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Diverse Books For All Ages

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Lunar New Year: Children's Books for Every Family

Updated: Jan 15

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These fun children’s books offer an excellent way to introduce little readers to the magic, tradition, and excitement of the Lunar New Year and the different ways it's celebrated across the globe. (Complete with publisher's descriptions)

Diverse Children's books

From Korean American author-illustrator Aram Kim, Tomorrow is New Year's Day follows a little girl sharing the fun customs of Seollal--the Korean Lunar New Year--with her classmates.


Seollal, the Korean Lunar New Year, is Mina's favorite day of the year.


Mina can't wait to share the customs of Seollal with all of her friends at school. She will show her classmates her colorful hanbok, demonstrate how to do sebae, and then everyone will make tasty tteokguk in the cooking room. Yum! Her little brother may even join in on the fun... if he can find a way out of his bad mood.


In this joyful book about sharing age-old cultural celebrations with new friends, Aram Kim has created a must-have book for the New Year's season. A glossary of Korean terms, with pronunciation guide, is included.


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Diverse Children's Books

Every year is the Year of the Cat!

A legendary race determined the order of the animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar . . . but what happened to Cat, the one animal who never received a year? Rat, Cat, and their eleven friends star in this funny animal adventure that introduces young readers to both the Chinese zodiac and the importance of apologizing. For fans of This Is Not My Hat and We Don't Eat Our Classmates.


Rat won the Great Race, which determined the order of the Chinese zodiac calendar. But he did it using trickery that left poor Cat behind. Now, Rat wants to make amends . . . or so he says. Rat, Pig, Dog, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Horse, Snake, Dragon, Tiger, Rabbit, and Ox all set off to apologize to Cat. Yet somehow, by the end of the journey, Rat is the only one left. And Cat has a special surprise for him.


Richard Ho's sly and perfectly paced text unfolds an exciting animal adventure, full of nods to the traditional Great Race tale. And watch out for an unexpected, delicious twist when Cat doesn't find Rat's apology quite sincere! Jocelyn Li Langrand's joyful and expressive illustrations bring the journey to vibrant life, full of details that reward a closer look. Together thetext and art are an homage to the traditional Great Race tale and a funny, subversive update for today's young readers.


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Diverse Children's books

Lily LaMotte, brilliant author of the graphic novel Measuring Up, an ALA Top Ten, has written her debut picture book about a special Lunar New Year feast. Perfect for fans of Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin and I Am Golden by Eva Chen.

Themes of love and family underlie the snappy text. --Kirkus


It's almost Lunar New Year, and Chloe can't wait to celebrate! But first, Chloe and her family must prepare for the new year. They buy new shoes, lay out good-luck oranges in a bowl, decorate the red envelope, and make a crispy turnip cake. Everyone comes together to cook a fantastic feast, saving a plate for A-má, of course. Chloe enjoys the festive celebration and yummy food, but most of all, she loves spending time with her family.

Lily LaMotte and Michelle Lee have created a tender, warm, and uplifting holiday story about tradition and the importance of being with those you love.


The backmatter contains educational facts about the Lunar New Year celebration in Taiwan and a fun recipe for a yummy fortune cake!


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Celebrate the Lunar New Year through a young girl's family traditions in this charming picture book featuring illustrations by New York Times bestselling artist Dung Ho that also includes a recipe for pineapple cakes!


Little Ren looks forward to the preparation for and festivities of Lunar New Year, but she is always too little to help make the delicious pineapple cakes that are her favorite. She watches family members rolling out the dough and loves the mouth-watering smell. Watching and waiting, when will Ren be old enough?


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A favorite fairy tale set in a bustling contemporary Chinatown.


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.


In this funny and festive retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Natasha Yim and Grace Zong introduce a plucky heroine who takes responsibility for her actions and makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!), just in time for Chinese New Year. Includes back matter about Chinese New Year and a recipe for turnip cakes.


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Discover all the celebratory traditions surrounding Lunar New Year in this festive addition to the Night Before series.


It's the night before Lunar New Year, and a little girl is excited for all of the celebrations to come. She's prepared dumplings with her mom, bought a new dress in Chinatown, and even helped scare mythical beast Nian away with her cousins and brother. There's only one problem: she's a bit nervous about all of the loud noises at the upcoming Lunar New Year Parade.


Will she overcome her fears? Find out in the latest installment of the Night Before series, told in the style of Clement C. Moore's classic tale.


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Diverse Childrens Books

During Chinese New Year, a young boy encounters a homeless person and discovers that no gift is too small when it comes from the heart.


Sam can hardly wait to go shopping with his mom. It's Chinese New Year's Day and his grandparents have given him the traditional gift of lucky money-red envelopes called leisees (lay-sees). This year Sam is finally old enough to spend it any way he chooses. Best of all, he gets to spend his lucky money in his favorite place - Chinatown!


But when Sam realizes that his grandparents' gift is not enough to get the things he wants, his excitement turns to disappointment. Even though his mother reminds him that he should appreciate the gift, Sam is not convinced - until a surprise encounter with a stranger.

