Chinese New Year begins on February 7, 2008. It is the year of the Rat. In ancient times the rat was welcomed as a "protector and bringer of material prosperity." The rat is actually the first in the horoscope cycle. They begin the sequence and recur every 12th year by the lunar calendar.
Today I brought home a board book from the library (in celebration of Chinese Culture) by Amy Wilson Sanger, titled Yum Yum Dim Sum. It's part of the "World Snacks Book" series of board books that I have fallen in love with. Tricycle Press in Berkeley has published them. My sister said she has checked out the Sushi book several times from her local library.
Oh, yeah, the rat! One thing that I did find amazing was that young Beatrix and her brother were allowed to keep a pet rat (amongst other rodents) in their bedroom! In those days I didn't think children from high society kept pet rats... especially girl children. Maybe that's why Beatrix Potter is the best selling children's author of all time!