Amy Wu and the Ribbon Dance -- Book Review & Information About Chinese Ribbon Dance


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What child doesn't love running or dancing with a ribbon stick? Over the years we have had different experiences with types of ribbon dance and ribbon play. There was the Frozen birthday party where we gave the girls light blue ribbon wands to play Freeze Dance and feel like Elsa. There was also the DIY Wind Wand I made Hazel when she was young. There is also the fun we had exploring the Mexican rebozo and the Middle Eastern dupatta. Today I am going to share a book where a young Asian girl is inspired by Chinese ribbon dance. The book is Amy Wu and the Ribbon Dance by Kat Zhang and illustrated by Charlene Chua. It is released tomorrow (5/30/23) and is recommended for ages 4 to 8. Before we talk about the book, however let's look at Chinese Ribbon Dance. It is still Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

Chinese Ribbon Dance

Chinese Ribbon Dance is a dance from Ancient China. It comes from cave drawings and is from a time where they believe there were fairies and nymphs. The ribbons are used to form designs in the air that will captivate the audience. There is much about curves and circles in Chinese dance and culture. True Chinese Ribbon Dance takes precision and strength and a lot of practice! The ribbons originally were held by hand and did not have sticks. Sticks were added during the Tang dynasty. The sticks help control the ribbons better. The ribbons were also lengthened during the Tang dynasty. You can see another beautiful form as well learn more about it and the history at this YouTube video. This video was one of my sources for information as well as the article, "Art of Chinese Ribbon Dance" by Tamara Warta over at Love to Know and "The History of Chinese Ribbon Dance" by Lanh Ma over at Our Pastimes. 

About the Book:

When Amy Wu learns about Chinese ribbon dancing, she can’t wait to try it out herself in this charming and brightly illustrated fourth installment in the Amy Wu picture book series.

Amy Wu loves to move. From wriggling to shimmying to toe-tapping, she just can’t keep still, not when there’s music all around her! So when Amy sees Chinese ribbon dancing for the first time, she has to try it out. Only, how can she throw the perfect dance party when she doesn’t have the perfect ribbon for her dance?

A special story from Mom may be just the thing to get Amy moving to the music again.

Be sure to check out Simon and Schuster's webpage for the book and download the free activity sheets to go with the book! There is a coloring page, maze and more!

From Me:

This book is so cute and fun. Amy Wu is a typical preschooler. She can't stay still. It drives her mother a bit crazy, but Amy is always on the move. Then Amy sees a performance of Chinese ribbon dance and wants to try it. Her mother suggests her upcoming playdate be turned into a ribbon dance. Her friends are excited to help provide music for the dance. Then Amy tries to figure out what will work best as a ribbon. None of her ideas are perfect and she gets upset until her mother shares with her a story from her own childhood and her own ribbon dance. Then it is all fun for Amy, her friends and her family. Amy learns that perfection doesn't matter but having fun and dancing does!

I love how this book introduces Chinese ribbon dance and the culture a bit to young readers. It makes sense to use this book in a study of dance and or Chinese culture and history. It also makes sense to show kids an actual video of a Chinese ribbon dance so they can understand why Amy was so excited. It is also a fun book to show that things don't have to be perfect to have fun. Gathering friends to make music and dance is always a good time for young kids. Add some ribbon wands and it can be even more fun. At the end of the book are ideas of objects to use to make your own ribbon wands for the dance. 

This book is also just a fun book to read with kids. I can see many kids loving it as well as wanting to make their own ribbon wands and dance around the house. I hope you will check it out!