With vivid watercolor paintings, artists Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu celebrate the sights and sounds of festive Chinatown streets. In her picture book debut, author Karen Chinn tells the affecting story of a child who discovers that sometimes the best gifts come from the heart.


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Diverse Children's Book

Happy New Year ... in July! This versatile collection of engaging original poems showcases New Year celebrations throughout the year and around the world.


In many places around the globe, the new year starts on January 1. But not everywhere! Chinese New Year is celebrated in January or February. Iranians observe Nowruz in March. For Thai people, Songkran occurs in April. Ethiopians greet the new year at Enkutatash in September. All these celebrations, and many others, have deep-rooted traditions and treasured customs.


Acclaimed poet Marilyn Singer has created a lively poetry collection that highlights sixteen of these fascinating festivities, some well-known and some less familiar. Together with Susan L. Roth's captivating collage illustrations, the poems take readers to the heart of these beloved holidays. Every month of the year, somewhere in the world people celebrate with joy and good wishes for a happy new year.

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This funny and heartwarming follow-up to Grandpa Grumps celebrates Lunar New Year and the love of a doting grandparent.


"You should sleep on the long flight," said Mama.

Daisy should have slept-

but she didn't.

She was too excited to see Yeh-Yeh!


Daisy is traveling to China, and she's excited to see her Yeh-Yeh again! She has big plans for all the fun they'll have together in preparation for Lunar New Year, like flying kites and making jiao zi. But when she arrives, she has trouble sleeping and is less jolly than she hoped. Throughout the week, Yeh-Yeh tries all sorts of things to help her have a fun holiday and get her past her grumpiness. Will Daisy be able to get some rest and have one perfect day before she goes home?


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Tong tong! The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales, and wide, wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling!


The old tricks to keep him away don't work on Nian anymore, but Xingling is clever.

Will her quick thinking be enough to save the city from the Nian Monster?


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Diverse Children's Books

A moving picture book to read when we're missing family far away, set during Lunar New Year.


It's Lunar New Year, a time when families come together for a wonderful feast, and a father longs to be with his daughter--but she lives in another country. As he imagines how his daughter is spending the festivities, he recalls fond memories of time spent with her, feeling a sense of loss and dislocation. While he misses her deeply, he also recognizes her need to move away, grow up, and become herself. New Year is a stunning portrait of leaving home, finding independence, and loving those who are many miles away.

At a time when so many families are unable to gather together, readers will relate to the universal message of missing our loved ones and dreaming of being together again.


An excellent resource for teachers, librarians, and parents for starting conversations about:

  • The traditions and importance of Lunar New Year

  • Understanding the complex feelings that come from family and friends living far away

  • How to cope with feelings of loneliness and missing loved ones

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Diverse Children's books

Zhao Di wishes the New Year would never end!

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 fifteenth day of 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.


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A picture book based on the author's own immigration story, the infinite impact of friendship, and passing on love and kindness around the world.


On a snowy Lunar New Year's Eve in Northeastern China, it's Dandan's last night with Yueyue. Tomorrow, she moves to America. The two best friends have a favorite wintertime tradition: crafting paper-cut snowflakes, freezing them outside, and hanging them as ornaments.


As they say goodbye, Yueyue presses red paper and a spool of thread into Dandan's hands so that she can carry on their tradition. But in her new home, Dandan has no one to enjoy the gift with--until a friend comes along.


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Diverse Children's Books

"Celebrations and traditions might differ, but the story of missing distant family is universal." -- School Library Journal (starred review)


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.


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This exuberant story follows a Chinese American family as they prepare for the Lunar New Year.


Each member of the family lends a hand as they sweep out the dust of the old year, hang decorations, and make dumplings. Then it's time to put on new clothes and celebrate with family and friends. There will be fireworks and lion dancers, shining lanterns, and a great, long dragon parade to help bring in the Lunar New Year. And the dragon parade in our book is extra-long on a surprise fold-out page at the end of the story.


Grace Lin's artwork is a bright and gloriously patterned celebration in itself! And her story is tailor-made for reading aloud.


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In this picture book by Vickie Lee celebrating Chinese New Year, animals from the Chinese zodiac help a little girl deliver a gift to her grandmother.


Ruby has a special card to give to her grandmother for Chinese New Year. But who will help her get to grandmother's house to deliver it? Will it be clever Rat, strong Ox, or cautious Rabbit? Ruby meets each of the twelve zodiac animals on her journey. This picture book includes back matter with a focus on the animals of the Chinese zodiac.


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Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, is a time of celebration and it involves much preparation.


This festive story is a great introduction to the most important Vietnamese cultural holiday. Readers will learn the significance of each tradition during this special time.


As families prepare to celebrate Tết, it is also a time of reflection and togetherness. Families come together to help sweep out the old year, hang dazzling decorations, and prepare lavish meals to share.


Discover how the anticipation of Tết and the days of festivities that follow, all culminate in the celebration of families and the Vietnamese cultural heritage.


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