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China: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about China?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to China. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about China.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about China, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The House of Sixty Fathers to popular sellers like Tikki Tikki Tembo to some of our favorite hidden gems like Lon Po Po.

We hope this list of kids books about China can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About China

#1
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Stone Soup
Written & illustrated by Jon J Muth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An award-winning artist adds a Zen twist to a favorite tale. As three monks travel along a mountain road, they encounter villagers ravaged by harsh times, making them cold to strangers. When the monks entice them to make soup from stones, the villagers discover how much they have to give. Full color.

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#2
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Two of Everything
Written & illustrated by Lily Toy Hong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When old Mr. Haktak digs up a curious brass pot in his garden, he has no idea what use it can be. On his way home, Mr. Haktak decides to carry his coin purse in the mysterious pot. But when Mrs. Haktak’s hairpin accidentally slips into the pot and she reaches in to retrieve it, the magic of the pot is revealed. Not only are there two hairpins inside, but there are also two purses!

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#3
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The Nian Monster
Written by Andrea Wang & illustrated by Alina Chau
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Tong tong! The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales, and wide, wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling! The old tricks to keep him away don’t work on Nian anymore, but Xingling is clever. Will her quick thinking be enough to save the city from the Nian Monster?

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#4
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Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas
Written by Natasha Yim & illustrated by Grace Zong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this Chinese American retelling of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” a careless Goldy Luck wreaks havoc on the home of a family of panda bears. She eats up the littlest panda’s rice porridge, breaks his rocking chair, and rumples all the blankets on his futon. When Goldy takes responsibility for her actions, she makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!) just in time for Chinese New Year.

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#5
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Tikki Tikki Tembo
Written by Arlene Mosel & illustrated by Blair Lent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An illustrated Chinese folk tale describes how the Chinese came to give all of their children short names.

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#6
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Lon Po Po
Written & illustrated by Ed Young
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

WINNER OF THE RANDOLPH CALDECOTT MEDAL, AWARDED TO THE ARTIST OF THE MOST DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN PICTURE BOOK OF THE YEAR

“(Young’s) command of page composition and his sensitive use of color give the book a visual force that matches the strength of the story and stands as one of the illustrator’s best efforts.” –Booklist

“Absolutely splendid.” – Kirkus Reviews. “An extraordinary and powerful book.” – Publisher’s Weekly

The now-classic Chinese retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and one of the most celebrated picture books of our time.

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#7
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The Empty Pot
Written & illustrated by Demi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Empty Pot is Demi’s beloved picture book about an honest schoolboy

A long time ago in China there was a boy named Ping who loved flowers. Anything he planted burst into bloom.

The Emperor loved flowers too. When it was time to choose an heir, he gave a flower seed to each child in the kingdom. “Whoever can show me their best in a year’s time,” he proclaimed, “shall succeed me to the throne!”

Ping plants his seed and tends it every day. But month after month passes, and nothing grows. When spring comes, Ping must go to the Emperor with nothing but an empty pot.

Demi’s exquisite art and beautifully simple text show how Ping’s embarrassing failure is turned triumphant in this satisfying tale of honesty rewarded.

An IRA-CBC Children’s Choice. An American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists.”

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#8
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The Dancing Dragon
Written by Marcia K. Vaughan & illustrated by Stanley Wong Hoo Foon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

A rhyming story that describes a typical Chinese New Year celebration.

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#9
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Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China
Written & illustrated by Ai-Ling Louie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“…A worthwhile addition to picture book collections.” – Booklist.”Executed with chromatic splendor–a unique combination of brilliance and restraint.” – The Horn Book”Every library will be enriched by it.” – School Library Journal.

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#10
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Two Bicycles in Beijing
Written by Teresa Robeson & illustrated by Junyi Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One, two; yi, er. Side by side, two bicycles, Lunzi and Huangche, come out of the factory. Side by side, they watch the city of Beijing from their shop window. Then a young girl comes in and buys Huangche, rolling him away from Lunzi! With the help of a delivery boy, Lunzi begins an epic race to find her friend that introduces readers to all the sights and sounds of Beijing.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about China and...

