When it comes to choosing the best lunar new year children’s books for kids, there’s honestly still a limited selection. Options have improved over the last several years, but I’ve yet to find the *perfect* Lunar New Year book. Although, these come very close.
When it comes to selecting the *perfect* book for teaching about Lunar New Year celebrations, I look for a variety of nonfiction and narrative styles. It’s also important to me to amplify the voices of Asian authors so that’s another criteria I typically use for selecting books about the Lunar New Year. FinalIy, I think it’s important to incorporate books that show how lunar new year celebrations happen differently in various cultures. I think you’ll love this selection, along with the list of honorable mentions I squeeze in at the end!
Lunar New Year Children’s Books for Older Kids
This book has the most gorgeous illustrations, and gives some intimate details about a family’s Chinese celebration of the new year. It’s about a father and his grown-up daughter and the sadness he feels that they are not together to celebrate the new year. This book is definitely meant for upper elementary, and contains some familial and life concepts that go deeper than just the lunar new year celebrations.
Lunar New Year Children’s Books About Holidays Around the World
This is an incredible book if you are doing a study of winter holiday celebrations around the world. In the past, I’ve used a series of slides and a passport to celebrate 12 Days of Christmas Around the World and I love this book as a supplement to use alongside those types of activities. The two things I like best about these books are 1. It features lunar new year celebrations beyond the ones typically taught about, and 2. The pages contain a “just right” amount of content that makes this a good read-aloud option but also a great one to use in upper elementary reading lessons or groups.
Lunar New Year Children’s Books About Different Asian Cultures
I definitely saved the best for last here. I love, love, LOVE this book because of the way it shows how people from different cultures all celebrate the new year in their own way. Our Lunar New Year features families of Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian cultures and we learn fascinating facts along the way. Bonus points to this book for also explaining on the first page why the blanket term for the holiday is NOT Chinese New Year.
And finally, #4.
If you’ve been here before, you probably have seen this book mentioned in this space. I recommend it here for a general new year read but it definitely fits here too. In this story, Shante needs black eyed peas to complete her family’s new year’s feast, but they are all out! She goes door-to-door asking neighbors to borrow some but they are all out. Along the way, she gets to learn about the foods they eat to celebrate the new year.