The Best Chinese New Year Books in Chinese

  • Post last modified:5 January 2024
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It’s been 2 years since I started homeschooling my children in Chinese Mandarin, and I finally have a decent Chinese New Year book stash!! We have read and recommended in a separate blog post of our favourite English books on Chinese New Year, and I am thrilled to be able to write up one this year of the Chinese books we love!

I’m going to start off with Chinese language books, then move onto bilingual Chinese English books on the topic. I have also included a section for ebooks on the topic that we read on Ellabook Chinese Reading App. In case you are late to prepare for Chinese New Year, and can’t get around to purchasing these books for the occasion, these ebooks are instantly downloadable to read on your devices.

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Chinese New Year book

Chinese Books on Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year book


Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者: 翁艺珊

ISBN (Simplified Chinese): 9787570805259

Available for sale at Book Depository,, Taobao and 

(We bought this book at Maha Yuyi bookstore in Singapore. They ship globally)

A superb read for Chinese New Year. This book ticks all the boxes for being humorous, sweet, and interesting. This book stands out from other Chinese New Year books for its rhyming sentences and funny illustrations. 



We follow a pair of siblings as they “help” their family prepare for reunion dinner. As you can see from the pages below, they are really more hinder than help!! 真是越帮越忙!

Watch a reading of the book on Youtube.

Chinese New Year book
好忙的除夕 Mummy is busy cooking up a feast!
Chinese New Year book
好忙的除夕 oh no! Mummy is now a police and we're in trouble for stealing food!!
Chinese New Year book
好忙的除夕 Finally we can all sit and eat the reunion dinner. But not before we say these auspicious wishes!

Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者: 赖马

ISBN (Simplified Chinese): 9787554542972

ISBN (Traditional Chinese): 9789869421508

Available for sale at Amazon,, Taobao and 

Ebook (Traditional Chinese) version available on

A lovely Chinese picture book about the origins of the 12 Zodiac animals, how they were selected, and what transpired during the selection. It’s a nice read and really engaging as the illustrations are super detailed and there are so much to look out for within each pages. 

Young readers will also appreciate the humour of this book. 

赖马 is a Taiwanese children’s book illustrator whose style is whimsical and interesting. My children also liked his first creation 我变成一只喷火龙.

Watch a reading of the book on Youtube.

Chinese New Year book

开心过大年 3D立体书翻翻书

ISBN (Simplified Chinese): 9787545551914

Available for sale at, Taobao and 

This was the first Chinese New Year book we got, and year after year, the children still love to read it. And it doesn’t even matter if it isn’t Chinese New Year! They love the interactive elements: dressing the children up in different Chinese costumes, pulling the tabs out for the firecrackers, sticking up the couplets on the door, scrutinising the pop-up market scene. Honestly, a fantastically fun book on Chinese New Year that all children will enjoy. 

See a preview of this book on Youtube.

Chinese New Year book
Da Bao trying out the interactive elements in 开心过大年
Chinese New Year book
Xiao Bao scrutinising the pop up market scene in 开心过大年
Chinese New Year book


Written by 作者:余丽琼

Illustrated by  绘者: 朱成梁

ISBN (Simplified Chinese): 9787533255879

Available for sale at, Taobao and 

A simple heartwarming tale of Chinese New Year. Many parents in China work in different cities, and may only go back home once a year during Chinese New Year. In this story, we feeling the love and yearning of a daughter and her parents, as they come back to celebrate the New Year with her. It gives a sweet and sad meaning to the word “团圆” (reunion). 

For the many fortunate children who never had to be separated from their parents for long periods of time, this book is a good reminder of the true significance of the reunion dinner. 

And for the many parents who work long hours to provide, please consider taking this time to truly spend the festival with their family. What they need is your company, not the toys or gadgets you can get them.

Watch a reading of the book on Youtube.

Written by 作者: 刘嘉路

Illustrated by  绘者: 伊戈尔·欧尼可夫 Igor Oleynikov

ISBN (Simplified Chinese): 9787535063069

Available for sale at Amazon,, Taobao and 

A super cool and mesmerising picture book of the story of Nian. The illustrations are stunningly mythical and dazzling. The start out page of this book for me was the illustration of the old man fighting Nian. I feel like I am watching a kungfu fight scene of Donnie Yen. It’s simply too cool! 老伯伯真的是太帅了!

This is definitely the best Chinese picture books about Nian that I have ever read.

Watch a reading of the book on Youtube.

Chinese New Year book
斗年兽 The villagers hurry away to the mountain under thick snowy cover
Chinese New Year book
斗年兽 The old man gears up in red, ready to fend off the monster
Chinese New Year book
斗年兽 What?! the monster is stunned by the Old Man's quick and fiery moves


Written by 作者: 丁丁

Illustrated by  绘者:梁琨

ISBN (Simplified Chinese): 9787505442597

Available for sale at Amazon,, Taobao and 

(We bought this book at Maha Yuyi bookstore in Singapore. They ship globally)

“伊伊,春节快乐!” is a Lunar New Year book filled with unique customs and practices of Singapore and China.