Books About China and Culture

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Stone Soup
Written & illustrated by Jon J Muth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An award-winning artist adds a Zen twist to a favorite tale. As three monks travel along a mountain road, they encounter villagers ravaged by harsh times, making them cold to strangers. When the monks entice them to make soup from stones, the villagers discover how much they have to give. Full color.

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$18.99
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$16.14
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$15.79
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Two of Everything
Written & illustrated by Lily Toy Hong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When old Mr. Haktak digs up a curious brass pot in his garden, he has no idea what use it can be. On his way home, Mr. Haktak decides to carry his coin purse in the mysterious pot. But when Mrs. Haktak’s hairpin accidentally slips into the pot and she reaches in to retrieve it, the magic of the pot is revealed. Not only are there two hairpins inside, but there are also two purses!

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$7.99
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$6.79
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$7.99
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Add to list
Tikki Tikki Tembo
Written by Arlene Mosel & illustrated by Blair Lent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An illustrated Chinese folk tale describes how the Chinese came to give all of their children short names.

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$8.99
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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Lon Po Po - WINNER OF THE RANDOLPH CALDECOTT MEDAL, AWARDED TO THE ARTIST OF THE MOST DISTINGUISHED AMERICAN PICTURE BOOK OF THE YEAR “(Young’s) command of page composition and his sensitive use of color give the book a visual force that matches the strength of the story and stands as one of the illustrator’s best efforts.” –Booklist “Absolutely splendid.” – Kirkus Reviews. “An extraordinary and powerful book.” – Publisher’s Weekly The now-classic Chinese retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and one of the most celebrated picture books of our time.

  2. The Empty Pot - The Empty Pot is Demi’s beloved picture book about an honest schoolboy A long time ago in China there was a boy named Ping who loved flowers. Anything he planted burst into bloom. The Emperor loved flowers too. When it was time to choose an heir, he gave a flower seed to each child in the kingdom. “Whoever can show me their best in a year’s time,” he proclaimed, “shall succeed me to the throne!” Ping plants his seed and tends it every day. But month after month passes, and nothing grows. When spring comes, Ping must go to the Emperor with nothing but an empty pot. Demi’s exquisite art and beautifully simple text show how Ping’s embarrassing failure is turned triumphant in this satisfying tale of honesty rewarded. An IRA-CBC Children’s Choice. An American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists.”

  3. Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China - “…A worthwhile addition to picture book collections.” – Booklist.”Executed with chromatic splendor–a unique combination of brilliance and restraint.” – The Horn Book”Every library will be enriched by it.” – School Library Journal.

  4. Empty Pot: A Chinese Folk Tale - This book tells the story of the Empty Pot, a traditional Chinese folk tale. In it, the hero of the story learns that it is better to be honest than to cheat, and that honesty will bring real rewards.

Want to see 58 more books about China and culture ?

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Books About China and Holidays

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The Nian Monster
Written by Andrea Wang & illustrated by Alina Chau
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Tong tong! The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales, and wide, wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling! The old tricks to keep him away don’t work on Nian anymore, but Xingling is clever. Will her quick thinking be enough to save the city from the Nian Monster?

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Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas
Written by Natasha Yim & illustrated by Grace Zong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this Chinese American retelling of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” a careless Goldy Luck wreaks havoc on the home of a family of panda bears. She eats up the littlest panda’s rice porridge, breaks his rocking chair, and rumples all the blankets on his futon. When Goldy takes responsibility for her actions, she makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!) just in time for Chinese New Year.

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The Dancing Dragon
Written by Marcia K. Vaughan & illustrated by Stanley Wong Hoo Foon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

A rhyming story that describes a typical Chinese New Year celebration.

