What to Read: Children’s Books About Chinese New Year

Looking for ways to learn about Chinese New Year with your kids? Good news: I’ve got some fun book suggestions for you today and they’re all a great way to introduce and explore this important part of Chinese culture with your children!

What to Read: Children's Books About Chinese New Year

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We’ve always been interested in Asian culture and history as a family, but we’re even more eager to learn now that my husband works from home teaching English to Chinese students through VIPKID. We love hearing about his students and what life is like for them.

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That’s where this list of Chinese New Year books comes into the picture. We wanted to learn more about the preparations, traditions, and festivities involved in this holiday festival since it’s so important to my husband’s students and their families.

As always, I turned to books and these are my favorites I came across in my search:

Chinese New Year Books for Kids

1. All About China

All About China is a wonderful place to start when learning about Chinese New Year with your kids. It’s full of information about the history, geography, culture, and daily life, but it also includes background, crafts, and recipes for Chinese New Year. See my review for more information about this book.

2. This Next New Year

This Next New Year is not to be missed when exploring Chinese New Year with children. The pairing of Yangsook Choi’s whimsical illustrations with Janet’s Wong’s simple and lyrical text make this a truly beautiful book.

3. Celebrate Chinese New Year

Prefer a non-fiction reading option to help your kiddos learn about Chinese New Year? National Geographic’s Celebrate Chinese New Year is a great choice. Just as you’d expect from any Nat Geo book, it’s packed with facts and incredible photos that are sure to pique interest.

4. My First Chinese New Year

My First Chinese New Year combines cute and colorful illustrations with short, but interesting text, making it a great option for introducing younger children to the elements involved in the festival.

I also like Celebrating the Chinese New Year as a first introduction to the festival. The illustrations are a bit more subdued, but they’re still lovely and the short text focuses on why and how families celebrate Chinese New Year.

5. The Nian Monster

I love The Nian Monster for learning about Chinese New Year. It’s a fun and creative blend modern-day life, legend, and culture that tells an imaginative story, all centered around the Lunar New Year. And those illustrations? Well, I’m a sucker for watercolor in children’s books and Alina Chau’s artwork in this one doesn’t disappoint!

6. Ruby’s Chinese New Year

Ruby’s Chinese New Year is a super cute reading choice for learning about or celebrating Chinese New Year. It weaves the twelve zodiac animals into the storyline and even includes fun crafts to make at home. 

Also worth noting, Chinese Zodiac Animals and The Great Race are other good options for focusing on the Zodiac animals and their symbolism in Chinese culture.

7. Bringing in the New Year

Grace Lin’s Bringing in the New Year tells the story of a Chinese American family and how they prepare for Chinese New Year. I especially like this option for showing how the holiday festivities happen outside of China.

8. Dragon Dance

Dragon Dance explores Chinese New Year preparations and traditions, but invites kids to interact with the story through flaps. You can’t go wrong with a lift-a-flap book, right?

9. Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas is what you get when you combine a classic fairy tale with a modern story about Chinese New Year. It’s definitely a fun way to explore the festival! 

Book 10. Sam and the Lucky Money

Sam and the Lucky Money is my favorite on this list of Chinese New Year books. A lovely book with a wonderful message, it’s the story of a young boy in Chinatown looking for the perfect way to spend the money he received for Chinese New Year.

Looking for more help exploring Chinese New Year with your kids? I happily recommend Techie Homeschool Mom’s online unit study. It’s an engaging study that’s perfect for older elementary and middle school kids. Also worth noting, if you’re willing to help a bit, it’s also a fun study for younger kids. 🙂

What to Read: Children's Books About Chinese New Year

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