Picture Books about Chinese New Year for the Classroom

Picture Books about Chinese New Year for the Classroom

Picture books about Chinese New Year is a great way to introduce children to this exciting festival celebrated by millions of people across the world.

Picture Books about Chinese New Year for the Classroom

Explore how Chinese New Year is celebrated

Have your students ever wondered how Chinese New Year is celebrated? Well, look no further, you can use these wonderful books about Chinese New to introduce Chinese culture and traditions. They bring China, a country of great history and beauty, alive. 

Before getting to the books I have found some websites that go into more detail about how Chinese New Year is celebrated. There are also a few videos you can use with your students.

BBC Newsround: What is Chinese New Year?
Encyclopaedia Britannica: Chinese New Year
Travel China Guide: Chinese New Year Celebrations around the World
Travel China Guide: Chinese Zodiac
Teaching Ideas: Chinese New Year Teaching Ideas and Resources
The School Run: The Chinese New Year
Scholastic: Lunar New Year Lesson Plans and Activities

For more picture about China and its culture and traditions take a look at the post Best Books Promoting Chinese Culture for Kids.

Picture Books about Chinese New Year List

I hope you enjoy these recommended picture books on how Chinese New Year is celebrated. If you have any suggestions for books about the Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year please add them to the comments below.

Angel in Beijing by Belle Yang

A girl's cat jumps to catch one of the colourful dragon kites during the Dragon Boat Festival in Tiananmen Square. As the girl searches through Beijing she wonders if she will ever be reunited with her pet cat.

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin

Three daughters wait with excitement for the Chinese New Year. The New Year is ushered in with the awakening of a dragon by the surrounding banging of drums and gongs.

Cat and Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac by Ed Young

The Jade Emperor challenges the animals to a race. Cat and Rat are best friends but the temptation to win the race is too much for Rat. He tricks Cat, causing it to miss out on becoming one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac

Chinese New Year Colors by Richard Lo

Discover the colours of Chinese New Year, including food, gifts, fireworks, lucky coins. This bilingual book about one of the large festivals in the world introduces Chinese and English words for colours.

Dragon Dancer by Joyce Chng

On the eve of Chinese New Year, Yao wakes the ancient sky dragon, Shen Long. Yao starts a magical journey to bring in the good luck for the new year.

A Gift by Yong Chen

Amy receives a surprise Chinese New Year gift from her aunt and uncles in China. The parcel contains a carved, jade pendant shaped like a dragon. This symbol of China expresses love for their family.

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

Set during the Chinese New Year, Goldy Luck's mother sends her to visit the neighbouring pandas with turnip cakes. When the Chan’s return they find the sleeping Goldy Luck. Embarrassed, she runs home, but soon returns to the Chan’s home to apologise and clean up her mess.

How to Catch a Dragon by Adam Wallace

A group of children in China chase a dragon through Chinese New Year celebrations, passing through paper lanterns, red envelopes, fireworks.

A New Year's Reunion by Li-Qiong Yu

When Maomao’s father visits, the family prepare sticky rice balls with special fortune coins hidden inside. When Maomao loses her special coin, her devastation is heightened by the impending departure of her father. The lucky token is found just in time for Maomao to give it to her father as they say goodbye.

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

This retelling of the Nian legend sees Mei set out to defeat the dragon Nian. Every Spring the fierce dragon threatens Mei's village and it this young girl's destiny to defeat it. The book explains to origins of the Chinese New Year traditions.

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac by Gabrielle Wang

The Jade Emperor initiates a race, promising the first 12 animals who finish they will have a year of the Chinese Zodiac named after them. Thirteen animals find different ways to cross the river. Initially, Cat and Rat work together only for Rat to push Cat into the water, resulting in no Year of the Cat.

Red is a Dragon by Roseanne Thong

A Chinese American girl describes the colour of important objects in her life. Many of the items relate to her Chinese heritage and touch on festivals such as Chinese New Year.

Ruby's Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee

Ruby's Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee

Ruby meets the twelve zodiac animals on her journey to deliver a Chinese New Year card to her grandmother.

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

A poor man, Ming Zhang works for, Li, the richest man in Beijing. He sends his son to trade their last eggs for a bag of rice but he returns with a singing wok. The wok hops to the greedy Li family, filling itself with food and gold once stolen from others. The Ming family share the fortune and food with other needy villagers.

Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn

It is Chinese New Year and Sam receives four red envelopes, each containing a dollar. He visits Chinatown to spend his lucky money but doesn’t have enough to buy what he wants. When he encounters a barefoot stranger, Sam realises he is “the lucky one” and thoughtfully gives his lucky money to the man.

This Next New Year by Janet S. Wong

A Chinese-Korean family celebrate a multicultural Luna New Year. They eat Korean soup and listen to noisy firecrackers. His cousin Evelyn, part Hopi and part Mexican and his French-German best friend Glenn love the food and red money envelopes.

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What Next?

Do you celebrate Chinese New Year in your classroom? What resources do you use? Add any books, videos and activities in the comments. I would love to discover more Lunar New Year resources!

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Picture Books about Chinese New Year for the Classroom

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