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  1. Dragon Dance - It’s Chinese New Year and there are so many fun things to do! Shopping at the outdoor market for fresh flowers, eating New Year’s dinner with the whole family, receiving red envelopes from Grandma and Grandpa, and best of all-watching the spectacular Chinese New Year’s parade! Introduce the customs of Chinese New Year to even the youngest readers with this festive new lift-the-flap book.

  2. Mulan's Lunar New Year - It’s the Lunar New Year, and it happens to be Mulan’s favorite festival! There is a lot to do to prepare for this important celebration, and for the first time, Mulan is old enough to help out. But everything Mulan does seems to turn out wrong. . . . Follow along with Mulan in this special Lunar New Year story that captures the unique sense of magic, imagination, and possibility that surrounds the holiday!

  3. D is for Dragon Dance - A bilingual introduction to the Chinese New Year in English and Chinese. From the dazzling dragon dance to the scrumptious steamed dumplings to the firecrackers that frighten away evil spirits, this alphabet book celebrates the traditions of the lunar new year. First published in 2006, this new rendition presents the English text alongside the Chinese.

  4. The Shadow in the Moon - Join two sisters as they listen to their grandmother tell the tale of the origins of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Hou Yi, a brave archer, saves the world from drought and is given a magic potion for his deeds. Chang’e, his wife, courageously protects the potion from a thief and is transformed into the Lady in the Moon. This is a tale of sweethearts, mooncakes, and how the Mid-Autumn Festival came to be.

Books About China and Social Themes

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Ruby's Wish
Written by Shirin Yim Bridges & illustrated by Sophie Blackall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ruby is unlike most little girls in old China. Instead of aspiring to get married, Ruby is determined to attend university when she grows up, just like the boys in her family. Based upon the inspirational story of the author’s grandmother and accompanied by richly detailed illustrations, Ruby’s Wish is an engaging portrait of a young girl who’s full of ambition and the family who rewards her hard work and courage.

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Grandpa Grumps
Written by Katrina Moore & illustrated by Xindi Yan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Daisy’s Yeh-Yeh is visiting from China, and try as she might, Daisy can’t get her grumpy grandpa to smile!

Daisy’s Yeh-Yeh is visiting for the first time from China, and Daisy is so excited to meet him! She has big plans for all the fun they’ll have together, like tea parties and snow angels, but when Yeh-Yeh arrives, Daisy finds him less jolly than she imagined. Throughout the week, she tries all sorts of things to get him past his grumpiness. Will she be able to make him smile before he goes home?

Kids will love this funny and heartwarming story about overcoming cultural differences and connecting across generations!

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The Runaway Rice Cake
Written by Ying Chang Compestine & illustrated by Tungwai Chau
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

It’s the Chinese New Year, and the Chang Family has only enough rice flour to make one nián-gão, a special New Year’s rice cake, for the entire family to eat. But this delicious little nián-gão has other ideas. “Ai yo! I don’t think so!” it cries, coming to life and escaping. Ming, Cong, little Da and their parents chase the nián-gão all over the village until it runs into a hungry, old woman and sends her tumbling to the ground. Though Da is a small boy, his heart is big enough to share the treat with her, even though that leaves Da’s family with nothing to eat for their own celebration. But the Changs’ generosity doesn’t go unnoticed. When they return home, they find the Kitchen God has left a wonderful surprise for them. Ying Chang Compestine’s heartwarming story conveys an important and poignant message about sharing and compassion. Tungwai Chau’s soft and evocative illustrations complete this tender holiday story.

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  1. Never Satisfied: The Story of The Stonecutter - A hilarious story about thinking the grass is greener somewhere else Have you ever wished you were someone else? Stanley the stonecutter has, because cutting stones is hard work for a frog! So Stanley wishes he could have it easy like the tea-drinking businessman . . . and, boom, he’s transformed. Then he decides he’d be better off as the majestic king. But even that isn’t good enough when he sees the radiant sun. Why, if he were the sun, everyone would look up to him, right? Hmm, will Stanley ever be satisfied? Dave Horowitz’s fantastic collage illustrations bring this classic folktale to hilarious life as Stanley’s endless comparisons bring him full circle. Maybe being yourself is not half bad after all!

