In celebration of the Lunar New Year, we recommend some books that capture the joy and importance of this celebration.
Chinese New Year by Jen Sookfong Lee
Like most Lunar New Year celebrations, Chinese New Year also commemorates the end of winter and the beginning of spring. This event began as a farming celebration and continues to this day as a global event with lots of food, gifts, and public parades. Award-winning author and broadcaster Jen Sookfong Lee gives a very personal spin to this event in her book as she writes about how her family observed Chinese New Year and the history, traditions, and recipes connected to the event that were passed down over the generations in her family. With the aid of photographs, Sookfong Lee delves into China’s political and cultural past and the stories of the immigration experiences from different family members. The city of Vancouver plays a seminal role in the book as Sookfong Lee recalls fond memories of her childhood and the way her family gathered and the city celebrated this auspicious event. Grades 3-7
The 12 Days of Lunar New Year by Jenna Lettice, illustrated by Colleen Madden
The 12 Days of Lunar New Year is part of the ’12 Days’ series of books that are inspired by “The 12 Days of Christmas” Christmas carol. Besides the Lunar New Year, the books celebrate other holidays such as St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and more. In this cheery book, we count down to the Lunar New Year, with each day celebrating the customs, food, and traditions associated with this beloved festival. Children play with lanterns, wear lion costumes, learn how to fly dancing dragons, and eat delicious rice cakes; they spend happy days with their family and engage with their communities and honor their ancestors in the days leading up to the New Year. This is a simple rhyming story with heartwarming illustrations and a full page of stickers that children can use to create their own art. Grades Preschool-2
Lunar New Year by Hannah Eliot, illustrated by Alina Chau
Lunar New Year is a beautiful board book with detailed illustrations and text that explain the meaning and symbolism behind the things done for this important festival. For example, children learn that the reason the house is cleaned from top to bottom before Lunar New Year is because it symbolises the washing away of the bad to bring in the new; they learn why people wear red and light fireworks on Lunar New Year and why the dumplings they so love are shaped like yuanbao, an old form of Chinese currency. Author Hannah Eliot and illustrator Alina Chau do a great job of explaining things because they understand the importance of knowing the reason behind certain customs. This makes this book a perfect tool to educate kids about the Lunar New Year because it covers most of the important traditions followed by people and explains things with the use of interesting examples and vibrant artwork. Grades Preschool