The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac

The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac

The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac
Christopher Corr

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781786037312

Celebrate Chinese New Year and learn how every animal earned its place in the Chinese zodiac by taking part in the Great Race! Discover who will come first to win the ultimate prize, and find out why Cat will never forgive his friend Rat in this ancient folk tale that has been passed from generation to generation. Praise for Deep in the Woods, the previous title from Christopher Corr: '... the book looks like a delectable candy box... There is a lesson here - about friendship, and sharing - but the book never feels plodding or pedantic... Which may be why the lesson just goes down like the truth.'

Librarian's Book choice

This stunningly illustrated book re-tells the famous legend of The Great Race from China. The Emperor asks all the animals in the kingdom to race to help sort the years and to help measure time.

This legend has been re-told many times but I can honestly say I haven't seen it illustrated so colourfully or as strikingly before. Children will enjoy pouring over this book as they learn about the legend and about the Chinese zodiac. It would make a brilliant addition to classes studying Chinese New Year.

I love the use of colours and the interpretations of what the animals looked like. It reads as an enjoyable story and is one to share every year in celebration of Chinese New Year.

Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Erin Hamilton


The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac4/5

The Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac

Christopher Corr


This book retells the traditional tale of how each year gained its animal name. It explains how the Jade Emperor wanted to know how old he was but with no way of telling how much time had passed, it was impossible! He decided to gather all of the animals together to hold 'The Great Race' and decided that the first 12 animals that crossed the river would have a month named after them.

The story shows how different animals cope in the Great Race and how some of the animals treat each other. It's a nice retelling of the traditional tale, accompanied by some very colourful illustrations.

This would be a nice book to share with children of all ages when learning about and celebrating Chinese New Year - something many schools do each year. Lower KS2 children could enjoy enjoy this independently, however, younger children may enjoy it as a class text as they may struggle to access and understand it independently.

Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Lucy Newton, teacher

Reviewed by: Lucy Newton