  2. Disney Before the Story: Mulan's Secret Plan - Before Mulan saved China . . . she was a girl ready to learn!

  3. The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes - Ming Da is only nine years old when he becomes the emperor of China, and his three advisors take advantage of him by stealing his stores of rice, gold, and precious stones. But Ming Da has a plan. With the help of his tailors, he comes up with a clever idea to outsmart his devious advisors: He asks his tailors to make “magical” new clothes for him. Anyone who is honest, the young emperor explains, will see the clothes’ true splendor, but anyone who is dishonest will see only burlap sacks. The emperor dons a burlap sack, and the ministers can’t help but fall for his cunning trick.

  4. Daisy Comes Home - A hertwarming tale from the beloved author of <i>The Mitten</i> <p/>Mei Mei has the six happiest hens in China. She gives them treats and fresh hay baths, and when she calls to them-<i>gu gu gu gu gu!</i>-they all run to her as fast as they can. But one of the hens, Daisy, is not always so happy. The other hens pick on Daisy and push her off the perch every night, knowing that she is too small to stand up to them. Then one day Daisy accidentally drifts out onto the river in a basket and must quickly learn how to survive. When Daisy finds her way home, this plucky little hen is no longer afraid. <br> Jan Brett and her husband, Joe, traveled with their daughter-in-law, Yun, and her husband, Sean, to China, the land where Yun was born. During this trip, Jan found the inspiration for Daisy’s story.

Books About China and Chinese New Year

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Ruby's Chinese New Year
Written by Vickie Lee & illustrated by Joey Chou
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
The illustrations in this one are amazing—cute, colorful and modern! It introduces you to the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac as Ruby goes on a journey to her grandmother's house to celebrate Chinese New Year, as well as many of the elements that make up a traditional Chinese New Year celebration. I loved that it emphasized that the most important part isn't the gifts, but the quality time spent together with family and friends.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this picture book celebrating Chinese New Year, animals from the Chinese zodiac help a little girl deliver a gift to her grandmother. Ruby has a special card to give to her grandmother for Chinese New Year. But who will help her get to grandmother’s house to deliver it? Will it be clever Rat, strong Ox, or cautious Rabbit? Ruby meets each of the twelve zodiac animals on her journey. This picture book includes back matter with a focus on the animals of the Chinese zodiac. - GODWIN BOOKS -

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Sam and the Lucky Money
Written by Karen Chin & illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-hwa Hu
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This story about what a boy chooses to do with his lucky money he received from Chinese New Year is heartwarming. The overall message was great, with Sam realizing how lucky he is and wanting to help another. This book does have a little more text per page, so I'd recommend it for slightly older children who like to sit still for a little bit longer stories. :)
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Sam must decide how to spend the lucky money he’s received for Chinese New Year.

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My First Chinese New Year
Written & illustrated by Karen Katz
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
A cute and simple introduction to Chinese New Year preparations and customs in a way that's very accessible and straightforward!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Chinese New Year is a time of new beginnings. Follow one little girl as she learns how to welcome the coming year and experience all the festivities surrounding it. Karen Katz’s warm and lively introduction to a special holiday will make even the youngest child want to start a Chinese New Year tradition!

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  1. This Next New Year - A young boy looks forward to the Lunar New Year, often called the Chinese New Year, a time of hope—and you don’t have to be Chinese to celebrate it! Janet S. Wong’s spare, lyrical couplets voice a child’s determination to face the new year with courage and optimism. Yangsook Choi captures the spirit of celebration in her vibrant, energetic pictures.

