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Stories for the Chinese New Year!

Many people around the world celebrate the Chinese New Year (sometimes referred to as the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival), and we've compiled a list of colorful children's books to accompany the festivities! Whether it's hanging spring-happiness poems or the exciting awakening of the dragon, these books capture the rich sense of tradition and renewal with which families sweep out the old year and welcome the new.

Bringing in the New Year Bringing in the New Year By: Grace Lin Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Grace Lin brings the Chinese New Year traditions to life through the eyes of a young girl and her family as they prepare for their family New Year celebration. Vivid color and bold line illustrate their planning which concludes with a dragon and noisemaking for a joyful celebration of this special Chinese festival.

Case of the Goblin Pearls (Chinatown Mystery, No. 1) Case of the Goblin Pearls (Chinatown Mystery, No. 1) By: Laurence Yep Illustrated by: Nicholas Krenitsky Age Level: 9-12 Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Aunt Tiger Lil comes to Chinatown, she and Lily, her niece and namesake, prepare for the New Year's celebration, solve the mystery of a stolen pearl necklace, and help a sweatshop worker. Humor is used in this lively mystery with likable characters in an authentic setting.

Celebrate Chinese New Year Celebrate Chinese New Year By: Carolyn Otto Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

This outstanding introduction to the Chinese New Year from National Geographic is filled with stunning photos from China and beyond, as well as informative descriptions of different New Year traditions and activities. Whether they are reading about Shanghai, Brazil, or San Francisco, readers will enjoy learning how the festivities are celebrated around the world!

Happy New Year, Julie: 1974 (American Girl) Happy New Year, Julie: 1974 (American Girl) By: Megan McDonald Illustrated by: Robert Hunt Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Julie has some big changes to get used to in the months following her parents' divorce — especially at Christmastime! Once the stressful holidays have passed, however, she looks forward to helping her best friend Ivy and her family as they prepare for the Chinese New Year. Whether it's washing the windows, shopping in Chinatown, or folding napkins into fans for a big celebration, Julie welcomes the chance to immerse herself in Ivy's traditions — and the possibility of a fresh new start for her family.

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson By: Bette Bao Lord Illustrated by: Marc Simont Age Level: 9-12 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Meet Shirley Temple Wong, a delightful heroine who has come from China and arrived in Brooklyn in 1947 — the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson. Based on the author's own experiences, the story captures the highs and lows of coming to live in a new country, learning English, and falling in love with the Brooklyn Dodgers during moments that are both heartbreaking and hilarious. A must-read for teachers working with ELLs and newcomer students.

Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year By: Kate Waters & Madeline Slovenz-Low Illustrated by: Martha Cooper Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ernie Wan is a young boy about to perform his first Lion Dance on the streets of New York City. This photo essay about Ernie and his family show scenes from their daily life, preparations for the dance, and the celebration itself. Ernie's excitement is contagious and the photos offer an authentic glimpse of Chinese New Year through a child's eyes.

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats By: Nina Simonds & Leslie Swartz Illustrated by: Meilo So Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

An inspired compilation of Chinese holiday tales, activities, and recipes limns a rich and ancient culture through a year's worth of projects.

My Chinatown My Chinatown By: Kam Mak Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

It's a New Year in Chinatown, but one little boy from Hong Kong wonders, "How can it ever be a good year thousands of miles from home?" As he moves through the seasons, however, New York finally begins to feel like home. Told in verse, these poems capture the challenges of adapting to a new life from a child's point of view. Vivid paintings with a photograph-like quality bring the poems to life.

Red Is a Dragon: A Book of Colors Red Is a Dragon: A Book of Colors By: Roseanne Thong Illustrated by: Grace Lin Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Product Description: In this lively concept book a little girl discovers a rainbow of colors in the world around her. Red is a dragon in the Chinese New Year parade, yellow are the taxis she sees on her street, green are jade bracelets and the crunchy kale growing in her garden. Many of the featured objects are Asian in origin, but all are universal in appeal. With rich, boisterous illustrations, a fun-to-read rhyming text and an informative glossary, this colorful book will brighten every child's day!

Sam and the Lucky Money Sam and the Lucky Money By: Karen Chinn Illustrated by: Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sam can't believe that he has his very own lucky money to spend while walking through Chinatown's New Year celebrations! Perhaps some sweets…or sticky buns…or a new basketball? But when Sam meets an old homeless man on the street without any shoes, he realizes that perhaps there are more important things that he can do with his lucky money. Soft watercolor paintings emphasize the emotional impact of this tale of generosity for the New Year.

The Day the Dragon Danced The Day the Dragon Danced By: Kay Haugaard Illustrated by: Carolyn Reed Barritt Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sugar has brought her grandmother to the Chinese New Year parade, even though Grandma isn't so sure about celebrating the New Year in February. As the parade starts, though, Grandma begins to enjoy herself…but why isn't the dragon dancing? Vibrant paintings convey the festive atmosphere as well as warmth with which a neighborhood embraces its own diverse cultural traditions.

The Runaway Rice Cake The Runaway Rice Cake By: Ying Chang Compestine Illustrated by: Tungwai Chau Age Level: 6-9 Reading Level: Independent Reader

"It all happened one Chinese New Year's Eve." So begins the tale of the Chang family and the rice cake that ran away! Author Ying Chang Compestine presents a magical tale from a traditional Chinese village that captures the selflessness of a humble family with three young boys — even in a time of drought. Tungwai Chau's illustrations convey the whimsy and poignancy of this holiday tale.

This Next New Year This Next New Year By: Janet Wong Illustrated by: Yangsook Choi Age Level: 3-6 Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Janet Wong shares a young boy's hopes and dreams for the New Year — he has had so much bad luck in the past year, but he is certain that this year will be much luckier! A heartwarming and honest portrayal of what the chance to start over means for all of us. An author's note provides insight into her background and this festive occasion.