• Sarah

Picture Books to Celebrate Lunar New Year

Does your community celebrate Lunar New Year? Did you know that it is one of the most important holidays in many Asian countries, including China, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore as well as the Asian diaspora. Here in Vancouver, it is a time of celebration and there are many local events to ring in the new year.


Although many countries celebrate Lunar New Year, most of the books I could find focus on Chinese traditions. These eight books are ones that I have read to my 5-9 year old students and my 5 year old daughter (all except the board book).


1) "Bringing in the New Year" by Grace Lin follows a family preparing for Lunar New Year. The illustrations are vibrant and full of movement. Each page has a sentence or two, so great for a younger audience.


2) "My First Chinese New Year" by Karen Katz is the story of a child observing and engaging in traditional preparations for Lunar New Year. It is informative and a great discussion starter.


3) "A New Year's Reunion" by Yu Li-Qiong and Zhu Cheng-Liang is an emotional story about a girl who is reunited with her father during Lunar New Year. It tells the reality of millions of migrant workers in China who only see family once a year. This one was a great conversation starter with my students.


4) "Ruby's Chinese New Year " by Vicky Lee and illustrated by Joey Chou is the story of Ruby who wants to deliver a card to her grandmother for Lunar New Year. Along the way she meets the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.


5) "D is for Dragon Dance" by Ying Chang Compestine and illustrated by Yongsheng Xuan is an alphabet book that introduces the reader to traditions of Lunar New Year.


6) "Baby's First Chinese New Year" by DK Books is a board book that is perfect for babies and toddlers. With photographs and simple phrases, this one is sure to be loved.



7) "The Runaway Wok" by Ying Chang Compestine is inspired by the Danish folktale, The Talking Pot. I personally think this gives opportunity to talk about morals and if what the characters in the story did the right thing. "Is it okay to steal from others?" I had quite the discussion about it with a group of 6-9 year olds!



8) "Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas" by Natasha Yim and illustrated by Grace Zong is a cute adaptation of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Goldy is sent by her mother to deliver turnip cakes to her neighbors, who just happen to be pandas. A very sweet story while teaching about Lunar New Year.


8) "Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas" by Natasha Yim and illustrated by Grace Zong is a cute adaptation of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." Goldy is sent by her mother to deliver turnip cakes to her neighbors, who just happen to be pandas. A very sweet story while teaching about Lunar New Year.



So, those are eight LUNAR NEW YEAR picture books.


Have you read any of these? Which book would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments!




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