  2. Lucky New Year! - Come celebrate the Chinese New Year with its magical traditions— from giving gifts to watching parades! Children will love to scratch and sniff the sweet oranges, turn the wheel to find their Chinese animal year, lift the flap to find the lucky money, and watch the big dragon pop up to wish them a year filled with wisdom, wealth, and happiness. Happy Chinese New Year!

  3. A to Z Mysteries Super Edition #12: Space Shuttle Scam - Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose tackle an out-of-this-world mystery--in the twelfth A to Z Mysteries Super Edition!

  4. The Runaway Wok - 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.

Books About China and Chinese Culture

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Two Bicycles in Beijing
Written by Teresa Robeson & illustrated by Junyi Wu
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One, two; yi, er. Side by side, two bicycles, Lunzi and Huangche, come out of the factory. Side by side, they watch the city of Beijing from their shop window. Then a young girl comes in and buys Huangche, rolling him away from Lunzi! With the help of a delivery boy, Lunzi begins an epic race to find her friend that introduces readers to all the sights and sounds of Beijing.

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Mountain Chef
Written by Annette Bay Pimentel & illustrated by Rich Lo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

The true story of a Chinese American mountain man who fed thirty people for ten days in the wilderness–and helped inspire the creation of the National Park Service. Tie Sing was born in the mountains. The mountains were in his blood. But because he was of Chinese descent at a time in America when to be Chinese meant working in restaurants or laundries, Tie Sing’s prospects were limited. But he had bigger plans. He began cooking for mapmakers and soon built a reputation as the best trail cook in California. When millionaire Stephen Mather began his quest to create a national park service in 1915, he invited a group of influential men–writers, tycoons, members of Congress, and even a movie star–to go camping in the Sierras. Tie Sing was hired to cook. Tie Sing planned diligently. He understood the importance of this trip. But when disaster struck–twice!–and Tie Sing’s supplies were lost, it was his creative spirit and quick mind that saved the day. His sumptuous menus had to be struck and Tie Sing had to start over in order to feed the thirty people in the group for ten whole days. His skills were tested and Tie Sing rose to the challenge. On the last night, he fed not just the campers’ bodies, but also their minds, reminding them to remember and protect the mountains. 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, created by Congress on August 25, 1916. Today, you can hike to Sing Peak, named for Tie Sing, in Yosemite National Park.

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Starry River of the Sky
Written by Grace Lin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
From bestselling author Grace Lin comes the companion to the Newbery Honor winner Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and the National Book Award finalist When the Sea Turned to Silver.
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  1. Disney's Mulan - The beauty and magnificence of Disney’s new animated film is brought to life in this large, ornate picture book with brief text and simple, yet elegantly rendered, artwork. The book tells the courageous story of Mulan.

  2. Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me - Not long after arriving in North America from China, a young girl and her father bump into a kind old man at their local park. They have no idea that he has been teaching young people music for over fifty years. Mr. Mergler can hear music in a way that most of us can’t, and he knows this little girl has a talent that, with encouragement, will grow into something magical. He gives her a gift that will tie them together forever

  3. The Rock Maiden - When her fisherman husband fails to come home after a storm at sea, the beautiful maiden Ling Yee is heartbroken. Every morning, she puts her baby on her back and clambers to the top of a cliff looking for any signs of his return. But day after day, she is disappointed. The villagers try to convince her to give up her vigil. “No,” she would say, “He will come home soon.” Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Heavens, takes pity on her grief and turns Ling Yee and her child into stone so that they would mourn no more. The fisherman eventually finds his way home―only to discover that his wife has been transformed into the Rock Maiden. Will the family forever be kept apart? Or will devotion and faithfulness ultimately be rewarded? Find out in this re-envisioning of an old Hong Kong legend by award-winning author Natasha Yim, featuring stunning illustrations by renowned Finnish artist Pirkko Vainio.

