Celebrating the Lunar New Year: Reading Selections


It’s the Year of the Rabbit! The Lunar New Year is the beginning of the Lunar or Lunisolar calendar year, and it’s observed by numerous cultures, particularly in Asia. This year it will be celebrated on Sunday, January 22nd! 

To celebrate or learn more about Lunar New Year your family can check out these book selections from your local book store or Austin Public Library

Lunar New Year by Hannah Eliot

  • Introduces Lunar New Year, describing the food, decorations, and activities of the holiday.

Lunar New Year by Betsy Rathburn

  • Developed by literacy experts and educators for students in PreK through grade two, this book introduces beginning readers to Lunar New Year through simple, predictable text and related photos.


D is for Dragon Dance by Ying Chang Compestine

  • A bilingual introduction to the Chinese New Year in English and Chinese. From the dazzling dragon dance to the scrumptious steamed dumplings to the firecrackers that frighten away evil spirits, this alphabet book celebrates the traditions of the lunar new year.

The Night Before Lunar New Year by Natasha Wing

  • Told in the style of Clement C. Moore’s classic tale, it is the night before Lunar New Year, and a little girl is excited for all the celebrations to come, but she is a bit nervous about all of the loud noises at the upcoming Lunar New Year Parade.


Our Lunar New Year: Celebrating Lunar New Year in Asian Communities by Yobe Qiu

  • It’s almost Lunar New Year! Xiao Mi, Hang, Kwan, Malai and Charu all celebrate the New Year in their own special way. Experience how each one of the Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian children and their families honor Lunar New Year, from dragon dances in China to firecrackers in India!


The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Christopher Corr

  • Celebrate Chinese New Year and learn how every animal earned its place in the Chinese zodiac by taking part in the Great Race! Discover who will come first to win the ultimate prize, and find out why Cat will never forgive his friend Rat in this ancient folk tale that has been passed from generation to generation.

Mindy Kim and the Lunar New Year Parade by Lyla Lee

  • Mindy Kim wants to fit in at her new school, but her favorite lunch leads to scorn, then a thriving business, and finally big trouble.


Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn

  • Sam meets a stranger who helps him make the perfect decision on how to spend his lucky money.

New Year (A Lunar New Year Book for Kids) by Mei Zihan

  • A moving picture book to read when we’re missing family far away, set during Lunar New Year.


Tomorrow Is New Year’s Day: Seollal, a Korean Celebration of the Lunar New Year by Aram Kim

  • From Korean American author-illustrator Aram Kim, Tomorrow is New Year’s Day follows a little girl sharing the fun customs of Seollal—the Korean Lunar New Year—with her classmates.

Tết Together by Alice Trinh

  • Tết. (short for Tết Nguyên Đán) is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. It is a time of celebration and it involves much preparation. This festive story is a great introduction to the most important Vietnamese cultural holiday. Families come together to help sweet out the old year, hang dazzling decorations, and prepare lavish meals to share. Discover how the anticipation of Tết and the days of festivities that follow culminate in the celebration of families and the Vietnamese cultural heritage.

Ruby’s Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee

  • As Ruby travels to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for Chinese New Year, she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac. Includes the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for crafts.


The Year of the Rabbit: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac by Oliver Chin

  • A girl Bugs Bunny meets the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year by Ann Heinrichs

  • The Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate renewal and fresh beginnings. In America, this holiday has become an important and exciting cultural tradition. Lively illustrations and informative text teach readers about the history and pastimes associated with the Chinese New Year, as well as what they can do to commemorate the day.

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes by Nina Simonds

  • Filled with delectable recipes, hands-on family activities, and traditional tales to read aloud, this extraordinary collection will inspire families everywhere to re-create the magic of Chinese holidays in their own homes. They can feast on golden New Year’s dumplings and tasty moon cakes, build a miniature boat for the Dragon Boat Festival and a kite at Qing Ming, or share the story of the greedy Kitchen God or the valiant warrior Hou Yi.
All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

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