Picture Books to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2022

By Chelsea Condren
January 11, 2022

The New York Public Library joins many parts of the world in celebrating Lunar New Year on Tuesday, February 1st. These picture books celebrate the new year and the Year of the Tiger (many titles are also available in Chinese). Curl up with your little one and one of these reads as part of your Lunar New Year celebration. 

Grace Lin’s Bringing In the New Year, about a Chinese American family’s preparations for the holiday, and Li-Qiong Yu’s A New Year's Reunion (illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang.), about a young girl who is reunited with her father on this special day, are fantastic books to introduce families to Lunar New Year traditions.

Lunar New Year features lots of bright colors and festive decorations. Rich Lo’s Chinese New Year Colors, featuring both English and Chinese words for colors, and Roseanne Thong’s Red Is a Dragon: A Book of Colors (illustrated by Grace Lin) are beautiful books to explore the colors of the New Year with. Plus, count along to author Vickie Lee’s bilingual numbers book, 12 Lucky Animals, illustrated by Joey Chou.

To explore folktales involving the Lunar New Year, we recommend Andrea Wang and Alina Chau's The Nian Monster, about the return of the legendary Nian monster at Chinese New Year, Ying Chang Compestine’s The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale (illustrated by Sebastia Serra) about a family who receive new year’s luck with a magic wok, and Natasha Yim and Grace Zong’s Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas, about a young girl who is sent to the home of the pandas next door for turnip cakes—but what happens when they are all out of cakes?

Oliver Chin’s The Year of the Tiger, illustrated by Justin Roth, follows a princely tiger ushering in the Chinese New Year. Ruby’s Chinese New Year, written by Vickie Lee and illustrated by Joey Chou, tells the story of Ruby traveling to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for the Chinese New Year, when she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac. Finally, Nian the dragon makes another appearance in Nian, the Chinese New Year Dragon, written by Virginia Loh-Hagan and illustrated by Timothy Banks. Adapted from a Chinese folktale, this book follows Mei, a young girl who is destined to defeat the dragon who threatens a village each spring. 

The Library wishes a prosperous and meaningful Lunar New Year to all who celebrate.