Young Dandan and Yueyue have been inseparable friends and neighbors as far back as they can remember. One day, just before the Lunar New Year’s Eve, Dandan’s parents tell her that her family is moving from China to the United States. When Dandan tells the news to Yueyue, the girls are sad. After the girls share a final meal together, they take up for the last time their New Year’s Eve tradition—cutting out red paper snowflakes, immersing them in water, freezing them, and hanging them as ornaments outside.
When the friends must finally part, Yueyue gives Dandan the materials she will need to make the ornamental snowflakes in America. The friends vow to remain friends, forever.
In her new home, Dandan longs for a friend, but her inability to speak English isolates her, and she feels lost and lonely. Several months pass, and one day a classmate named Christina reaches out to Dandan. Then Dandan invites Christina to share in her New Year’s Eve tradition of making red paper cut-out snowflakes, and the girls become good friends.
Illustrator Lynn Scurfield’s bright, affecting artwork complements this touching children’s picture book, which is based on the childhood of author Dane Liu who moved from Northeastern China to North Carolina. In notes, Liu writes, “The transition was hard. I did not speak English and the cultural differences were immense. Christina was my first American friend. Our friendship taught me that the need to share, respect, and love is deeply human. It transcends culture, language, background, and race.” (Henry Holt and Co.)