One of my biggest struggle as a teacher is finding the right books (if any at all) about Chinese New Year. Fortunately, there are more out there now compared to when I first started teaching back in the 1990’s.
I’m going to share my favourite 4 books that you could read to preschoolers that are really fun and easy to understand.
Here are the other 3:
1.My first Chinese New Year by Karen Katz
Karen Kats has lots of board books for toddlers and I particularly love her books about appropriate behaviours. The thing about this book is that it’s not for the little ones. It’s better suited to children ages 3-6 years because there are quite a lot of pages compared to Katz’s board books but I’m sure the preschoolers would love it.
2. Dragon Dance: A Chinese New Year life the flap book by Joan Holub
This book is delightful because it’s the illustrations are beautifully done. I love how this is specifically about dragon dance and the lift the flap function allows for a ‘peekaboo’ effect. This is an absolute favourite with my preschoolers and my own boys (when they were a little smaller). It opens up a lot of doors for discussions about an activity that may be noisy, intimidating and scary to a lot of young children.
3. A New Year’s Reunion by Yu Li-Qiong and Zhu Cheng-Liang
This book is a bit wordier so unless you have an avid reader at home, I wouldn’t recommend you attempting to read every word on every page. I highly recommend that you read it to try to figure out what it’s about and then try to shorten the story or improvise along the way to customise it to your children’s attention span. Otherwise, this is a really good book that explores the crux of the Chinese New Year tradition of family relationships.
This story is about a little girl who excitedly awaits her father’s return for Chinese New Year to be reunited with him as he works far away. Together, the family does fun things to prepare for the festive occasion as they create happy memories together. This story ends with the little girl dealing with her father leaving for work again after the Chinese New Year festivities as she finds a really touching way to cope with his leaving.
I hope you will love these books as much as I do (and my students and my own children). Let me know if you have come across any other really good young children’s books about Chinese New Year so that I can review it and add it to my list.