  4. The Story of Chopsticks: Amazing Chinese Inventions - Enjoy the first adventure in this colorful series of how the Kang brothers discovered some of China’s most amazing inventions! Poor Kùai! The youngest boy in the Kang family never gets enough to eat. One day he comes up with a brilliant plan: he will use sticks to grab the food when it’s too hot to touch. What will his family think? Then comes a big wedding the entire village will attend… with a delicious feast to mark the occasion. Along with presents, Kùai sneaks in his sticks. Now will Kùai be in the biggest trouble of his life?

Books About China and Family

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Popo's Lucky Chinese New Year
Written by Virginia Loh-Hagan & illustrated by Renne Benoit
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

When her Chinese grandmother comes to visit, a young Chinese-American girl learns of and participates in the customs and beliefs celebrating an authentic Chinese New Year.

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Bringing in the New Year
Written & illustrated by Grace Lin
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A Chinese American family prepares for and celebrates the Lunar New Year, in a book that includes endnotes discussing the customs and traditions of the Chinese New Year.

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Little Panda
Written by Julie Abery & illustrated by Suzie Mason
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Little Panda goes on an adventure in the jungle, but mama is always close by her cub. Short rhyming lines in this illustrated board book tell a sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love.

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  1. When the Sea Turned to Silver - This breathtaking, full-color illustrated fantasy is inspired by Chinese folklore, and is a companion to the Newbery Honor winner Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

  2. Dim Sum for Everyone! - A Chinese American family sits down to enjoy a traditional dim sum meal. Dumplings, cakes, buns, and tarts are wheeled out in little dishes on trolleys, and each family member gets to choose a favorite treat! Lin’s bold and gloriously patterned artwork is a feast for the eyes. Her story is simple and tailor-made for reading aloud to young children, and she includes an informative author’s note for parents, teachers, and children who want to learn more about the origins and practice of dim sum.

  3. A New Year's Reunion - Maomao s dad works many miles away, but he is coming home for New Year!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. Papa gets a haircut, makes repairs to the house, and hides a lucky coin for Maomao to find. Which she does! But all too soon it is time for Papa to go away again. This poignant, vibrantly illustrated tale, which won the prestigious Feng Zikai Chinese Children s Picture Book Award in 2009, is sure to resonate with every child who misses relatives when they are away and shows how a family s love is strong enough to endure over time and distance.

  4. The Noodle Shop - Yi is a hardworking boy just like his busy parents, who work hard to run their noodle shop. The morning commute to the shop requires them to wake up early, and they only return home late at night. On the weekends, Yi accompanies his parents to the shop. Although a typical young child who dislikes homework and wants to play with friends, Yi is also a devoted child who tries to help his parents out. This is a simple story of a day in the life of Yi.

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Books About China and Animals

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The Great Race
Written by Dawn Casey & illustrated by Anne Wilson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Discover how 12 animals competed in a madcap swimming race to help create the lunar calendar! Includes facts about Chinese festivals, the lunar calendar and the animals that rule each year.

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The Animals of Chinese New Year
Written by Jen Sookfong Lee
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Drawing on the myth of the Chinese zodiac, The Animals of Chinese New Year follows twelve animals as they speed across a river, competing to represent the imminent new year in a race held by the Jade Emperor,the most powerful Chinese god. Each animal competes in its own unique way.The ox works hard, the tiger is brave, the dog smiles kindly, but who will win? Bright photographs of babies demonstrating the same traits as the animals in the text, complemented by traditional Chinese graphic elements, accompany Sookfong Lee’s lively text. Orca Book Publishers is pleased to offer this book as a dual-language (English/Simplified Chinese) edition.

