The 2020 Lunar New Year falls on January 25th, marking an exciting time of celebration for many Asian communities across the country and around the world. Here are four wonderful picture books families can share with young readers of all ages as they prepare to celebrate the holiday.
12 Lucky Animals: A Bilingual Baby Book, by Vickie Lee and Joey Chou
This sweet bilingual board book introduces the youngest readers to the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, along with the Chinese character and pronunciation for each. Inquisitive readers can learn about the personality traits of each animal and discover the animal for the year they were born in the zodiac chart on the back. Bright and cheerful illustrations make this a wonderful introduction to an important holiday.
The Year of the Rat, by Grace Lin
2020 is the year of the rat, which makes this lovely title by Newbery Honor Winner Grace Lin an especially appropriate addition to your young reader’s list. The second book in the Pacy Lin series (after The Year of the Dog) finds Pacy confronting some difficult life changes—her best friend is moving away—facing prejudice, and struggling with her dreams of becoming a writer and illustrator. This gentle, moving series is perfect for young readers who are also grappling with change in their own lives.
My First Chinese New Year, by Karen Katz
A little girl is excited to learn all about welcoming the coming year in this festive board book, which introduces young readers to some of the most exciting Chinese New Year traditions, including the dragon dance, and the traditional greeting of ‘Gung Hay Fat Choy!’ Lively collage and other multimedia illustrations bring this spirited board book to life for even the littlest readers.
Mulan’s Lunar New Year, by Natasha Yim and Sophie Lee
Seven year old Mulan is thrilled to be helping her family prepare to celebrate the Lunar New Year by participating in traditions that bring good luck in the year ahead—including gathering fresh flowers, eating noodles, and decorating with dragon-shaped lanterns. Unfortunately, in her eagerness to be helpful, she’s made a few tiny (and not-so-tiny mistakes) along the way. Is she going to bring bad luck to her family? Kids—and Disney fans in particular—will love this charming tale of a young girl’s eagerness to take part in this special holiday (and her family’s gentle goodwill and understanding when things don’t go quite according to plan).
How are you celebrating the Lunar New Year?