Celebrating Lunar New Year 2024!
What’s New in the Year of the Dragon?
click on a photo to learn more about the book
What do dragons mean to Paula Yoo?
“In Korean culture, dragons symbolize courage and hope. I cannot think of a more fitting symbol to represent Los Angeles’ Korean American community who rose above the ashes of the 1992 Los Angeles uprising to forge a new Korean American identity of courage, hope, and solidarity. It was an honor to interview the Korean American ‘dragons’ who survived ‘Sa I Gu’ with resilience and resolve.”
In the photo, Paula is standing in front of the reconstructed shopping center which is shown burning on the cover of Rising from the Ashes: Los Angeles 1992. Edward Jae Song Lee, Latasha Harlins, Rodney King, and a City on Fire. Find this book at your favorite bookstore or library after 7 May 2024.
Thoughts on dragons from Erin Yun
“To me, dragons represent power, strength, wisdom, and vitality, along with a healthy dash of beauty and wonder. But my mom was born in the year of the Dragon, and so mostly dragons remind me of her — and she is the strongest person I know, so it makes perfect sense.”
Aram Kim celebrates New Year’s Day
“Starting the Year of the Dragon with amazing vibes in front of the mural at the Korean Cultural Center in New York, painted by fellow kiBookans! I rarely thought about dragons before, but this year already feels like it’s full of energy — it must be the dragons!”
A Lunar New Year greeting from Helena Ku Rhee
“Dragons have always been my favorite mythological creatures, probably because they appeared so often in the stories I favored as a kid. Although my latest book, Sora’s Seashells, doesn’t feature any dragons, they appear throughout my other book, The Paper Kingdom — my most personal story to date. I think I’ve been secretly hoping that dragons are real … they certainly are in my imagination!
Emeline Lee shares her New Year greeting
“Dragons remind me of my grandfather, T.K. Lau, who was the inspiration behind my STEM picture book, Bonnie’s Rocket. Born the year of the dragon, he grew up during the Second Sino-Japanese war, immigrated to the U.S. to support his family, and became an engineer for NASA’s Apollo moon-landing missions.”
Linda Sue Park sends New Year greetings
I have a picture book about dragons! Gondra’s mother and father are from different dragon traditions — Asian and European — so she is a mixed-race dragon. 🙂
Jennifer Black Reinhardt’s illustrations inspired my sister Julie Hubble to craft Gondra in both needle felting and pottery.
Dragons have that kind of power!
Hyun Sook’s New Year’s story!
“On New Years Eve, I went to see the largest drone show in Korean history on Gwangalli Beach in Busan. 100,000 people waited to see a giant, animated blue dragon soar through the sky, through fireworks, then count down to midnight, but nothing happened. Then someone behind me said “It’s already 2024.” We were so disappointed and went home. We learned later that they had canceled the show without telling anyone. We came back at 7pm the next day for the rescheduled show, but again, nothing happened. Finally, after almost half an hour waiting, they worked out the tech, the dragon appeared in the sky and everyone counted down to January 1st at 7:24pm and laughed. I learned that this year, everything may not happen exactly when we expect it to, but great things still happen.”
Jenna Yoon’s fantasy series
“Dragons are magical, wise and benevolent. Lia Park and the Missing Jewel, the first book in the Lia Park series, includes the legend of King Munmu who wished to turn into a dragon so he could protect Korea.”
“Tend your inner fires, Dragons!”
Thoughts from Robin Ha:
“When we think of dragons, our minds expand to accommodate their power, size, and will. Dragons are magnificent because we imagine them to be that way. Therefore, to me, dragons represent the grandness of our imagination and also how our imaginations can have an impact in the real world. Some people in Asia plan their pregnancy so their children will be born in the year of the dragon because they want their children to have the power and the fortune the dragon symbolizes. Everyone in the world knows what dragons are even though dragons are mythical creatures. They are as real as any animals in our minds because they have existed in our stories as long as human civilizations. Maybe we humans have achieved so much because we allowed ourselves to dream about dragons.”
The Fox Maidens, available 13 February 2024
Jogakbo banner, a traditional Korean design, copyright Aram Kim, used here with permission.