Travel Book Review: The Great Race - The Story of the chinese Zodiac

Great Race was given to me by the publisher, Barefoot Books to review. Because the total value of the books given to me for review exceeded $40 I have donated them to my childrens' school library. If you buy the book using the Amazon link at the end of the post, I earn a small commission, and that income helps me keep the site going.

With Chinese New Year approaching, I thought it would be fun to review a book about the Chinese Zodiac. Great Race tells the traditional story about how the years in the Chinese Zodiac got their order. It's a story I'd never heard before, and it's great fun. As the animals all race to the finish line to determine who will be first in the zodiac their individual characters come out and we learn a little about the personality of each animal. There's lots to talk about here as the different animals use their strengths (or are thwarted by their own weaknesses) in an attempt to win the race.

The colorful illustrations are filled with motion, and you start to want to root the animals on as you work your way through the story. At the end of the book there is a brief description of the Chinese calendar and the characters of the twelve animals on the Zodiac.

Reader Question: Do you have any books you like to read to get ready for Chinese New Year?

Related Links:
Buy on Amazon: Great Race

 Subscribe to our feed

Subscribe by email:


  1. Kirsty on January 23, 2012 at 7:33 a.m.

    We have this book too and it's been read lots this week! We also read the Kai Lan book about chinese new year and have a fabulous brightly coloured book about CNY that we got in Hong Kong years ago - it's called Happy, Happy CHinese New Year and is full of facts and little stories about CNY

  2. Stella on January 24, 2012 at 7:53 a.m.

    Well thank you for sharing! I wanted to start reading about the chinese horoscope soon :)

  3. Jorge Vazquez-Pallares on January 30, 2012 at 6:55 p.m.

    Very excited to read this book! Thank you for the suggestion. As to your question, The travels of Marco Polo very much comes to mind.