are the string which connects this story to its place and destiny just like the strings of fortune the Old Man in the Moon ties on to the people living here on earth.
The author Grace Lin has not only written the story but is a very talented artist and illustrated the book as well. This very engaging story is on the top shelf of our bookcase and will be read again and again.
Something to Do: Chinese Fortune Sticks
In Chinese culture it is said that a person’s future becomes his/her past through the present. According to Chinese tradition, the successful person is the one who understands well what has happened in the past, experiences actively what is happening now to understand and create the future.
There are no guarantees that these fortune sticks will bring you good luck, but you can have a lot of good fun doing them.
- Use or make multi-colored stir sticks
- Write out 10 different fortunes on strips of papers. You will need multiples of the same fortune in each cup.
- Ten little cups,box,baskets, number them one to 10
- Place the sticks in a cup and hold them at an angle in front of you, parallel to the ground.
- Shake until some sticks poke or fall out.
- Count the number of sticks, this is your number
- Go to the cup with your number on it and read your fortune.
Here are some fortune examples but have fun and make up funny ones on your own.
- The beginning of wisdom is to desire it.
- You find beauty in ordinary things, do not lose this ability.
- It takes more than good memory to have good memories.
- Plan for much fun ahead.
- Something you lost will turn up soon.
- Make two grins grow where there was only a grouch before.
- Don’t forget, you are always on the hearts of those who love you.
- A friend is a present you give yourself.
- You will step on the soil of many countries
- A single kind word will keep you warm for years.
- If you want the rainbow you must put up with the rain.
More Fun Stuff:
If you are looking for a fun digital and interactive children’s story inspired by a kids’ classic story, you will love The Ultimate Guide to Charlie out into the World.
Enter a world where collaborative play is woven into the fabric of our everyday family life. The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will open the door to transforming relationships, encouraging new perspectives, and indulging in the happiness and the joy of innovating with your children.
Who is Charlie? The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is an interactive, adventure that leads us through the Chocolate Factory with stops along the way to create, laugh, and learn. It reawakens the passion and idea of “jumping” inside the pages of this book with the knowledge that each chapter is a gateway into a magical world. Now available on iTunes, it’s your opportunity to truly experience where art, literature and technology meet allowing you to feel the story like never before.
Charlie was born of a unique collaboration between co-authors Valarie Budayr and Roscoe Welply, this dynamic duo along with Kite Readers have crafted an enchanting world that leaps from the pages, and coaxes the reader to immerse themselves in the adventures that await them at the Chocolate Factory.
What You Can Expect with Charlie:
- A bridge between the “plugged” and “unplugged” world for families
- A book that brings families together reading and enjoying their imaginations.
- Creation of an atmosphere where reading becomes a family event instead of a solitary act.
- The option to educate, inform, and entice children to want to know more about the world they live in.
- The delight of pulling the story off the pages, and the act of bringing the pages to LIFE.
Gather your family and come along on a magical journey into one of the most beloved children’s books of all time to experience a story like never before. You will have a front row seat to this delightfully illustrated and fabulously written children’s enhanced digital e-book that will come to life with not only a great story, but over 20 activities and crafts that will spark their imagination and awaken their inner child.
Disclaimer: This book is not affiliated or associated with the author, publisher, or distributors of Roald Dahl’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.