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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! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

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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.
#2
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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.
#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?
#4
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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!
#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.
#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.
#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."
#8
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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.
#9
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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.
#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.
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.
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.
Add to list
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."
Honorable Mentions
First Words - Mandarin book
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The House of Sixty Fathers book
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Dumpling Dreams book
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  1. First Words - Mandarin - Perfect for introducing very young children to the Mandarin language, this colourful board book features 12 words to learn – from ‘sun’ and ‘shoes’ to ‘beach’ and ‘bed’. Each word is accompanied by an illustration and pronunciation guide that make the vocabulary easy to learn. From Lonely Planet Kids, First Words Mandarin is a great learning resource for families planning a trip or practicing a new language at home. Our dedicated First Words website features a free audio pronunciation guide where you can hear each word spoken out loud.

  2. The House of Sixty Fathers - Meindert DeJong is the winner of the 1954 Newbery Award for The Wheel on the School. The New York Herald Tribune praised this book for “its insight that stimulates the imagination and its clear beauty, like that of a Vermeer painting.” The scene of this latest book by Mr. DeJong is China, during the Japanese occupation. Young Tien Pao is alone on his family’s sampan when the boat breaks loose from its moorings and is caught by the rushing waters of the river. When the sampan finally lands, Tien Pao is in Japanese territory. With only his pig for company, he starts on the long and difficult journey back to Hengyang and his parents. The House of Sixty fathers could be the story of any child in any war.In his expressive pictures Maurice Sendak has caught the essence of TienPao and his faith, courage, and unwillingness to surrender his belief in the impossible. The House of Sixty Fathers isbased on Meindert DeJong’s actual experience, During World War 11 Mr. DeJong was official historian for the Chinese-American Composite Wing, which was part of Cbennault’s famous Fourteenth Air Force. A young Chinese war orphan, the Tien Pao of this story, was adopted by DeJong’s outfit. The boy chose DeJong as his special “father,” and the two were devoted to one another. Mr. DeJong wanted to bring the boy back to the United States with him, but because of legal complications he was unable to do so. However, the men in the outfit left the youngster well provided for when they returned to America. The Communists then took over that section of China, and DeJong has never heard what happened to the boy.

  3. Dumpling Dreams - “The story of how Joyce Chen, a girl born in Communist China, immigrated to the United States and popularized Chinese cooking.”—

Want to see 44 more books about China and culture ?

How about books about culture?

Books About China and Fairy Tales

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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.
Add to list
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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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.
Honorable Mentions
Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China book
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The Seven Chinese Brothers book
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  1. 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.

  2. The Seven Chinese Brothers - Seven Chinese brothers elude execution by virtue of their extraordinary individual qualities.

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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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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Dragon Dance
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Benrei Huang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
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.
Honorable Mentions
How to Catch a Dragon book
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Mulan's Lunar New Year book
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D is for Dragon Dance book
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The Shadow in the Moon book
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  1. 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?

  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 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!
Honorable Mentions
This Next New Year book
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Lucky New Year! book
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The Runaway Wok book
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Shanté Keys and the New Year's Peas book
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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. 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.

  4. Shanté Keys and the New Year's Peas - When Shante´ is sent to find black-eyed peas for her family’s New Year’s celebration, she learns about each of her neighbor’s New Year’s traditions in their home countries.

Books About China and Family

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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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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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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.
Honorable Mentions
Little Panda book
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Dim Sum for Everyone! book
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A New Year's Reunion book
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The Noodle Shop book
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  1. Little Panda - 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.

  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.

Want to see books about family?

Books About China and History

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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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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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La nina de los gorriones / The sparrow girl
Written by Sara Pennypacker & illustrated by Yoko Tanaka
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
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.
Honorable Mentions
Sparrow Girl book
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The Discovery of Fireworks and Gunpowder book
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Chinese New Year Colors book
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Cixi, The Dragon Empress book
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  1. Sparrow Girl - 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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.

Want to see books about history?

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...
Honorable Mentions
Rabbit's Gift book
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The Great Race book
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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.’

