It’s now the day of Chinese New Year Eve across the Pacific. Families all over China are preparing for a big meal followed by the CCTV song-dance-skit variety show and a night of fireworks to last until daybreak.
Here in the calmer suburbs of Chicago, I’ve been reading to my kids about the Chinese New Year. A couple weeks ago I blogged about dragon books. Now here’s a short list of picture books about the Chinese New Year in general.
One of my favorites is Karen Katz’s My First Chinese New Year (Henry Holt, 2004). My kids love the red envelopes, the delicious Chinese banquet, and the Chinatown parade. I hope the weather holds out in Chicago so I can take them to our parade this year. If not, we’ll try again next year.
My two and four year olds love My Mom is a Dragon (ThingsAsian Press, 2005) by Tricia Morrissey. Each pages features an image of a Chinese cutout depicting one of the twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac. My kids have memorized which zodiac animal belongs to which family member–even great uncles and their great grandma! When we get to the ox and pig–their signs–they listen closely as I read their personality descriptions.
Another fun book is Hiss! Pop! Boom! Celebrating Chinese New Year (ThingsAsian Press, 2006), also by Tricia Morrissey. The beautiful Chinese brushstroke illustrations show goldfish, lion dancers, lucky red envelopes, lanterns, and more.
Finally, we can’t read enough of Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-lan (Simon Spotlight, 2009) by Lauryn Silverhardt. Kai-lan and her friends participate in the dragon dance and learn the value of teamwork. After the parade, they eat Yeye’s delicious dumplings. Yum!
Most of these books are recommended for kids five and up, but kids of all ages will enjoy them. Happy Reading and Happy New Year!