In celebration of the Lunar New Year, we recommend some books that capture the joy and importance of this celebration.
A little girl’s enthusiasm for Lunar New Year is infectious in this charming picture book by graphic novelist Lily LaMotte. Chloe cannot wait to celebrate the New Year with her family. But there’s so much to do in the days leading up to it. They buy new shoes, lay out good-luck oranges in a bowl, decorate the red envelope, and make a crispy turnip cake. The whole family comes together to cook a fantastic feast, saving a plate for A-má, of course. Chloe loves everything about the festivities, but what she loves most is spending time with her family. LaMotte and illustrator, Michelle Lee have created a tender, warm, and uplifting holiday story about tradition and the importance of being with those you love. The backmatter contains educational facts about the Lunar New Year celebration in Taiwan and a fun recipe for a yummy fortune cake! Grade Preschool–2
Holidays can be a difficult time for some people, especially if they’re alone at a time when most families are together. Mei Zihan and Qin Leng’s poignant book talks about feelings of loneliness during a festive time. In the book, a father longs to be with his daughter during Lunar New Year—but she lives in another country. He imagines how his daughter is spending the festivities, he recalls fond memories of time spent with her, feeling a sense of loss and dislocation. While he misses her deeply, he also recognizes her need to move away, grow up, and become herself. New Year is a beautiful and lovingly portrayed portrait of leaving home, finding independence, and loving those who are many miles away. The book is an excellent resource for teachers and parents to talk to students about understanding the complex feelings that come from family and friends living far away during a festive time. Grades 3-7
Lunar New Year is celebrated in many countries across Asia. In Tomorrow Is New Year’s Day, Korean American author-illustrator Aram Kim sheds light on how the day is spent in Korea. Our guide to Seollal, the Korean Lunar New Year, is a little girl named Mina, who chooses it as the topic of “show and tell” at school. Mina decides to show her classmates her colorful hanbok, demonstrate how to do sebae, and make tasty tteokguk in the cooking room. She’s excited that even her little brother might join in on the fun, if he can find a way out of his bad mood. In this joyful book about sharing age-old cultural celebrations with new friends, Kim creates a must-have book for the New Year’s season. A glossary of Korean terms, with pronunciation guide, is included. Grade Preschool-2