Posted by: Tracy Barsamian Ventola | February 1, 2013

Children’s Books We Love!: Chinese New Year

bringing in the new year

Chinese New Year begins on February 10th!  The Brooklyn Children’s Museum explains that, “Of all the traditional Chinese festivals, Chinese New Year is the most colorful, elaborate, and joyous.  Chinese New Year is celebrated in Chinese communities all over the world.  The first day of the New Year celebration usually falls between late January and February.  Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the first moon of the lunar calendar.  The Chinese calendar measures a year according to the moon and its cycles. The Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, as it is also known, is celebrated in many Asian countries. The celebration may last from one day to two weeks depending on who is celebrating.”

Here are some of OFF KiLTeR’s favorite children’s books about the holiday.

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin.  Knopf Books 2008.

A Chinese-American family prepares for the Lunar New Year.  There is very little text, but beautiful pictures by the talented Grace Lin.  There is also a great explanation of holiday at the end of the book.

D is for Dragon Dance by Ying Chang Compestine.  Holiday House, 2006.

The book is organized by the alphabet and follows a boy and a girl preparing for Chinese New Year festivities with their family.  Each page represents one letter of the alphabet.

Dragon Dance:  a Chinese New Year lift-the-flap book by Joan Holub.  Puffin, 2003.

This book is a favorite at our house.  Cute, quick cultural book for young readers.

Lanterns and Firecrackers: a Chinese New Year Story (Festival Time!) by Jonny Zucker.  Barrons, 2003.

Cute story with very little text would be most suitable for the YOUNGEST children.

Moonbeams, Dumplings, and Dragon Boats by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz, and the Children’s Museum of Boston.

A treasury of Chinese holiday tales, activities and recipes.  Stories have a lot of text.  Activities and recipes are somewhat complicated.  Book is most appropriate for older, school-aged children.

My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz.  Henry Holt and Co., 2004

This very simple introduction to the Chinese New Year focuses on food, families, and customs.  Great for preschool class reads.

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