Tales from the Chinese Zodiac Introducing the Year of the Monkey to Houstonians

Oliver Chin (forth from the left), and Director Sophie Chou of the Education Division of TECO in Houston (second from the right) posing for a photo.  (Photo courtesy Brenda Chen/The Epoch Times)

To celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Monkey, the Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Houston and the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Houston Lodge co-hosted a storytelling event for schoolchildren in Houston featuring Oliver Chin. Mr. Chin, an author of children’s books, an artist, and, what the San Jose Mercury News called a “comics expert”, is highly recognized nationwide for his book series on the Chinese zodiac.

Mr. Chin’s interest in art started at a very young age when he enjoyed expressing ideas through drawing comics. He further developed his artistic talent in high school by creating illustrations for school periodicals and publications and later continued making art as a part of his college life.

His book series Tales from the Chinese Zodiac, started with “The Year of the Dog” in 2006 and has gone on to publish books corresponding to different animal signs each year, in accordance with the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. This year, Mr. Chin came to Houston with his tenth book of the series: “The Year of the Monkey (2016).” He visited schools in different school districts and talked about traditional customs for the Chinese New Year with students from different cultural backgrounds.

Accompanied by Director Sophie Chou, Deputy Director General John Chi hosted a welcome banquet honoring Mr. Chin, who has dedicated his life to inspiring children with Asian American contemporary arts and culture, on January 22, 2016. Officials from different school districts (SD): Houston Independent SD; Stafford Municipal SD; Fort Bend Independent SD, and leaders of the Chinese speaking community also attended the event to show their appreciation and recognition of this prominent author and publisher from Los Angeles, California.

By ISABELLE CHEN  Jan. 21, 2016