Honoring Chinese New Year | February 9, 2018 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |

Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - February 9, 2018

Honoring Chinese New Year

Children's book author to speak about 'The Red Lantern'

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

As the Chinese Year of the Dog begins, Towne Center Books on Main Street and the Harrington Gallery at the Firehouse Arts Center are presenting free events with author and artist Irma Grant next weekend.

Towne Center Books will host a book launch party for "The Red Lantern," a children's picture book, at 11 a.m. next Saturday (Feb. 17), with author Irma Grant making a brief presentation and signing books. There will also be an art activity.

Then at 12:30 p.m. that day, Grant will be at Harrington Gallery to take visitors on an informal exploration of her original oils and illustrations for the book, including a discussion and Q&A session. The works will remain on display through March 14.

"The Red Lantern" is the tale of a young girl named Annie who is helping her grandfather at his shop in San Francisco's Chinatown. She encounters the Jade Emperor's daughter, who tells her the history of the New Year's Lantern Festival and challenges her to solve three riddles before the sun sets.

Grant noted that her paintings are generally visual narrations of stories.

"Every painting presents a new adventure — a means to express some favorite memories, moments and causes," she said.

Grant, who lives in Pleasanton with her husband and two daughters, is an artist, writer and teacher. She was born and raised in the Netherlands, lived in Canada and Sweden and studied in France before moving to the United States. Multicultural themes dominate her art and writing.

A number of Bay Area families participated in the production of the book, Grant said. Tane Chan, the owner of San Francisco's famous Wok Shop, allowed Grant to photograph her shop for the book's setting. Tom Yee, his granddaughter Trisha, and Amy Chen volunteered their time posing for the three characters in the book: the grandfather Gung Gung, Annie and the Jade Emperor's daughter.

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