Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy Chinese New Year (January 23 to February 6)

Chinese New Year celebrations, often referred to as the Lunar New Year, are happening now. It’s the Year of the Dragon, which is said to be an especially lucky year in the Chinese Zodiac. The 15 day festival ends with the Lantern Festival (February 6th this year), where families come together, eat yuanxiao (a glutinous rice ball), hang colorful lanterns and solve riddles on them.

Here are some children’s books that celebrate Chinese New Year:

The Runaway Wok: a Chinese New Year Tale by Ying:

Chang Compestine, illustrated by Sebastià Serra
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.

The Star Maker by Laurence Yep:

Item imageWith the help of his popular Uncle Chester, a young Chinese American boy tries hard to fulfill a promise to have firecrackers for everyone on the Chinese New Year in 1954.

A New Year’s Reunion by Yu Li-Qiong, illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang

Little Maomao’s father works in faraway places and comes home just once a year, for Chinese New Year. At first Maomao barely recognizes him, but before long the family is happily making sticky rice balls, listening to firecrackers, and watching the dragon dance in the streets below.

Chinese New Year by Alice K. Flanagan, illustrated by Svetlana Zhurkina

This book explores the history, customs, and symbols of Chinese New Year. Learn how Chinese New Year has changed over time and how it is celebrated around the world.

Chinese New Year CoverThis beautifully illustrated history is also filled with interesting and unusual facts about the holiday such as what foods can be found on the Tray of Togetherness and why the color red is important.

I hope you have the opportunity to read at least one to your young readers, so they can enjoy the New Year celebrations, too!

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