7 Board Books and Picture Books to Ring in the Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year falls on Saturday, February 10 in 2024. From wish soup to dragon gifts, these board books and picture books show young readers many ways to celebrate the holiday.

Seven covers of board books and picture books that celebrate Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year falls on Saturday, February 10 in 2024. From wish soup to dragon gifts, these seven board books and picture books show young readers many ways to celebrate the holiday.


Celebrating Chinese New Year: A Bilingual Book in English and Mandarin with Traditional Characters, Zhuyin, and Pinyin by Lacey Benard & Lulu Cheng. illus. by Lacey Benard. Bitty Bao. ISBN 9781958833148.
Toddler-PreS–This bright, bilingual board book focuses on vocabulary for family members as the characters prepare for Lunar New Year. Each spread has one side of text that includes large, traditional Chinese characters with Zhuyin and Pinyin, and the English translation at the bottom. VERDICT A fun, bilingual book of family vocabulary with a holiday twist. Recommended for collections where Chinese bilingual books are popular or needed.

LunarTale: A New Year’s Adventure by Stella Hong. illus. by author. Abrams/Appleseed. (An Abrams Trail Tale). ISBN 9781419769511. 
PreS–In this engaging board book, a series of prepositional phrases describes a brother and sister’s journey from their home in the country to their grandparents’ house in the city as they are guided by the animals of the Chinese Zodiac and end up in a community celebration of Lunar New Year. VERDICT This sweet visual introduction to Lunar New Year will delight young readers at any time of year.

Boys Don’t Fry by Kimberly Lee. illus. by ­Charlene Chua. Farrar. ISBN 9780374389857. 
PreS-Gr 2–This heartwarming picture book centers on a boy wanting to help his grandma cook the Lunar New Year feast and beats down stereotypes with a mighty whisk. VERDICT A warm holiday story filled with family and food. This is recommended, especially for refreshing Lunar New Year collections or where there are kids who want to cook.

[Also read: 10 Board Books and Picture Books to Celebrate Lunar New Year]

Wish Soup: A Celebration of Seollal by Junghwa Park. illus. by author. ­Little, Brown. ISBN 9780316457361. 
PreS-Gr 2–Sohee is excited for this Seollal, because she’ll be a big girl and too cool to hang out with her younger sister. While multiple traditions of the Lunar New Year holiday are discussed, Sohee focuses on tteokguk—a delicious soup that, according to her grandfather, makes you a year older for every bowl you eat. VERDICT A fun story focusing on sibling holiday high jinks. Recommended for all holiday collections.

The Lunar New Year Surprise by Jade Wang. ­illus. by Tammy Do. Soaring Kite. (Holidays in Our Home: Bk. 1). ISBN 9781958372050. 
K-Gr 3–The first entry in the “Holidays in our Home” series features an unnamed brother and sister celebrating Lunar New Year. The older brother has crocheted a special dragon as a gift for his meimei (Mandarin for younger sister) and keeps trying to find the right time to give it to her amid the festivities. VERDICT Recommended for larger collections or those that need books about Lunar New Year.

Lunar New Year by Natasha Yim. illus. by Jingting Wang. words & pictures. (Celebrations & Festivals). ISBN 9780711287136.
K-Gr 2–Ling, a young girl excited for the holiday, introduces readers to Lunar New Year as she prepares for and celebrates with her family. VERDICT A fun and solid introduction to the holiday that includes more ways of celebrating than many similar titles. Recommended for most collections.

The Lucky Red Envelope: A lift-the-flap Lunar New Year Celebration by Vikki Zhang. illus. by author. Wide Eyed Eds. ISBN 9780711285927. 
PreS-Gr 2–Yue and her family are excitedly preparing for Lunar New Year. The young girl is especially eager to share the holiday with her new baby brother. VERDICT While adding an element of fun, many libraries will question how a book with 144 flaps will survive multiple check-outs. Better for one-on-one sharing or story hours.

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