30 Children's Books to Celebrate Lunar New Year

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The Lunar New Year is one of my favorite holidays and books are a fun way to celebrate and teach our daughter about the holiday. Over the years we have curated quite the list and while I'm sure there are more, here are thirty children's books about the Lunar New Year that we have enjoyed! 

1. Gordon & Li Li Celebrate Chinese New Year by Michele Wong McSween

Learn English and Mandarin words about the Chinese New Year with Gordon and Li Li in this board book.

Great for ages 3 to 5.

2. Nian, The Chinese New Year Dragon by Virginia Loh-Hagan

This is my favorite book that retells the story of Nian, a dragon that comes out once a year to eat people. This is the story behind the Chinese New Year and a lot of its traditions! 

The age recommendation is 6 to 8 years old, but our 5-year-old loved this book too.

3. How to Catch a Dragon by Adam Wallace 

A fun book about the Chinese New Year! There's a dragon on the loose and some kids are trying to catch it but the dragon is too clever and avoids all their traps. Do you have what it takes to catch a dragon?

Recommended for ages 3 to 8.

4. Our Lunar New Year by Yobe Qiu

Learn how different Asian cultures and families celebrate the Lunar New Year! It's not just a Chinese holiday!

Recommended for ages 3 to 10.

5. Mulan's Lunar New Year by Natasha Yim

Mulan's Lunar New Year follows a young Mulan as she and her family prepare for the Lunar New Year. This is a great book to introduce kids to the holiday, especially if they are fans of the Disney Princess.

The age recommendation is 6 to 8 but our 5-year-old loved this book too.

6. Ruby's Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee

This is a fun retelling of the legend of the Chinese zodiac. Ruby makes her grandmother a card and gathers all her animal friends to bring to her grandmother's house. They celebrate with a banquet with the animals of the Chinese zodiac, except the cat, who had fallen asleep.

Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

7. The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang

This is another fun retelling of the legend of the Nian, a dragon that comes out on Chinese New Year to eat people. I feel this colorful book is better geared for younger children, ages 3 to 5 even though it is recommended for ages 4 to 8. 

8. New Clothes for New Year's Day by Hyun-Ju Bae

A Korean girl gets ready for the New Year by putting on her new traditional clothes. A  great book to introduce kids to Korean culture.

Recommended for ages 5 to 6.

9. The Runaway Wok by Yin Chang Compestine

Inspired by the Danish folktale, The Talking Pot, this story about sharing features a magic wok that takes from the rich and gives to the poor on Chinese New Year. 

Recommended for ages 6 to 8.

10. Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin

Follow one Chinese family as they get ready for the Lunar New Year. This shorter book is perfect for little ones just learning about the Lunar New Year.

Recommended for ages 2 to 4.

11. Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim

A fun retelling of Goldilocks! In this version, Goldy delivers turnip cakes to a family of pandas but ends up making a mess. She gets distracted when cleaning up and well you can guess what happens from there. This is a great way to introduce Chinese culture while using a story many kids are already familiar with. 

Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

12. Popo's Lucky Chinese New Year by Virginia Loh-Hagan

A little girl's grandma is visiting for the Chinese New Year and she brings along all her superstitions. A great book for introducing Chinese New Year superstitions and traditions to little ones. 

Recommended for ages 6 to 9.

13. A New Year's Reunion by Yu Li-Qiong

A beautiful story about a migrant worker's return home for the Chinese New Year. It's a bittersweet story as he only gets to see his family once a year for a few days. A beautiful story about love and how it can endure the passage of time.

Recommended for ages 3 to 7.

14. Chinese New Year Colors by Rich Lo

A simple book of colors in English, Mandarin, and Pinyin. Great for little ones learning Chinese!

It's recommended for ages 0 to 2, but if your kid is learning Chinese at an older age, I would say up to five would work for this book.

15. The Cat's Tale by Doris Orgel

A little girl and her cat are staying with her grandmother, but when the grandmother gets the story wrong, upsetting them, the cat tells why the years are named after animals. At the end of the book, the girl, cat, and grandmother make up.

Recommended for ages 5 to 8.

16. Dumpling Soup by Lillian Hsu-Flanders

The story takes place in Hawaii and focuses on Marisa, a seven-year-old girl, who gets to help her family make dumplings this year for New Year's Eve. Her family is made up of many different cultures that blend together as they bring in the New Year. A great book for showing how mixed families can be and still love one another.

Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

17. Playing With Lanterns by Wang Yage

A beautifully illustrated story that shares an ancient Chinese tradition of lighting lanterns for the New Year and then smashing them at the end of the celebration. It's considered bad luck to save the lanterns or else their uncles would get pink eye!

Great for 3 to 7-year-olds!

18. Friends are Friends, Forever by Dane Liu

Dandan is moving to America from China after Lunar New Year. Yueyue tells her friends are friends, forever, and hopes Dandan makes new friends in America. Dandan struggles at first, but then she meets Christina, and the two soon become friends. They celebrate the next Lunar New Year together. 

It's a great story not only for children of immigrants struggling to fit into a new world but for all kids! Kids will learn to be like Christina and extend friendship, no matter their differences, and to be brave like Dandan.

Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

19. New Year by Rich Lo

A boy moves to America but does not know English. When the classroom assignment is to come up with decorations for February, he immediately thinks of the Chinese New Year. The teacher likes his drawings and they decorate the classroom with lanterns and paper cutouts. 

I find it odd that instead of coming up with names, the author uses Brother 4 and Sister 3, but other than that I thought it was a great story to help kids feel proud of their culture. 

Recommended for ages 3 to 6.

20. The Race for the Chinese Zodiac by Gabrielle Wang

This is a fun retelling of how the Jade Emperor, the ruler of Heaven and Earth, selected the twelve animals for the Chinese Zodiac. 

It's recommended for ages 5 to 9.

21. Long Long's New Year by Catherine Gower

Long Long and his grandpa get ready for the New Year by going to the market to sell their cabbages in order to make money for their Spring Festival celebrations. They run into a complication when a woman is there also selling cabbages. Long Long explores the market while he thinks about what they can do when he comes across a cook who says he'll buy some cabbages.  

This book gives a great inside look at the Chinese marketplace and how the New Year is celebrated in China. 

Recommended for ages 4 to 9.

22. Alex's Good Fortune by Benson Shum

Alex invites her American friend, Ethan, over to celebrate the Chinese New Year. It's a great book to introduce kids to all the New Year traditions as well as the different foods eaten to celebrate. 

Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

23. The Great Race by Ling Lee

This is a bilingual book retelling the story of the Jade Emperor and how he selected the animals for the Chinese zodiac. It's told in English, Mandarin, and Pinyin. 

Perfect for any child interested in hearing the story of how the animals were chosen for the zodiac and for kids learning to speak and read Chinese.

I think this is a great book for 4 to 8-year-olds, or even older kids learning Chinese. 

24. The Sheep Beauty by Li Jian

The sheep is the eighth animal in the Chinese zodiac. The Sheep Beauty tells the story of how a sheep saved a village from a terrible monster. It's told in English and Chinese, but no pinyin is provided.

Li Jian has also written Tiger Brother featuring the Tiger of the Chinese zodiac.

Recommended for ages 4 to 8, but would be great for older kids learning Chinese as well.

25. Golden Blooms by Y.T. Tran

In Golden Blooms, the author talks about all the things she loves about the Vietnamese Lunar New Year! It's a great book for introducing Vietnamese culture and traditions around the Lunar New Year to older kids. 

Recommended for ages 8 to 12. 

26. Home For Chinese New Year by Wei Jie and Xu Can

Jiajun's father is returning home for the Chinese New Year and it is quite the journey! In China, many parents work far from home and once the holiday is over, they leave for the city again. It's a bittersweet book showcasing the love between a father and his son and the one time of year they get to see each other. 

Great for ages 4 to 8.

27. Happy Happy Chinese New Year! by Demi

This little picture book goes over all the traditions and why are done during the Chinese New Year! A perfect introduction for little ones about the holiday. 

Recommended for ages 3 to 7. 

28. Chelsea's Chinese New Year by Lisa Bullard

Chelsea's family is celebrating Chinese New Year! The book goes over her family's traditions as well as includes interesting facts about the holiday. 

Recommended for ages 3 to 9.

29. My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz

A little girl and her family are celebrating Chinese New Year. Follow along to see how they celebrate in this easy picture book, perfect for little ones!

Great for ages 2 to 5.

30. Chinese New Year by Alice K. Flanagan

In this factual nonfiction book, learn more about the Chinese New Year. from how it started to how it is celebrated This book is better suited for older kids or younger kids that may have an interest in knowing more about the holiday.

Recommended for ages 8 to 10. 

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