Lunar New Year Board Books
Updated: Apr 30
There are so many delightful Lunar New Year books, but it can be a challenge to find durable ones that can withstand little fingers. Fortunately, there are Lunar New Year board books available that are both entertaining and resilient. So, to help you discover the perfect addition to your child's library, I've compiled a list of my favorite Lunar New Year board books by Asian authors and illustrators that are sure to bring joy to your toddler and survive many reads together!
Jump to Book:
12 Lucky Animals: A Bilingual Baby Book
Author: Vickie Lee
Illustrator: Joey Chou (@choochoojoey)
This is a bilingual board book about the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Each page has a colorful illustration for the animal, then provides the animal’s name in English, Chinese, Pinyin, and a phonetic pronunciation for the Chinese name. Personality traits for each animal are also listed in English.
Bitty Bao's Celebrating Chinese New Year
By: Lacey Bernard & Lulu Cheng (@bitty.bao)
Celebrating Chinese New Year is about a family preparing to celebrate Lunar New Year. Different family members are highlighted on each page. The final page includes a family tree, which includes even more family members, like different cousins, aunts, and uncles. Available in three bilingual editions: 1) Mandarin with Traditional characters, Pinyin and Zhuyin, 2) Mandarin with Simplified characters and Pinyin, and 3) Cantonese with Traditional characters and Jyutping.
Bitty Bao's Lucky Lunar Animals
By: Lacey Bernard & Lulu Cheng (@bitty.bao)
Lucky Lunar Animals is about the Chinese Zodiac. The first part of the book is about the zodiac animals and includes not only the names of each animal, but some of the personality traits for each animal in both Chinese and English. The second part of the book is on elements and includes the traits for each element as well. It was fun to see an explanation of the elements and how to easily figure out your element, because most books just focus on the animals. Available in three bilingual editions: 1) Mandarin with Traditional characters, Pinyin and Zhuyin, 2) Mandarin with Simplified characters and Pinyin, and 3) Cantonese with Traditional characters and Jyutping.
Boba Bear's Lunar New Year
Author: Ran Wei Baker (@bobabearbilingual)
Illustrator: Kaley Moss
This series features Boba Bear, the adorable daughter of a panda bear mom and a brown bear dad. Lunar New Year is Boba Bear‘s favorite holiday! She loves celebrating by cleaning, decorating, making special foods, putting on new clothes, and spending time with family.
All the Boba Bear books are bilingual. They’re written in English, Pinyin, and Chinese characters. On each page, a key word is highlighted in both languages. I find this really helpful because my 14 month old has a very short attention span, so sometimes we just read the keywords in both languages!
Bobo's Colorful Chinese New Year
Author: Charlotte Cheng and Melissa Miao (@sunbridge)
Illustrator: Kat Uno
I love books that do more than one thing. This board book uses Lunar New Year traditions to teach nine colors - and it’s bilingual (English, Chinese characters, and Pinyin)! Bobo, the lovable red panda, celebrates by writing New Year couplets in black ink, making white dumplings, and of course, accepting red envelopes! He also launches a blue lantern, and watches multicolored fireworks (a great opportunity for review).
This is the second book from Sunbridge (the first is a counting book that’s very loved in our home) and has been a hit with H, who has been taking an interest in learning colors! The illustrations are adorable and engaging without being overwhelming for little readers. The way each color is highlighted is really effective.
Chinese New Year Colors
By: Rich Lo
Celebrate Lunar New Year with a rainbow of traditions in this bilingual board book!
Hóng is the color of firecrackers! Jīn is the hue of lucky coins. Zŏng is the shade of sweet peanut puffs. Welcome to the festivities of the Chinese New Year, where symbolic gifts, foods, and objects come together in a celebration of beautiful colors.
This simple and bold bilingual board book is perfect for toddlers and lap sitters. Each spread focuses on a particular color, giving the name in both Chinese and English, and showcasing a traditional part of the New Year celebration--from paper fans to lion dances.
For older readers, a large-format picture book is also available, which features additional backmatter about the symbols shown. (Description from Amazon)
The Colors of Tết
Author: Ha Huyen (@tinywristco)
Illustrator: Ha Nguyen and Huyen Van
Tết! Tết! The most special time of the year, in the most vivid color illustration. Little kids will not only learn about Lunar New Year, but also about how to talk about colors and their shades, in both English and Vietnamese. The book is illustrated with gorgeous colors, and printed on high quality paper, durable and suitable for tiny hands. (Description from Amazon)
Gordon and Lili Celebrate Chinese New Year
Author: Michele Wong McSween (@gordonandlili)
Illustrator: Jeannie Chen
This book is part of a series featuring two panda cousins named Gordon (from New York) and Lili (from Beijing). Gordon speaks English and Lili speaks Mandarin, making this a bilingual series.
The board book includes Chinese, pinyin, and phonetic pronunciations for key words with descriptions in English. The book starts with an explanation of Chūn Jié (Chinese New Year) and the Chinese Zodiac. Then each page features a word related to the celebration of Lunar New Year in Chinese culture. Clean (dǎ sǎo), spring couplets (chūn lián), oranges (jú zi), Chinese dress (qí páo), family (jiā tíng), new year cake (nián gāo), and Lion Dance (wǔ shī) are just a few examples.
Happy Chinese New Year! A Festive Counting Story
By: Jannie Ho (@chickengirldesign)
The zodiac animals are ready to celebrate Chinese New Year with traditions and a big feast! Little ones can count to twelve as each animal prepares for the holiday:
Rat cleaned away the bad luck in one big sweep!
Ox shopped for two new outfits.
Tiger brought three kinds of flowers.
The simple text and vibrant illustrations in this book make it easy for little ones to follow along as the animals' preparations lead up to a tasty feast followed by a party with music and dancing!
The pages also feature the Chinese characters that correspond to each number highlighted on the page. Children will learn to recognize the characters as they read the book again and again, and the pronunciation guide will help them say the words out loud.
In the back of the book, each of the Chinese New Year traditions mentioned in the story is explained in further detail—from the customs of cleaning the house and wearing new clothes to hanging lanterns and making dumplings. (Description from Amazon)
Lunar New Year
Author: Hannah Eliot
Illustrator: Alina Chau (@alinachau)
After the winter solstice each year, it’s time for a celebration with many names: Chinese New Year, Spring Festival, and Lunar New Year! With beautiful artwork by Chinese illustrator Alina Chau, this festive board book teaches readers that Lunar New Year invites us to spend time with family and friends, to light lanterns, and set off fireworks, dance with dragons, and to live the new year in harmony and happiness. (Description from Amazon)
A Monster Named Nian
By: Gwen Sung (@culturetatertots)
Do you know about the mythical beast named Nian? He comes out once a year to wreak havoc! Learn how the villagers saved the day and how Lunar New Year traditions came to be! (Description from author website)
Do you know a fantastic book that would make a great addition to this list? I'd love to hear your recommendations! Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts. Thank you for helping make this list even better!