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12 Lucky Animals: A Bilingual Baby Book
Written by Vickie Lee & illustrated by Joey Chou
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Vickie Lee and Joey Chou’s illustrated 12 Lucky Animals is a young, dual-language animal concept book introducing Chinese characters and the animals of the Chinese zodiac…

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  1. Rabbit's Gift - Snow is coming, coming soon, so Rabbit needs to find food fast. Just in time, a turnip turns up, and a second one, too. Who in the woods wouldn’t want to tuck away an extra turnip for the long winter? Not Rabbit. He chooses a different path—and starts a wave of generosity that spreads among all his forest friends.

  2. The Great Race - Celebrate Chinese New Year and learn how every animal earned its place in the Chinese zodiac by taking part in the Great Race! Discover who will come first to win the ultimate prize, and find out why Cat will never forgive his friend Rat in this ancient folk tale that has been passed from generation to generation. Praise for Deep in the Woods, the previous title from Christopher Corr: ‘… the book looks like a delectable candy box… There is a lesson here — about friendship, and sharing — but the book never feels plodding or pedantic… Which may be why the lesson just goes down like the truth.’

  3. Queen Panda Can't Sleep - Queen Panda hasn't been able to sleep for days. Her subjects are worried and exhausted from serving her day and night. Something must be done! As news spreads throughout the kingdom that a reward will be given to whoever can make the Queen sleep, animals from faraway places rush to the palace to try their luck. Who will find the magic solution to Queen Panda's problem?

    Bright illustrations bring together animals from all over the world in this humorous and clever bedtime story.

    StarBerry Books, an imprint of Kane Press, is a library full of diverse and imaginative children's books created by authors and artists from all over the globe. Read Your Way Around the World!

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Books About China and Dragons

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Everyone knows what a dragon looks like
Written by Jay Williams & illustrated by Mercer Mayer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Because of the road sweeper’s belief in him, a dragon saves the city of Wu from the Wild Horsemen of the north.

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Clockwork Dragon
Written by James R. Hannibal
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Jack discovers new abilities, travels to exciting lands, and thwarts a conspiracy brewing deep within the ministries in this epic conclusion to the action-packed Section 13 series.

Jack Buckles is on trial for his life.

The Ministries of Secrets and Guilds, led by Ignatius Gall, are conspiring to put the Ministry of Trackers down for good—starting with Jack’s very existence as a Section 13. His only hope is to prove that Gall is the real danger, not him, and it leads Jack and Gwen from the back streets of London, through the Austrian Alps, to the great reaches of central China.

Joined by their new friend Liu Fai, Jack and Gwen set out to stop Gall before he can uncover ancient Chinese artifacts, said to grant immortality. But a clockwork monster threatens them at every turn, and its turning gears only serve as a reminder that Jack’s judgment day is fast approaching—and that he’s running out of time.

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The Dragon Warrior
Written by Katie Zhao
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Inspired by Chinese mythology, this high-action middle-grade fantasy follows an outcast as she embarks on a quest to prove herself–perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time and The Serpent’s Secret. As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret. Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles into a battle with a demon–and helps defeat it. She just might be the fabled Heaven Breaker, a powerful warrior meant to work for the all-mighty deity, the Jade Emperor, by commanding an army of dragons to defeat the demons. That is, if she can prove her worth and find the island of the immortals before the Lunar New Year. With Alex and other unlikely allies at her side, Faryn sets off on a daring quest across Chinatowns. But becoming the Heaven Breaker will require more sacrifices than she first realized . . . What will Faryn be willing to give up to claim her destiny? This richly woven contemporary middle-grade fantasy, full of humor, magic, and heart, will appeal to readers who love Roshani Chokshi and Sayantani DasGupta.

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  1. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - This Newbery Honor book features magic, adventure, friendship, and even a dragon who can’t fly! In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer. Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging book for young readers.

