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Chinese New Year

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Best Chinese New Year Books for Children

Whether you are joining the celebrations or exploring the customs and traditions of the Lunar New Year festival, we’ve got the best books to help. From firecrackers and fortune cookies to stories of the great animal race, browse our list of recommended children’s books about Chinese New Year to help you to bring the festival to life in the classroom…

Christopher Corr

This is a highly recommendable retelling of the story of the Chinese Zodiac and how the order of the animals came about. The story is easy to understand for KS1 and reception with striking illustrations, containing wonderfully colourful spreads painted in an oriental folk style. This text holds a high level of appeal for young children and is perfect for learning about Chinese New Year.

Eva Wong Nava
 & Li Xin

This picture book provides a beautifully illustrated introduction to Chinese New Year.

The night before the celebrations, Mai-Anne explains that the Lunar New Year is about to arrive and that her family enjoys a special set of traditions. Mai-Anne helps to clean and decorate the house and is excited when her grandmother (Nai Nai) arrives in time for the most important dinner of the year – fish for good luck, noodles for a long life, dumplings for blessings and nian gao for success. After dinner, Mai-Anne and Nai Nai settle down together and Nai Nai recounts the important story of the Great Race. Along with Mai-Anne, the reader learns about the story of the twelve animals who race to cross the river. Then Mai-Anne enjoys a special family Dragon Dance, eats sweet tangerines and wears a special red outfit for luck.

This is a lovely picture book to read at Chinese New Year but also all year round too as a book that celebrates family moments, bonds with grandparents and the joy of special traditions. The illustrations and text are both warm and celebratory in tone. It also features a non-fiction section on the final pages with more information about Chinese New Year and the dragon dance.

Sharon Katz Cooper
Chinese New Year is a time for new beginnings. Some people clean their homes from top to bottom or share meals with friends. Others pray, light fireworks or give each other gifts. Readers will discover how a shared holiday can have multiple traditions and be celebrated in all sorts of ways.
Amanda Li
 & Angel Chang

‘Lunar New Year around the world’ is a brightly coloured delight. It explains how Lunar New Year is celebrated in different countries around the world in a really accessible way. The text on each page is brief and presented in different sections or boxes. The illustrations are very detailed and there is plenty to look at on each page. There are also a lot of activities mentioned in the book that children could easily do themselves, for example, making a paper lantern or writing a wish on a piece of paper. This book is great to share with any year group or would make a good assembly book.

Valerie Thomas
 & Korky Paul
When Winnie and Wilbur decide to celebrate Chinese New Year, the party is going with a swing. Family? Check! Friends? Check! Food? Check! Fun? Check! But just when Winnie waves her wand to make parade costumes for everyone, Wilbur goes missing. Oh no! Will Winnie find him before the first firework lights up the sky? The best-selling Winnie and Wilbur series has been delighting readers both young and old since 1987 and Winnie and Wilbur have become favourite characters in homes and schools all over the world.

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