Lunar New Year Books to Read with Kids

Celebrate Lunar New Year with these books!

If you’re looking to diversify your child’s at-home library or interested in keeping the new year celebrations going with your family, we’ve rounded up some great children’s books perfect for Lunar New Year.

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin

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  • Best for ages: 3-7

With picture-to-word identifiers, short and readable sentences and bright, colorful pictures, the story follows a family prepping the house for the new year. Keep an eye out for the super-long parade pull out at the end.

China: A History by Cheryl Bardoe

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  • Best for ages: 10-14

Using artifacts that are part of the Cyrus Tang Hall of China at the Field Museum, Cheryl Bardoe, a curator at Field, takes young readers on a trip through Chinese History. Best for late elementary and middle schoolers, kids will learn about everything from early tools, the dynasties and how the culture changed and remained the same through time.

Chinese Zodiac Animals by Sanmu Tang & Zhu Jingwen

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  • Best for ages: 9-12

This book provides more advanced readers in-depth information to help them understand the years and the Chinese culture. The zodiac animals are described including years, attributes and luck.

Dragon Dance by Joan Holub

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  • Best for ages: 2-5

This lift-the-flap book takes kids from the market to the home as a family prepares for the Chinese New Year celebrations. Of course, the parade is the best part.

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim

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  • Best for ages: 4-8

In a fun retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Goldy Luck takes a plate of turnip to her neighbors but she gets distracted when the Chans aren’t home so she tries their rice porridge, chairs and beds.

It’s Your Year, Baby Rabbit by Little Bee Books

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  • Best for ages: 0-3

This board book introduces babies and toddlers to each zodiac sign with adorable animal characters.

Lunar New Year (Celebrate the World) by Hannah Eliot

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  • Best for ages: 1-5

This bestselling board book helps children learn about the traditions of Lunar New Year (also known as Chinese New Year). Its artwork is done by Chinese Illustrator Alina Chau.

My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz

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  • Best for ages: 2-5

The simple story of prepping for the New Year draws in young readers and teaches about the Chinese culture. The 15 days of New Year are explained and described as kids follow the youngster through the book.

Our Lunar New Year by Yobe Qiu

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  • Best for ages: 2-8

Learn how Lunar New Year is celebrated in different families through the eyes of Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian children. The book shares great facts on how each culture is represented for the holiday.

Ruby’s Chinese New Year by Vicki Lee

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  • Best for ages: 4-8

Kids will learn about the Lunar animals – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig – as they trek with Ruby to deliver a letter to her grandmother. The book is also a small introduction to the importance of family in celebrations.

Tales From the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin

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  • Best for ages: 3-8

Olive Chin’s series transforms the Chinese zodiac animals into entertaining stories designed for kids.

The Night Before Lunar New Year by Natasha Wing

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  • Best for ages: 4-6

Hear about what happens the night before Lunar New Year – preparing dumplings, buying a new outfit and scaring away the mythical beast, Nian.


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