Book Resources for The Nian Monster

Xingling, the main character in THE NIAN MONSTER, is a resourceful girl. When confronted by a ravenous monster, she keeps her wits about her in order to fend Nian off. She’s not afraid to ask for help, either. Over the past year, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to get THE NIAN MONSTER into the hands of readers. I heard over and over how everybody loves freebies. So in addition to swag like bookmarks and magnets, I decided to offer additional book-related resources. And, like Xingling, I reached out and asked for help from my community — the wonderful kidlit community.

Here are a few of the resources that were created for my book:

A Teacher’s Guide: Arguably, not every picture book needs a teacher’s guide, especially if it’s fiction. But I felt that there were enough cultural and geographical aspects to my book that a teacher, librarian, or parent might appreciate a guide with more information about Chinese New Year, curriculum-related activities, and discussion questions. I discovered that teacher’s guides can vary in length and cost. Being a debut author, I opted to hire Anna Chan Rekate, a debut teacher’s guide writer, but also a very experienced elementary school teacher. Anna did an amazing job — she even included a personal recipe for sesame noodles! You can download a copy of the teacher’s guide here.

A Book-Related Craft: I confess, I LOVE crafts. My basement is filled with boxes of craft materials and random objects that I save just in case I might need them for a craft. I did a lot of crafts with my sons when they were younger and I knew it would be great to have an activity for after my story time events. Kids love things that they can make themselves and bring home, plus it connects them to the story in a different, more tactile way. The incredibly creative Kirsten Cappy of Curious City (try saying that 3x fast!) developed an origami bookmark craft and illustrator Alina Chau drew the Nian Monster so that it looks like Nian is “eating” the corner of your page! Download the template here and make a Nian bookmark with your kids (or for yourself)! Kirsten and her intern Sophia even made an instructional video, which you can watch below or on YouTube.


The Nian Monster bookmark will chomp on your page!


An Event Kit: I knew I needed to reach teachers and librarians, but I was at a loss about how to do so. Again, Kirsten Cappy came to my rescue. She has access to an extensive network of educators. Kirsten recommended creating an event kit so that educators could make story time with THE NIAN MONSTER an interactive experience. The event kit includes instructions and a template for creating a giant Nian mask. An adult can pretend to be Nian or the kids can “feed” Nian fish, noodles, and sticky rice cake just like in the book (fake fish are used — no live fish will be harmed during story time). The event kit is available at Curious City.

Here's me channeling my inner Nian Monster!

Here’s me channeling my inner Nian Monster!

Whether your book has yet to be sold or is headed for publication, it’s not too early to think about what kinds of resources you want to offer your readers. I added an Author’s Note to THE NIAN MONSTER when it was still in manuscript form, explaining the symbolism of the Chinese New Year foods in the story. If there’s an aspect of your story that you think readers would like to know more about, you might consider adding a short Author’s Note as well. And if you decide against it, there are plenty of opportunities to develop and offer educational resources after publication.

Good luck and thank you for celebrating my book launch week with me! Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post (or any EMUs Debuts post this week) to be entered into a giveaway of THE NIAN MONSTER.


Andrea Wang’s debut picture book, The Nian Monster (Albert Whitman & Co., December 2016), is a Chinese New Year folktale retelling set in modern-day Shanghai. She has also written seven nonfiction books for the educational market and is working on a middle grade novel. Andrea is a former environmental consultant and now writes full-time. She recently moved from the Boston area to Denver, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and a dog that will do anything for food. That pretty much describes her family, too.

You can find Andrea online at, on Twitter under @AndreaYWang, and on Instagram as @andreawhywang.


Filed under Book Giveaway, Book Launch, Book Promotion, Education, Picture books, resources, Uncategorized

26 responses to “Book Resources for The Nian Monster

  1. Christina Uss

    Andrea – love the idea of the origami book mark SO MUCH, going to go download one for myself today. I envy your the innate love of crafts! Kids of all ages are going to get such a big kick out of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What fabulous resources for your debut picture book! Congratulations! You (and Xingling) rock! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this. I want to come to that storytime.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathy Ballou Mealey

    The teacher’s guide is wonderful! I especially loved the Q&A with you. And now I’m craving sesame noodles! Going to Mary Chung’s for dun dun noodles was always a special treat.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Jama's Alphabet Soup and commented:
    Happy Book Birthday to Andrea Wang! The Nian Monster (with illustrations by Alina Chau) is officially out today! This post features some awesome resources — a teacher’s guide, craft, and event kit! Also check out the other Launch Week posts for even more. Leave a comment at any of them for a chance to win a signed copy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Book Birthday, Andrea!! I love the book and these fabulous resources. Will feature the book at Alphabet Soup closer to Chinese New Year 2017. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This is terrific, Andrea! I feel like I’m getting a preview of working with “you know who” ;-).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Terry Pierce and commented:

    Andrea Want shares some terrific book-related activities for librarians and educators here. As a former Montessori teacher, I just LOVE this! Thanks, Andrea!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lisa

    I want to channel my inner Nian monster, too! (Love that photo!). Congrats again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mariagianferrari

    You are one ferocious Nian Monster!!! Such great resources and happy book birthday!! So glad Nian will now be in the hands, and in the hearts of readers everywhere!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sheri Dillard

    Wow, what a wonderful post, Andrea! I’m off to check out the links now. Happy, happy book birthday! I’m so HAPPY for you!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sooooooo CLEVER! I LOVE the bookmark! Oh, and Congratulations, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. And me without a printer for the moment! What a great bookmark! And that mask!

    Liked by 1 person

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