I bought this book @maha We have previously read the other Chinese festivals book of 伊伊 : Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival. 

We follow 伊伊‘s journey from Singapore to Beijing, China where she celebrates the Lunar New Year with her family. 

I bought this book because of its Singapore connection. There are depictions of Singapore’s unique celebration dish of “鱼生” (yu sheng), and “春到河畔” a Lunar New Year parade and display by the Singapore River. 

There are also scenes of 伊伊in China against the beautiful snowy backdrop of Beijing. We see 伊伊snow sledding at 后海, and lighting firecrackers on New Year’s Eve. 

FYI for multilingual families, this book is also available in English and Korean!

Chinese New Year book
伊伊,春节快乐 The river parade festival in Singapore
Chinese New Year book
伊伊,春节快乐 Yu sheng is a uniquely Singaporean dish eaten in Singapore
Chinese New Year book
Chinese New Year book


Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者: 林文佩

今天我们捞鱼生 ISBN: 9789814791229 

今天我们包水饺 ISBN: 9789814856140

今天我们蒸年糕 ISBN: 9789814856157

今天我们做鸡蛋卷 ISBN: 9789814856133

今天我们搓汤圆 ISBN: 9789814791250

Language: Simplified Chinese and pinyin

Physical copies are available at the local Singapore bookstores such as Popular, Kinokuniya,  Maha Yuyi and Lingzi Online Bookstore. Maha Yayi ship books globally.

Available to purchase as an ebook on Google Play Books

The entire series is available to borrow as ebooks from National Library of Singapore

Full of local Singapore flavour (literally!), these five books revolve around the main dishes we eat during Chinese New Year: dumplings (水饺), rice cake (年糕), egg rolls (年糕), sweet rice balls (汤圆) and auspicious fish (鱼生). We follow two cute and curious siblings, Tianguang 天光 and Liangliang 亮亮 on their culinary adventures with their family. We learn how to make the dishes, along with them as they attempt clumsily to make it along with their family members. 

You can read our complete review of all 8 books in this Traditional Chinese food series in this blog post to see why we love reading this series!

今天我们包水饺 helping Ye Ye make cabbage dumplings
今天我们包水饺 not too much help there!
Chinese New Year book

大家来过年 - 新加坡华族传统节日与习俗

Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者: 傅翀 

ISBN (Simplified Chinese): 9789814764735

Available for sale at Book Depository, and Lingzi Online Bookstore.

Available to borrow as an ebook from National Library of Singapore

A non-fiction book on the topic of Chinese New Year, the customs, the backstory, the associated lucky items and why they are considered lucky. It’s a good knowledge book for older primary-aged Chinese readers. There are fun facts, and activities for each page such as find the item, maze, guess the word.

大家来过年 calendar of the entire Chinese New Year celebration schedule
Chinese New Year book
大家来过年 The lucky plants to get for Chinese New Year and why they are considered auspicious
Chinese New Year book
大家来过年 Why do we eat pineapples?

This is a special section of Chinese New Year books that we have read on the Ellabook Chinese reading app. I love reading Chinese books with my children on the Ellabook app, as I find it very beneficial for my children to hear the book characters speak in proper Chinese sentences. There are many different interactive elements unique to this app, and helps my children to enjoy reading Chinese books more than if it was simply me reading to them. 

Seriously, if you have a reluctant reader, or disengaged reader, this app may be the key to unlocking your child’s interest in Chinese books. It certainly helped mine! Read our full review and why we recommend this app over the other Chinese reading apps.

Written by 作者: 郑勤砚

Despite the title, this really is the story of Nian. And not only will you learn about the most popular story of Nian, you will also learn the mythological pre-story where the Jade Emperor sends his best lords and warriors to fight Nian. In the end, it was the wise Lord Tai Shang (太上老君) who came up with the best strategies to defeat Nian.

Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者:熊亮

Have you ever wondered why there is a Nian monster? Where does he come from? In this retake of the popular tale, Nian is a lonely and sad monster who crave company. The loneliness eats him from the inside, and the people that he takes in turn gets eaten by Nian! 

To combat that and make sure Nian never gets you, you must

  • wear red!
  • call everyone you know, even your worst enemy, and wish them a Happy New Year
  • last but not least, show compassion and care for others during this festive time
Chinese New Year book
小年兽 If you are miserable and mean, the Nian monster is going to eat you up
Chinese New Year book
小年兽 Make sure you make amends with everyone, even your worst enemies
Chinese New Year book
小年兽 with love, even the Nian monster is changing!

Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者: 朱慧颖

Using paper cutting, and dark sombre hues, this story of Nian is unlike any other Nian story. The clever use of greys and blacks sets a strong contrast to the vibrant and hopeful pages at the end of this famous tale. 