  2. The Paper Dragon - Mi Fei is a humble painter of scrolls. Between each day’s sunrise and sunset, he paints scenes of the gods and their festivals’ portraits of heroes and their deeds. Although the scrolls bring him fame, Mi Fei is content to live in his village, surrounded by people he loves. But one day a messenger enters the village with terrible news: the dragon Sui Jen has awakened from its hundred years’ sleep and is destroying everything in its path. Someone must find a way to return Sui Jen to its slumber. To the villagers, only one among them is wise enough to confront the scaly beast– Mi Fei. The power of the artist’s vision and the ever-sustaining nature of love are brought together in Marguerite W. Davol’s beautiful story, strikingly interpreted by Robert Sabuda in a series of gatefold illustrations that convey the storytelling majesty of the Chinese narrative scrollmaker’s art.

  3. Nian, the Chinese New Year Dragon - 2020 Feather Quill Reviewer’s Choice Award <p> Mei hates springtime. Why? Because it’s only in the spring that Nian, a fierce dragon, is able to leave his mountain prison under the sea to terrorize the local village. When the villagers hear the rumblings of Nian’s hungry stomach, they know that winter has ended and spring is coming. But this year on the night before the first day of spring, a magical warrior visits Mei in her dreams. He tells Mei that it is her destiny to face and defeat Nian. But she must do it within 15 days or the dragon will be free forever. Author Virginia Loh-Hagan (PoPo’s Lucky Chinese New Year) gives this retelling of the Nian legend an original twist, while explaining the origins of Chinese New Year traditions.

  4. How to Catch a Dragon - Do you have what it takes to catch a dragon? The How to Catch kids are off again, this time trying to catch a dragon as they chase him through Chinese New Year celebrations! Set in China during the Spring Festival, otherwise known as Chinese New Year, the wily dragon will have to avoid trap after trap as the kids run through paper lanterns, red envelopes, fireworks, and more! Bonus Mandarin translation included in the back! Dragons are a clever bunch, They’re difficult to catch. You’ll have to set the ultimate trap— But have you met your match?

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Books About China and History

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Lunar New Year
Written by Hannah Eliot & illustrated by Alina Chau
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Learn all about the traditions of Lunar New Year—also known as Chinese New Year—with this fourth board book in the Celebrate the World series, which highlights special occasions and holidays across the globe.

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.

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Peril in the Palace
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-
Over 1 million sold in series!
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Sparrow Girl
Written by Sara Pennypacker & illustrated by Yoko Tanaka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Ming-Li looked up and tried to imagine the sky silent, empty of birds. It was a terrible thought. Her country’s leader had called sparrows the enemy of the farmers–they were eating too much grain, he said. He announced a great “Sparrow War” to banish them from China, but Ming-Li did not want to chase the birds away.
As the people of her village gathered with firecrackers and gongs to scatter the sparrows, Ming-Li held her ears and watched in dismay. The birds were falling from the trees, frightened to death! Ming-Li knew she had to do something–even if she couldn’t stop the noise. Quietly, she vowed to save as many sparrows as she could, one by one…

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  1. La nina de los gorriones / The sparrow girl - When the ruler of China declares a “Sparrow War” against the birds that are eating the farmers’ crops, little Ming-Li makes it her mission to save the unwanted birds from certain destruction.

  2. Chinese New Year Colors - This bilingual color concept book celebrates a rainbow of traditional objects seen during the Chinese New Year. Hóng is the color of explosive 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 vibrant, simple, and highly graphic bilingual book is the perfect introduction to Chinese and English words for colors as it honors one of the biggest holidays around the world. Includes informative back matter.

  3. The Discovery of Fireworks and Gunpowder - Accompany kids back in time to learn how fireworks and gunpowder were created; sequel in a series on cool inventions from Asia.

  4. Cixi, The Dragon Empress - The last empress of China, Cixi fought ruthlessly to isolate her country from the West, while cloistered inside her lavish Forbidden City, ignoring the needs of her people. But was the Dragon Empress evil or just out-of-touch? Gorgeous illustrations and an intelligent, evocative story bring to life a real dastardly dame whose ignorance brought a centuries-old dynasty crashing down, ending the imperial system that had ruled China for millennia.

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