My husband and I have always wanted our children to learn Mandarin, and so the sight of bilingual books brings out the book hoarder in me. It was on another book-shopping spree that I discovered the Enchanted Tales of China series’ The Mouse Weddings, books 1 and 2. Reading these books also led me to discover that some Chinese believe that the royal Mouse Wedding took place on the third day of the Chinese New Year.
Yep. But I’m obviously getting ahead of myself. These two books that I’m about to share will explain it all.
Mouse Wedding 1: Finding a Groom
Once upon a time, the king of the Mouse Kingdom decided that it was time for his beautiful daughter to marry, and that she had to marry someone better than a mouse. His wife practically calls him crazy, but His Majesty insists. He feels that since no mice can be better than him, the king, therefore no mice can be respectable enough for his daughter.
And so begins his journey “interviewing” a myriad of potential sons-in-law. First was Sun, whose sunlight scares all mice. And then there was the dark cloud, who covers the Sun against its will. The list goes on for a bit until the king finally realized that, in the end, mice were the strongest!
Mouse Wedding 2: Groom Found!
This second book starts off with the king explaining how he came to the realization that his species are the most powerful. Relieved by this, his daughter approaches him and tells him about the mouse that she loves. Her father is shocked to discover that not only does she already have someone in mind, but that her choice is way beneath the social status he wanted for his daughter!
Frankly, fathers like this king are worrisome. Can you imagine if the cloud actually agreed to marry his daughter? How would that work out?
I really like these books because they’re funny and I get to discover some Chinese culture as well. On one of the last pages of every book is a section called “Did you know…” that shares some cultural insight into China. In the first book, for example, the author shares how arranged marriages work and were very commonplace in old China. I learned in the second book that some Chinese people leave food around the house because they believe that the mice couple were married on the third day of the Chinese New Year. These Chinese people believe that by leaving lots of food for the mice couple on this day, they might be full enough to not return for the rest of the year. I find that logic a bit questionable though. If the mice discover that there’s food under the bed and around the corner, then won’t that encourage them to keep on coming back?
Regardless, it’s a very curious tradition! I have to say though that this book is probably best for kids in primary school (or higher). There are more pages filled with text rather than with drawings, and the sight of it in my hands doesn’t fail to make my one-year-old walk away. My three-year-old, however, finds the books intriguing. A king mice finding all sorts of sons-in-law and then a mice wedding—how simply fascinating!
So this Chinese New Year, if you’d like to celebrate with the mice, don’t forget to leave some food under your bed for them! 🙂 Of course, whether or not they’ll really not come back is another thing…
This is not a sponsored post.
If you liked this post, you’ll probably like my 52 books in a year project. Click on the photo below to be redirected to the that post. There you’ll see the books I’ve written about so far!