Ten Mice for Tet! by Pegi Deitz Shea and Cynthia Weill is one of our favorite Lunar New Year books. Beautifully illustrated with needlework illustrations, this counting book also shares Vietnamese traditions and foods you typically see during this holiday. There's even a guide in the back that further explains the illustrations on each page. Unfortunately this book is out of print. You can purchase it used or borrow it from your library (that's what we do.)
Great Race: The Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Dawn Casey (Barefoot Books) retells the Chinese folk tale of how each animal made it on the zodiac. The Chinese (and Vietnamese) zodiac is different from Western zodiac in that there is an animal for each year. Those born in each animal year will usually have the qualities associated with that animal. For example, those born in the year of the snake are "calm, wise, and elegant." After you find out why the cat isn't in the zodiac, you can look up your sign and read about your animal's qualities. As I read this book to my kids, they kept pointing to their animals excitedly saying, "That's me!"
The TET Pole: The Story of TET Festival by Quoc Tran retells a Vietnamese folk tale of how some villages, with the help of Buddha, manage to overthrow the devils occupying the land. The humans cleverly outsmart the hungry devils and celebrate their victory during the Lunar New Year. When I discovered this gem at my library last year, it was new to me. My mom never told me this folk tale, but of course when I brought it up to her, she was all, Yes I know that story. Bonus: This is a bilingual book, written in English and Vietnamese. Sophia loved it so much, we finally bought our own copy.
Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn (Lee and Low) is a story about compassion and generosity. Sam's receives is red packet of lucky money is burning a hole in his pocket as he walks through Chinatown trying to find the perfect thing to purchase. Instead the perfect thing wasn't something you could buy. I love Lee and Low books because their stories aren't just about the culture itself, but about the people, or in this case, the child.
Check out my list on Riffle for more Lunar New Year children's books. If you're new to Riffle join with my special invite link.
Do you have a favorite book about the Lunar New Year? Share it in the links.
If you're in the DC area, don't forget to check out my list of DC Lunar New Year family friendly events.
I received review copies of some of these books while others were personally purchased or borrowed from our library. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.