We’ve run in the Lunar New Year and the Year of the Rabbit is here! As a tie-in, the latest issue of FACES Magazine is all about rabbits! We’re sharing four free article and stories from our award-winning children’s magazines to help kick off the new year in style. Learn about the legend of the Chinese zodiac, read some traditional folktales featuring rabbits, and discover a little more about the role rabbits play in literature and culture around the world!
The Chinese Zodiac
Where did the legend of the Chinese Zodiac come from? Why are there 12 animals, and why that order? Nobody knows for certain, but this fascinating article from FACES Magazine dives into some interesting possibilities. Plus, it includes an old folktale explaining why the Year of the Rat comes first. This article is a great way to explain what exactly a ‘zodiac’ is and how the Lunar New Year is measured. “The Chinese Zodiac” was written by Sarah Novak for FACES! Read and download it here!
The Clever Rabbit
This tale is the perfect transition from the Year of the Tiger to the Year of the Rabbit. After all, it’s about a clever rabbit defeating a tiger! In this entertaining Korean folktale, a feisty rabbit keeps outsmarting a hungry tiger until the tiger determines that rabbits are too dangerous to eat. Rabbits are often sneaky trickster figures in folktales from around the world, and this is a great example of that. We could almost picture this as a Bugs Bunny cartoon! This story was retold by Chitra Soundar for SPIDER Magazine with engaging artwork by S.Y. Lee. Read and download the story here!
Hop Into the Year of the Rabbit
The rabbit might not immediately come to mind as a great symbol for a year. After following large, fierce animals like an ox and a tiger, it seems a bit anticlimactic. But the rabbit is considered the luckiest animal in the Chinese zodiac and, moreover, a lucky animal for many cultures around the world. Have you ever heard of a lucky rabbit’s foot, for example? To many cultures, rabbits are a symbol of prosperity, abundance, fertility, springtime, renewal, and cleverness. That sounds like a pretty great sign to us! Read more about it in this interesting article from FACES Magazine!
Almost everyone in the world has seen a rabbit before, whether a pet or in the wild. Most of us don’t give them much thought– but we should. Rabbits are actually pretty remarkable. Rabbits live on every continent except for Antarctica and have some out-of-this-world skills. They can rotate their ears 270° like satellite dishes to listen to threats up to two miles away. They’re also amazing athletes, able to jump up to 3 feet vertically and 10 feet horizontally. Not bad for such a smaller critter. Learn more about what makes rabbits so special in this article from FACES!
If your child is interested in learning more about Chinese language and culture, you may also want to consider exploring virtual Chinese lessons with NeuLingo! We’ve currently got a special deal going on for Lunar New Year— and you can get a free rabbit-themed issue of FACES along with a trial lesson!