Great Kids' Books for Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is a celebration marked by parades, firecrackers, fireworks, red lanterns, and red envelopes filled with money for the kids. It's an important event in many East Asian countries, including China (where it's known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival), Japan, and South Korea, and also in Vietnam (where it's known as Tet), the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and countries with significant populations of people of Chinese descent, like the United States. (California made it an official state holiday in 2022.) The holiday period is based on the lunar calendar, beginning with the first new moon and ending on the first full moon, and can last up to two weeks. Check out our list below to find books that show how families celebrate Lunar New Year, as well as titles featuring East Asian characters and culture. For more great reads, check out our list of Books with Asian, Asian American, Desi, and Pacific Islander Characters and Books Inspired by Asian Folklore and Mythology.

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners Poster Image
BOOK

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners

age 4+

Lovely picture book celebrates family identity, heritage.

By: Joanna Ho (2021)
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animals riding a dragon
BOOK

Dragon Noodle Party: A Story of Chinese Zodiac Animals

age 4+

Fun intro to the Chinese zodiac -- with noodle recipe!

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Eyes That Speak to the Stars Poster Image
BOOK

Eyes That Speak to the Stars

age 4+

Little boy learns his eyes are beautiful in gorgeous sequel.

By: Joanna Ho (2022)
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I Am Golden Poster Image
BOOK

I Am Golden

age 4+

Girl learns to love being Chinese American in joyful tale.

By: Eva Chen (2022)
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Chinese family holding shopping bags in Chinatown.
BOOK

The Night Before Lunar New Year

age 4+

Family's Lunar New Year tale is a fun, detailed read-aloud.

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Two friends smiling under Chinese lanterns
BOOK

Alex's Good Fortune

age 5+

Sweet, colorful story of family Lunar New Year traditions.

By: Benson Shum (2020)
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Katie Woo Series Poster Image
BOOK

Katie Woo Series

age 5+

Relatable stories in short chapters have good life lessons.

By: Fran Manushkin (2011)
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Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! Poster Image
BOOK

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!

age 5+

Twins embrace individuality in funny book for new readers.

By: Grace Lin (2010)
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The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes Poster Image
BOOK

The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes

age 6+

Clever twist on classic tale adds dimension and great art.

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Crouching Tiger Poster Image
BOOK

Crouching Tiger

age 6+

Boy learns to appreciate his heritage in universal story.

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A Different Pond Poster Image
BOOK

A Different Pond

age 6+

Exquisitely tender family story of Vietnamese refugees.

By: Bao Phi (2017)
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Mindy Kim Series Poster Image
BOOK

Mindy Kim Series

age 6+

Warm series about Korean American girl's life in new town.

By: Lyla Lee (2020)
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Asian child chases a wok filled with food
BOOK

The Runaway Wok

age 6+

Magic wok changes lives in fun Lunar New Year tale.

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The Year of the Book: Anna Wang, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The Year of the Book: Anna Wang, Book 1

age 6+

Charming story of lonely, book-loving girl who finds friend.

By: Andrea Cheng (2012)
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Ruby Lu Series Poster Image
BOOK

Ruby Lu Series

age 7+

Spirited Ruby faces changing family, friends in fun series.

By: Lenore Look (2004)
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All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team Poster Image
BOOK

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team

age 8+

Compelling, exciting, educational story of 2018 cave rescue.

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Dragon Pearl Poster Image
BOOK

Dragon Pearl

age 8+

Fox-spirit teen brings Korean myths to adventurous sci-fi.

By: Yoon Ha Lee (2019)
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Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom: Frazzled, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom: Frazzled, Book 1

age 8+

Girl conquers middle school worries in fun graphic novel.

By: Booki Vivat (2016)
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Freddie vs. the Family Curse Book Cover
BOOK

Freddie vs. the Family Curse

age 8+

Thrilling tale highlights Filipino culture, perseverance.

By: Tracy Badua (2022)
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In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Poster Image
BOOK

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

age 8+

Funny tale of Chinese girl adapting to 1947 Brooklyn life.

By: Bette Bao Lord (1984)
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