Collection Spotlight: Lunar New Year

Step into the festivities of Lunar New Year at UBC Education Library, where we’re thrilled to present a special book display from January 25 to 31.  Celebrating the Year of the Dragon, our curated collection invites students and educators alike to explore the rich traditions and cultural significance of this joyous occasion. The display is located at the main level breezeway of our branch.

If you want further information on any of the following items, click on the book cover or title. This will bring you to the UBC catalogue record for the book.

This is just a sample of the books on display:

Juvenile Literature

A Sweet New Year for Ren
written by Michelle Sterling; illustrations by Dung Ho.
PZ7.1.S74433 Sw 2022

Ren has always been too little to help make her favourite pineapple cakes for the Lunar New Year, but when her one-of-a-kind brother Charlie arrives for the festivities, with his help, she finally gets her chance. Includes recipe for pineapple cakes.


Ruby’s Chinese New Year
Vickie Lee; illustrated by Joey Chou.
PZ7.1.L437 Rb 2018

As Ruby travels to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for Chinese New Year, she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac.

Includes the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for making a paper lantern, a paper fan, and good luck banners.


A New Year’s reunion
Yu Li-Qiong; illustrated by Zhu Cheng-Liang.
PZ4.9.Y888 Nw 2011

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.

The runaway wok: a Chinese New Year tale
Ying Chang Compestine; illustrated by Sebastià Serra.
PZ4.9.C6462 Rw 2011

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.

Includes information about Chinese New Year and a recipe for fried rice.

Bringing in the New Year
Grace Lin.
PZ7.L644 Br 2008

This exuberant story follows a Chinese American family as they prepare for the Lunar New Year. Each family member lends a hand as they sweep out the dust of the old year, hang decorations, and make dumplings. Then it’s time to put on new clothes and celebrate with family and friends. There will be fireworks and lion dancers, shining lanterns, and a great, long dragon parade to help bring in the Lunar New Year. And the dragon parade in our book is extra long–on a surprise fold-out page at the end of the story.

Grace Lin’s artwork is a bright and gloriously patterned celebration in itself! And her story is tailor-made for reading aloud.

The cat’s tale: why the years are named for animals
Doris Orgel; illustrated by Meilo So
PZ8.1.O59 Ct 2008

Willow’s pet cat Mao relates how the Jade Emperor chose twelve animals to represent the years in the Chinese calendar and why there is no Year of the Cat.

Includes endnotes on the twelve-year lunar cycle and the Chinese zodiac animals.


Silk Peony, parade dragon
Elizabeth Steckman; illustrated by Carol Inouye.
PZ4.9.S7325 Sl 1997

This is the story of Silk Peony, a magnificent dragon who is rented by a powerful mandarin for the annual New Year’s parade.

Based on legend, this is the story of how the dragon came to lead the New Year’s parade. The traditional story and whimsical illustrations of dragons are sure to appeal to young children and the young at heart.  (SJ Cheng)

The Dragon New Year: A Chinese Legend
David Bouchard, Zhong-Yang Huan
PZ4.9.B689 Dr 1999

Every spring, a clash of cymbals, a splash of colourful fireworks, and the Dragon Dance herald the coming of the Chinese New Year. But how did these celebrations begin?

Charming and masterfully illustrated, this enticing tale involves a monstrous sea dragon, a mother’s sorrow, and a magical Buddha. Set in the words of a wise grandmother passing on her traditions to her adored granddaughter, this story of courage and kindness, love and revenge will delight both children and adults alike.


Le Nouvel An Chinois
David F. Marx; texte français de Dominique Chichera.
GT4905 .M3614 2007 French Collection

Chaque titre de cette collection, destinée aux apprentis lecteurs, propose une découverte de l’histoire et des traditions liées à diverses fêtes, ainsi qu’à la façon dont elles sont célébrées aux quatre coins de la planète. — Des photographies, mettant en scène des enfants croqués dans le feu de l’action, animent cette petite plaquette que conclut une double page reprenant certains mots-clés du texte. Une agréable ouverture au monde et à la diversité culturelle.


Chinese New Year: a celebration for everyone
Jen Sookfong Lee.
GT4905 .L434 2017

From its beginnings as a farming celebration marking the end of winter to its current role as a global party featuring good food, lots of gifts, and public parades, Chinese New Year is a snapshot of Chinese culture.

Award-winning author and broadcaster Jen Sookfong Lee recalls her childhood in Vancouver and weaves family stories into the history, traditions, and evolution of Chinese New Year.

Lavishly illustrated with color photographs throughout.

Chinese New Year
Carrie Gleason.
GT4905 .G54 2009

Kung hay fat Choy means ‘may you prosper’ and is a greeting heard often during Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year, sometimes called Lunar New Year, is celebrated in Chinese communities throughout the world.

Children will love this colourful and easy-to-understand introduction to this famous holiday.


New Year celebrations in different places
Robin Johnson.
GT4905 .J63 2018

Did you know that New Year celebrations can be traced back more than 4,000 years ago?

Dynamic photographs and well-crafted text introduce readers to New Year celebrations including Songkran, Chinese New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and Diwali.


Lighting our world: a year of celebrations
Catherine Rondina; illustrated by Jacqui Oakley.
GT3933 .R66 2012

Throughout the year and around the globe, people use light — candles, bonfires, lanterns and fireworks — to celebrate special occasions.

This richly illustrated book is an illuminating tour of the world’s brightest and warmest festivities.


Neal-Schuman guide to celebrations and holidays around the world
Kathryn I. Matthew, Joy L. Lowe.
GT3930 .M377 2004

Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, Kodomono-Hi, Diwali, Dia de los Muertos, the Festival of St. Lucia, Mardi Gras. Each month there’s another holiday or special event teachers and librarians can choose to explore with children. Grouped by month, and with chapters on year-round special events (such as birthdays, weddings, Powwows, and quincea-eras), this innovative and easy-to-use guide provides grade-specific advice on books, media, and activities that allow children to learn how people of various nationalities and religions celebrate holidays.


Red eggs and dragon boats: celebrating Chinese Festivals
Carol Stepanchuk

This is a book about the celebration of Chinese festivals. Most of the Chinese festivals are based on the lunar calendar. It includes festivals such as the Chinese lunar New Year, Clear Brightness festival, Full-month red egg and ginger party, Dragon Boat festival and Moon festival.