Gung hay fat choy! Happy Lunar New Year! Lunar New Year is a very important holiday in many Asian countries and cultures. It begins with the first new moon of the lunar calendar and ends with the first full moon of the lunar calendar. This year, Lunar New Year is on February 12th and it is the Year of the Ox!

To celebrate and learn more, here is a list of 8 books about Lunar New Year: 6 picture books and 2 chapter books! Each book is written by an Asian author. It is important that we uplift #OwnVoices authors, especially when it comes to Exploration Books (for more about Exploration Books, read about The Spectrum for Multicultural Literature). Check out one or a few of these books this Lunar New Year and beyond!

Picture Books About Lunar New Year

The Nian Monster, by Andrea Wang

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration

Age Range: 4-8 years

The Nian Monster is set in Shanghai before Chinese New Year. The book follows little girl, Xingling, as she tries to save her city from the legendary Nian Monster. Xingling uses traditional new year’s food to try to trick him!

Bringing in the New Year, by Grace Lin

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration

Age Range: 0+ years

I absolutely love Grace Lin’s books! Bringing in the New Year comes in a board book or picture book format so it’s perfect for all little ones. In this book, a Chinese American family gets ready for the New Year. It explores some really great cultural elements. 

Chinese New Year Wishes, by Jillian Lin

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration

Age Range: 3-7 years

Chinese New Year Wishes is about Hong’s favorite time of the year, Chinese New Year! The picture book follows Hong, a little boy, as his family and him get ready and celebrate the new year. The book is bilingual and written in English and Chinese. 

Ruby’s Chinese New Year, by Vickie Lee

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration

Age Range: 3-7 years

In this picture book, Ruby wants to visit her grandmother because her grandmother is unable to travel this year for Chinese New Year. Along her journey to give her grandmother a special card, Ruby meets the twelve zodiac animals. I love the illustrations in this book because of the soft lines and joy in them. 

The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale, by Ying Chang Compestine

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration

Age Range: 6-8 years

In this fairy tale, a boy from a poor family goes to the market and gets an old wok. His family is surprised when the wok turns out to be magic and tricks a rich family into sharing their wealth. My students love this book and it’s fairy tale elements!

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas, by Natasha Yim

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: mostly Exploration; a little Representation

Age Range: 4-8 years

Yim’s picture book is another Chinese New Year tale (just like The Runaway Wok). It is a retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, where Goldy Luck’s mother asks her to take a plate of turnip cakes to their neighbors, the Chans. It is a very cute book that helps explore Chinese culture passively through different elements included in the book. 

Chapter Books About Lunar New Year

Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade, by Lyla Lee

The Spectrum of Multicultural Lit.: Exploration

Age Range: 6-9 years

The Mindy Kim early chapter book series is so engaging and explores beautiful cultural elements. In this book, Mindy is excited to celebrate Lunar New Year even though it’s the first one without her mom. She tries to keep up old holiday traditions but runs into some trouble. 

The Year of the Dog (A Pacy Lin Novel), by Grace Lin

The Spectrum for Multicultural Lit.: Between Exploration & Conversation

Age Range: 8-12 years old

Grace Lin is one of my favorite picture book authors, so you are probably super familiar with her on our book lists! However, this is the first time I’ve checked out her chapter books and they did not disappoint. In The Year of the Dog, Grace Lin writes about Pacy Lin, a young girl grappling with her identity amongst the world and her friends.

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