Year of the Ox: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin

Activity 1: Conversations with the Author

It's not every day that you get to listen to a Story Time book read by the author themselves! We are so grateful that Oliver Chin stopped by to read Year of the Ox for the new year. While he was "here," we asked him a few questions about his work.

Q: What inspired you to write children's books?

A: My kids inspired me to write children's books. When I became a parent, I borrowed books to read to them. I read everything from old books that I read when I was a kid to titles just off the press. However, even most of the newest books didn't include people of color in their stories. So I decided to make storybooks that better reflected our multicultural society and featured amazing, animation-quality artwork.

Q: What advice do you have for kids who would like to be writers?

A: Satisfying hobbies are things you like to do. So write about what you like. Write for fun. Be bold, take risks, and tackle new topics and styles. The only risk is using a pencil, paper, and time.

Write for yourself. But if you want, feel free to share. Having someone else praise you is nice, but not always necessary.

Q: What animal are you in the Chinese Zodiac?

A: I am a Rooster.

Activity 2: Find Your Animal

In the Chinese Zodiac, each year has its own special animal. Which one is yours? Do some research to find out which animal is associated with the lunar year when you were born. There are twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac that follow each other in a twelve-year cycle: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each animal has particular characteristics or ways that they are. Does your animal match the way you are? Why or why not?