Friday, February 4, 2011

Gung Hey Fat Choy: Wishing You Prosperity & Wealth in the Chinese New Year!

If you’re a teacher or parent who wants to share the magic of Chinese New Year through literature, consider reading these delightful illustrated books. Click on any selection below for further description or purchase.


Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn
A fictional book that follows Sam through urban Chinatown during Chinese New Year. Illustrated with vibrant watercolors.


Chinese New Year by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
A young Chinese-American boy and his family prepare for the Chinese New Year. The author includes the symbolic meanings of the foods eaten and other Chinese New Year customs, an explanation of the Chinese Zodiac, and an in-depth look at the Lion Dance.

Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year by Joan Holub
A lift-the-flaps book with rhyming text, this story follows a family getting ready for Chinese New Year. It includes a Chinese Zodiac wheel and instructions for making a dragon puppet.

Lanterns and Firecrackers: A Chinese New Year Story by Jonny Zucker
Follow a family as they set off firecrackers, watch lion and dragon dances, and hang up lanterns to celebrate the start of their New Year. Contains lovely illustrations and simple text for any 3-5 year old.

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin
Written and illustrated by one of our favorite children’s book authors. Each member of the family lends a hand as they sweep out the dust of the old year, hang decorations, and make dumplings. Then it’s time to put on new clothes and celebrate with family and friends.

The Dancing Dragon by Marcia K. Vaughan
A Chinese-American child describes the excitement, preparation, and festivities of the Chinese New Year in rhymed couplets. The accordion-style book unfolds into an eight-page panorama of a dragon along the streets of Chinatown. Watercolor-and-gouache illustrations.

Happy, Happy Chinese New Year by Demi Demi
The last 15 days of the old year are spent cleaning and preparing (‘Wash your hair and get a new haircut. Pay the debts that you owe and collect what is owed to you!’). On the eve of the new moon, a special feast is prepared. . . . The first 15 days of the new year are spent celebrating with lion dances, firecrackers, and other activities.

My Mom is a Dragon and My Dad is a Boar by Tricia Morrissey
Chinese paper cut art depicts the 12 lunar calendar animals, from the mischievous monkey to the exuberant horse and the untamable dragon. Adults will appreciate the book’s beautiful colors and stunning design.

(This text was adapted from my post at the aha!Chinese blog: New World, New Skills.) 

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