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Books to Have on Your Shelf For Lunar New Year

It’s Lunar New Year, a holiday celebrated across various Asian countries, each with their unique way of celebrating it. Through these vibrant picture books, elementary schoolers can immerse themselves in how families celebrate the Lunar New Year worldwide.

This is Tết! features a young child from the city experiencing their first Tết, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year Festival. Translated from Vietnamese, this book immerses readers in the celebrations and traditions of Tết and teaches its significance through colorful illustrations and stories. 

This is Tết! Illustrated by Mai Ngō and written by Bùi Phuong Tām

Dumpling Soup features Marisa, a young child who is on a quest to make dumplings (for 만두국 aka dumpling soup) to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Hsu-Flanders depicts Marisa’s multicultural family in the Hawaiian islands with gorgeous watercolor illustrations. Marisela’s Korean heritage and blend of Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian-American culture are highlighted.

Dumpling Soup, Illustrated by Lillian Hsu-Flanders and written by Jama Kim Rattigan

Boys Don’t Fry features Jin, a young Malaysian boy, determined to help his aunts and grandma cook. Jin defies gender norms in the traditional Nyonya (girl) kitchen. Chua’s illustrations depict the kitchen in full swing as the family slices and dices in time for the Kongsi Raya (Malaysian Lunar New Year) feast.

Boys Don’t Fry, Illustrated by Charlene Chua and written by Kimberly Lee.

Nian, The Chinese New Year Dragon, depicts a classic legend on the origin of Chinese New Year. With a bit of a modern twist, the story follows Xingling, a young girl who must save her village from Nian, a fearsome dragon from ancient Chinese folklore. This book is perfect for 2024, the year of the dragon.

Nian, The Chinese New Year Dragon, Illustrated by Timothy Banks and written by Virginia Loh-Hagan.

Our Lunar New Year highlights how the Lunar New Year is celebrated across Asian communities. The book follows five children—Xia Mi, Hang, Kwan, Malai, and Charu—as they celebrate the Lunar New Year in China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and India. With gorgeous illustrations of their different traditions, foods, and customs, this book highlights and connects the diversity of Lunar New Year celebrations worldwide.

 Our Lunar New Year by Yobe Qiu


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