Learning about other cultures is important for toddlers and preschoolers and Chinese New Year is a great one to introduce in winter.
From creating your own Chinese Lanterns to trying food and watching dragon dances it is a vibrant and colourful festival.
Reading about the celebration is a great way to learn more about it and our list of Chinese New Year Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers contains some of the best books to read about how it is celebrated and learn more about it.
Our Pick of the Best Chinese New Year Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers
I’ve tried to include a mix of fiction and non-fiction suitable for this age range and some favourite characters that celebrate the Chinese New Year as well because I feel that that helps children to connect with the stories as well putting something that they know and recognize into the situation.
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Dragon Dance by Joan Holub
All toddlers and preschoolers love lifting the flaps and this accurate book has some fantastic flaps to lift and reveal different aspects of the celebration Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year Lift-the-Flap Book also includes a Chinese Zodiac wheel at the back – I remember colouring in one much like it when I was in primary school.
This is also the featured book for our Chinese New Year Week with our Rainy Day Tots here on Rainy Day Mum.
My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz
Follow along as a child discovers the family traditions of the Chinese New Year in this fact-based tale My First Chinese New Year My First Holiday giving you an ideal opportunity to ask whether you would like to do any of the traditions in your own home as well.
Celebrate Chinese New Year: With Fireworks, Dragons and Lanterns – National Geographic Kids
The National Geography Series is always a good bet when it comes to books. The pictures are vibrant and they can and will be useful for many years to come. Celebrate Chinese New Year: With Fireworks, Dragons, and Lanterns is my first choice for non-fiction books and if you are only going to get one about the lunar new year then this would be it.
Bringing in the New Year by Grace Linn
As well as connecting with the characters children love to learn about family life and Bringing In the New Year by Grace Linn, tells of the whole family readying themselves for the Lunar New Years. It gives an insider look at what families do to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Dim Sum for Everyone! by Grace Linn
Learn about the foods and one of the traditions of this festival in the book Dim Sum for Everyone! it inspired us to search for some recipes and raid the supermarket to try some food.
Chinese New Year Holidays and Festivals
Unlike many of the books on the list, Chinese New Year Holidays and Festivals is an educational book aimed specifically at Preschoolers with bright colourful real pictures that tell the children all about the festival and the traditions around it.
Chelsea’s Chinese New Year by Lisa Bullard
When children can connect with the characters in the story, maybe because they have the same name, they are the same age or they are doing something they really want to do it can help bring the story to life for them. Chelsea in Chelsea’s Chinese New Year is allowed to stay up late one thing that both of my kids always wanted to do.
Happy, Happy Chinese New Year! by Demi
30 days of celebration – did you know I didn’t but this wonderful book Happy, Happy Chinese New Year! by Demi goes through the 15 days of preparation to end the current year and then the 15 days following the start of the New Year. As an adult, I loved finding out these traditions that I hadn’t heard about before.
Chinese Zodiac Animals by Sanmu Tang
Tell me you haven’t looked up which Zodiac animal you were born under and then the traits of those! I was born under the sign of the Horse and when my kids learnt about the Chinese New Year they were told which sign they were born under and then the meaning of it – Chinese Zodiac Animals has all of the information and you can see how accurate it is for your children.
PoPo’s Lucky Chinese New Year by Virginia Log-Hagan
For a lot of children, the way that they learn about cultural traditions especially when they live outside of their culture is through older relatives visiting. In PoPos Lucky Chinese New Year a young girl’s grandmother visits and tells tales of traditions and the history of the Chinese New Year.
The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale by Ying Chang Compestein
Part of the new year celebrations is about generosity, the red envelope is one way that it is expressed but not the only way, this fun tale The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale is funny and helps to teach about this part of Chinese New Year which with the festivities can sometimes be forgotten.