Picture Book Highlights | Happy Lunar New Year!

By Monica C. RSS Wed, January 18, 2023

It’s a brand-new year and a new celebration is getting near: Chinese New Year. It is also called Lunar New Year because the festivities fall from the first new moon to the next full moon. This year the fun starts on Sunday, January 22, and 2023 will be the Year of the Rabbit!

Look for these books to share with your little ones to ring in the new year!

Happy Chinese New Year! A Festive Counting Story

Happy Chinese New Year!: A Festive Counting Story by Jannie Ho

Count to 12 with the zodiac animals as they get ready to celebrate Chinese New Year! Sweet, colorful illustrations introduce each of the zodiac animals as they bring special items to the celebration.

A Sweet New Year for Ren

A Sweet New Year for Ren by Michelle Sterling; illustrated by Dung Ho

Ren has always been too little to help make her favorite pineapple cakes for the Lunar New Year, but when her one-of-a-kind brother Charlie arrives for the festivities, with his help, she finally gets her chance. Includes recipe for pineapple cakes.

Ebook available from Overdrive

Playing with Lanterns

Playing with Lanterns by Wang Yage; illustrated by Zhu Chengliang

Zhao Di and her friends are excited to go out at night with their paper lanterns and celebrate Chinese New Year. Each holding a unique colorful lantern with a lit candle inside, they admire the breathtaking colors while doing their best to avoid the wind and the sneaky boys in the village. Every night, until the the15th day of the New Year, Zhao Di and her friends take part in this fun tradition, experiencing the thrill of nighttime in their village. And then — it's time to smash the lanterns! In this cheerful book first published in China, readers are invited along with Zhao Di and her friends as they experience all the joy and excitement of this folk Chinese custom. Details about the paper lantern tradition are also included in an author's note at the end of the book.

Tray of Togetherness

Tray of Togetherness by Flo Leung

A little girl and her family are hosting a New Year party, an event marking the Lunar New Year. There’s a lot to do before the guests arrive! First, a trip to the market to fill up the Tray of Togetherness, a special candy box for the partygoers. Each of the eight lucky snacks in the Tray has an auspicious meaning: peanuts for long life, pistachios for happiness, and candied coconut for strong family ties. As the family returns home, they pass out delicious good wishes to the friends and neighbors they meet along the way. After the tray has been prepared and the decorations set up, it’s time for the party! A diverse group of relatives and friends gathers, ready to celebrate the New Year with the Tray of Togetherness

Tomorow is New Year's Day: Seollal, A Korean Celebration of the Lunar New Year

Tomorrow is New Year’s Day: Seollal, a Korean Celebration of the Lunar New Year by Aram Kim

Seollal is Mina's favorite day of the year. She can't wait to show her classmates her hanbok and make tteokguk in the cooking room. Even her little brother, who wants to wear his shark shirt, not his hanbok, eventually joins in on the fun. This sweet window into Seollal offers a fresh perspective on the holiday while celebrating diversity and cultural acceptance.

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim; illustrated by Grace Zong

It's Chinese New Year, and Goldy Luck’s mother wants her to take a plate of turnip cakes to the neighbors. The Chans aren’t home, but that doesn’t stop Goldy from trying out their rice porridge, their chairs, and their beds — with disastrous results.

Also available as a jDVD Read Along

Chinese New Year Colors

Chinese New Year Colors by Rich Lo

Hóng is the color of explosive firecrackers! Jīn is the hue of lucky coins. Zŏng is the shade of sweet peanut puffs. Welcome to the festivities of the Chinese New Year, where symbolic gifts, foods, and objects come together in a celebration of beautiful colors. This vibrant, simple, and highly graphic bilingual book is the perfect introduction to Chinese and English words for colors as it honors one of the biggest holidays around the world.

A New Year's Reunion

A New Year’s Reunion by Yu Li Qiong; illustrated by Zhu Cheng Liang

Little Maomao’s father works in faraway places and comes home just once a year, for Chinese New Year. At first Maomao barely recognizes him, but before long the family is happily making sticky rice balls, listening to firecrackers, and watching the dragon dance in the streets below. Papa gets a haircut, makes repairs to the house, and hides a lucky coin for Maomao to find — which she does! But all too soon it is time for Papa to go away again. This poignant, vibrantly illustrated tale, which won the prestigious Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award in 2009, is sure to resonate with every child who misses relatives when they are away — and shows how a family’s love is strong enough to endure over time and distance.


Be sure to check our catalog and Overdrive Kids eReading Room for these titles and many more being added.


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