With the arrival of the Lunar New Year in less than 4 days, why not soak in the festive mood and read some of these books from the National Library (NLB) with our kids? I was just informed that we have a new library at Chinatown which carries a wide range of books on the Chinese culture! I shall endeavour to check out the collection soon.
All titles available for loan from our National Libraries.
1. Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin. Call Number: English 394.26 LIN
This exuberant story follows a Chinese American family as they prepare for the Lunar New Year. 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. There will be fireworks and lion dancers, shining lanterns, and a great, long dragon parade to help bring in the Lunar New Year. And the dragon parade in our book is extra long–on a surprise fold-out page at the end of the story.
2. The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale by Ying Chang. Call Number: English COM
On Chinese New Year’s Eve, a poor man who works for the richest businessman in Beijing sends his son to market to trade their last few eggs for a bag of rice, but instead he brings home an empty–but magic–wok that changes their fortunes forever. Includes information about Chinese New Year and a recipe for fried rice.
3. Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-lan! (Ni Hao, Kai-Lan). Call Number: English SIL
This story, based on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon series, introduces children to the Chinese New Year. Kai-lan and her friends are getting ready for a big celebration. They hang red lanterns and banners and place flowers on the tables. During this preparation, Kai-lan’s grandfather, YeYe, suggests that the children work together to carry the dragon in the parade. He has each one take a number from his hat so they will know which end of the creature to hold up. Rintoo is unhappy when he draws the middle, a position he feels is the least important. However, the entire dragon sags when he refuses to hold up his part, and Kai-lan convinces him that each part is “super, super, super important.”
4. Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year Lift-the-Flap Book by Joan Holub. Call Number: English HOL
It’s Chinese New Year and there are so many fun things to do! Shopping at the outdoor market for fresh flowers, eating New Year’s dinner with the whole family, receiving red envelopes from Grandma and Grandpa, and best of all-watching the spectacular Chinese New Year’s parade! Introduce the customs of Chinese New Year to even the youngest readers with this festive new lift-the-flap book.
5. A New Year’s Reunion: A Chinese Story by Li Qiong Yu. Call Number: English YU
Little Maomao s father works in faraway places and comes home just once a year, for Chinese New Year. The family is happily making sticky rice balls, listening to firecrackers, and watching the dragon dance in the streets below. Papa gets a haircut, makes repairs to the house, and hides a lucky coin for Maomao to find. Which she does! But all too soon it is time for Papa to go away again. This poignant, vibrantly illustrated tale is sure to resonate with every child who misses relatives when they are away and shows how a family s love is strong enough to endure over time and distance.
6. The Great Race by Dawn Casey. Call Number: English 398.0951 CAS
And they’re off! Thirteen creatures in China have come to the river to join in the Emperor’s race. Who will win the ultimate honor of naming the first year of the new calendar? And what will happen to the thirteenth animal? Join Rat, Monkey, Dragon and all the others in this exciting race to the finish.This story relates how the Jade Emperor chose twelve animals to represent the years in his calendar. It also discusses the qualities associated with each animal, and what animal rules the year in which the reader was born.
7. Chelsea’s Chinese New Year by Lisa Bullard. Call Number: English 394.261 BUL
Chelsea’s family is celebrating Chinese New Year! Chelsea gets to stay up late. She watches fireworks and a parade with a dragon! She and her family have a big feast. Find out the different ways people celebrate this special day! Learn the history behind the days people celebrate in the Holidays and Special Days series. These nonfiction picture books feature kid-friendly text and illustrations to make learning fun!
8. Hiss! Pop! Boom! Celebrating Chinese New Year by Tricia Morrissey. Call Number: English 394.2614 MOR
Hiss! and Pop! Snap the firecrackers. Boom! says the drum to the Lion Dancer. Chinese New Year is here! Beautiful Chinese brush painting and elegant calligraphy illustrate each moment of the New Year celebration. Share the traditions with your child, and learn a few new things too!
9. Celebrating Chinese Festivals: A Collection of Holiday Tales, Poems and Activities by Sanmu Tang. Call Number: English 394.26951 TAN
This book presents the most important and celebrated festivals of China, explaining the traditions, foods, activities and special customs that go with them. Learn all about the Chinese New Year, with fireworks at midnight, lion dancing and visiting with family members; the Lantern Festival, a parade of lanterns to celebrate the first full moon; the Dragon Boat Festival, full of dragon boat racing and lots of zongzi to eat; the Festival of the Cow Herder and the Weaving Maiden, a romantic story of the origin of Chinese Valentine’s Day; and many more!
10. Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes by Nina Simonds. Call Number: English 394.26 SIM
If you are looking for interesting activities to engage your kids this Chinese New Year, check out these creative craft ideas from our very own talented Singapore Mom Bloggers!
What a meaningful way to usher in the Lunar New Year with these books and crafts. Here’s wishing all a most exciting countdown to all the feasting and reunions!
Update: Check out the new CNY2016 Book Recommendations in this post.