Want to see books about animals?

Books About China and Action And Adventure

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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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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Written by Grace Lin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
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.
Honorable Mentions
Mountain Chef book
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Day of the Dragon King book
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The Emperor's Riddle book
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Always Come Home to Me book
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  1. Mountain Chef - 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.

  2. Day of the Dragon King - Who would burn books? Jack and Annie find out when the Magic Tree House whisks them back to ancient China. There, a powerful emperor called the Dragon King has ordered that all books be burned. Will Jack and Annie be able to save at least one book? Or will they be captured by the emperor’s soldiers?

  3. The Emperor's Riddle - During a family trip to China, eleven-year-old Mia Chen and her older brother Jake follow clues and solve riddles in hopes of finding their missing Aunt Lin and, perhaps, a legendary treasure.

  4. Always Come Home to Me - A moving and uplifting tale of two children and their parents, and the beloved pet doves that help them to understand one another. “Fei, fei — fly, fly, little birds, but always come home to me!” Mei-Mei and Di-Di are head-over-heels in love with their new doves. Like devoted parents, the siblings tenderly nurture Butterfly and Squeaky as they grow from chicks to fledglings to birds. But when Mei-Mei and Di-Di arrive home to find that the doves have disappeared, their young hearts break into a thousand pieces — and they run away, determined to reclaim their beloved birds. Will Mei-Mei and Di-Di return home with the doves before they break their own parents’ hearts?.

Books About China and Social Themes

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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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Never Satisfied: The Story of The Stonecutter
Written & illustrated by Dave Horowitz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
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!
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The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes
Written by Ying Chang Compestine & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
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.
Honorable Mentions
Mr. Mergler, Beethoven, and Me book
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Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze book
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The Shady Tree book
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  1. 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

  2. Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze - When Young Fu arrives with his mother in bustling 1920s Chungking, all he has seen of the world is the rural farming village where he has grown up. He knows nothing of city life. But the city, with its wonders and dangers, fascinates the 13-year-old boy, and he sets out to make the best of what it has to offer him. First published in 1932, Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze was one of the earliest Newbery Medal winners. Although China has changed since that time, Young Fu’s experiences are universal: making friends, making mistakes, and making one’s way in the world.

  3. The Shady Tree - A beautiful companion to Demi’s classic The Empty Pot. In this new Chinese fable, Ping returns and deals with the selfish and greedy Tan Tan, who owns a beautiful house and a beautiful shady tree, but who does not share. Ping turns Tan Tan’s greed into his own gain, but even with his new-found wealth, Ping is true to his generous nature―there is room for everyone. Simply told and beautifully illustrated, The Shady Tree is sure to become a classic.

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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The Rock Maiden
Written by Natasha Yim & illustrated by Pirkko Vainio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
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.
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The Story of Chopsticks: Amazing Chinese Inventions
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
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?
Honorable Mentions
Waiting for May book
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Boy Dumplings: A Tasty Chinese Tale book
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The Story of Kites book
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  1. Waiting for May - A young boy looks forward to the day when a new sister, who will be adopted from China, joins his family.

  2. Boy Dumplings: A Tasty Chinese Tale - Enjoy this hilarious and fun-filled tale, now with extra illustrations! In long ago China, a ghost can’t wait to sink his teeth into his next meal. Luckily he finds a plump boy! But can the child think fast enough to avoid becoming a midnight snack? Maybe so, if the ghost tries cooking the tricky recipe for “boy dumplings”…

  3. The Story of Kites - Ting, Pan, and Kùai are tired of working in the rice fields, protecting the harvest from the birds. They try everything — they bang pots, blow whistles, and wave their arms. If only they could fly, they’d drive those birds away forever! Then the boys get an idea: if they made wings, they could fly! Using paper, straw, and feathers, the boys try to launch themselves into the sky from the hilltop above the rice fields. Kersplash! What else can the Kang boys come up with to keep those naughty birds away from their rice? Enjoy the third adventure of the Kang brothers who discovered some of China’s most amazing inventions — now with a new bilingual Chinese translation!

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