Today is Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year. The Lunar New Year is celebrated by several countries, but Chinese New Year is the most well known in America. Korean New Year, Têt of Vietnam, and the Losar of Tibet are also celebrated today and have similar celebrations to Chinese New Year. Traditionally,the Chinese New Year festival was for people to honor their ancestors. Chinese families like to clean their house to sweep away any ill-fortune and to make way for incoming good luck in the new year. Another tradition is also to decroate the house with red paper-cuts to represent good fortune, happiness, wealth, and longevity. Celebrations also include lighting firecrackers and giving money in hong bao (red paper envelopes). Each year is represented by an animal from the Chinese Zodiac, and each year has a different meaning. This year is the year of the rat - the year of renewal. We are including some of our favorite books to teach children about Chinese New Year.
❤️Kelsey & Jessie
I chose The Dancing Dragon by Marcia Vaughan to include first because my dad used to read it to my class as a mystery reader. It was always a hit because the book progressively folds out to show a group of dragon dancers. The text of the book is a simple rhyme that that explains the celebrations of a Chinese New Year festival. It is a very engaging book for young children to teach about a new holiday.
The Great Race is written by Emily Hiles to tell the story of how the 12 animals were chosen as the Chinese zodiac signs. The Jade Emperor wanted to find 12 animals to be his guards. He decides to have a race to see who could go through the Heavenly Gate first. This book has bright and colorful illustrations that are engaging to see who will win the race! This is a great book to depict the story of the 12 zodiac animals, which is an important part of the Chinese New Year tradition.
My First Chinese New Year, by Karen Katz, is part of her "My First Holiday" series. I love the simple pictures of this book. This book introduces the traditions of celebrating Chinese New Year. I like that this book shares the traditions of this very important holiday, along with the reasoning behind all of the traditions. It does so in a simple way for young children to understand.
Celebrate Chinese New Year is a book by National Geographic Kids and is part of the Holidays Around the World series. I like to include nonfiction books in these recommendations because there is a lot to learn. I like National Geographic Kids because they are very informational but very colorful, engaging, and simple to follow. These books really make learning fun! This is a great resource for learning about Chinese New Year!
Ruby's Chinese New Year is a book by Vickie Lee that introduces the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. In this book, Ruby needs help to deliver a gift to her grandmother on Chinese New Year. She meets all 12 animals from the Chinese Zodiac while on her journey to see who can help her. This is a fun story that describes the characteristics associated with each of the zodiac animals in a simplistic way. At the end of the book, it includes directions for crafts for kids, like making paper fans, lanterns, and good luck banners.
Disclosure: We are not sponsored by any of these book authors or publishers. We are simply sharing our favorite books and providing links in case you are interested 😊