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The Year of the Dog: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac

Oliver Chin, Illustrated by Jeremiah Alcorn

The Year of the Dog: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin and Jeremiah Alcorn published by Immedium. For nearly 5,000 years the Chinese culture has organized time in cycles of twelve years. This Eastern calendar is based upon the movement of the moon (as compared to the Western which follows the sun) and is symbolized by the zodiac circle. An animal that has unique qualities represents each year. Therefore, if you are born in a particular year, then you share the personality of that animal. Now people worldwide celebrate this two-week long festival in the early spring and enjoy the start of another Chinese New Year. On New Year's Day, loud barking came from the doghouse. Papa dog ran out and joyfully exclaimed, "It's time to celebrate!" Mama dog had just given birth to a bouncing baby pup. "Let's name him Daniel," smiled Mama, and Papa agreed. Later a girl visited and kissed Daniel hello. After she departed, Daniel asked, "Who was that" Papa replied, "Lin is our neighbor and part of our family, too." "She is very eager to play with you," added Mama. Since Daniel was a lively and curious puppy, he and Lin became fast friends. Soon the two traveled everywhere together. They loved to explore the nearby fields and frolic in the streams. Daniel barked happily at everything that crossed their path. At home Mama said, "We are glad you and Lin get along so well. Dogs and people are best friends, because we care for each other." "Remember Daniel, you must always look after Lin," said Papa. "Be ready to watch out for strangers wherever you are." Papa described fantastic creatures that Daniel might meet someday. The fiery Phoenix flew high with dazzling wings. The sly dragon slithered with a long nose and a winding tail. And the ferocious tiger roared, flashing his bright stripes and sharp teeth. Amazed by Papa's tales, Daniel promised, "I will do my best to protect Lin." Then one morning, a loud crowing awoke Daniel. He gazed outside and saw a colorful bird lying onto the roof of Lin's house.