Chinese New Year book
年 a long time ago, there was a monster in the bottom of the sea
Chinese New Year book
年 a brave young boy seeks a way to fight the monster off
Chinese New Year book
年 the boy puts on his bright, red cape and lights the firecrackers


Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者: 崔惠英

There’s an old lady who makes the most amazing rice cake (年糕). There’s a tiger who loves to steal and eat her delicious rice cakes! See how the wise old lady fend off the tiger in this amusing tale. 

There is a fun little puzzle game within the book as well which the kids liked playing with. Watch the video below for a quick look at the fun interactive features that Ellabook offers.

Chinese New Year book
给一块年糕就不吃你 character introduction
Chinese New Year book
给一块年糕就不吃你 the tiger lies in wait...

Written by 作者: 郑勤砚

Illustrated by 绘者: 云杨阳

Did you know that the tiger wasn’t always the most feared animal? Long ago, he was big, but meek. This is the story of how the tiger learnt to harness his strength, and do good, eventually becoming  one of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac.


Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者: 咿啦看书

Everything you need to know about the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year is in this little encyclopaedia of the festival. 

Chinese New Year book
春节百科 the reason why we hang up couplets
Chinese New Year book
春节百科 the reason why we eat reunion dinner
Chinese New Year book
春节百科 imagine finding gold coin in your dumplings!


Written by 作者: 老舍

Illustrated by  绘者:于大武

True to its name, this ebook takes you back to the hutong (胡同) of Beijing, and gives you a treat of the noise, sights and sounds of the build up to Chinese New Year, starting from La Ba Festival (腊八节) to Chinese New Year Day (大年初一). The pictures are rich with history and gorgeous details of China in the olden days. The prose is poetic and descriptive. So while it isn’t a picture book, even younger children will be dazzled by the nostalgic drawings and older children will love the historical knowledge of China shared within the pages. Even parents can learn a few things about Chinese New Year from it!


Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者:熊亮

Do you know the Kitchen God? With his big eyes, he watches you and your household all through the year, and lives in the kitchen. Think of him as Santa’s elf (Elf on the Shelf). He knows if you have been naughty or nice, and he will report to the Jade Emperor (玉皇大帝) as the year comes to an end. 

To keep him from reporting on you, your parents/grandparents will make a sticky sweet paste to “glue” his mouth together and sweeten his words, so he can only say good things about you and your household!

Bilingual Books on Chinese New Year

Written by 作者: Vickee Lee

Illustrated by  绘者: Joey Chu

ISBN (Simplified Chinese/English): 978-1250184245

Available at Amazon, and Book Depository 

Ebook version available on Amazon and Apple Books.

A adorable introduction to the 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals. This book is just right for little toddlers. 

Written by 作者: Ling Lee and Eric Lee

Illustrated by  绘者:Rachel Foo

ISBN (Simplified Chinese, pinyin, English): 979-8575640349

Available at Amazon, and Book Depository

ISBN: (Traditional Chinese, pinyin, English): 979-8581649008

Available on Amazon, and Book Depository

This book is great for young preschool age children, as the illustrations are big enough, and cute enough to grab their attention. All the animals look so cuddly and cute! 

Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者: Li Jian

ISBN (Simplified Chinese, English): 978-1602204669

Available at Book Depository.

A father finds a little tabby kitten, who turns out to be a Siberian tiger! As the tiger grows in strength and size, they have no choice but to send it back to the mountains. However the bond of the boy and tiger has been cemented and they will remain loving brothers for life. 

Li Jian is one of our favourite bilingual writers. His illustrations uses traditional Chinese brush strokes and the stories are always seeped in rich Chinese fables and mythology. You can find books on all 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals in his Chinese Zodiac series

The Year of the Tiger: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac

Written by 作者: Oliver Chin

Illustrated by  绘者:Jeremiah Alcorn

ISBN (Simplified Chinese/English): 978-1597021524

Available on Amazon and Book Depository.

This is a bilingual series of Chinese Zodiac tales translated into Chinese. I’d recommend this for primary age children as the storyline is more developed than your usual picture books.

In the year of the Tiger, we meet the young and innocent Tiger Prince Teddy who didn’t heed his parents’ warning to steer clear of the human village. Instead, he made friends with a little girl Su. Now, he has to find a way for both man and beast to coexist harmoniously.

All 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals are available in the series. My son really enjoyed reading these fantastical tales!

Chinese New Year book

过年咯!Time to celebrate

Written by 作者: 蔡如璇 Chua Soo Juan

Illustrated by  绘者: Kuanth

ISBN (Simplified Chinese/English): 9789811118654

Available to purchase on the Singapore Mint website, and at Maha Yuyi bookstore in Singapore which is where we got our copy.

Commissioned by the Singapore Mint, this is a bright and bold bilingual book that celebrates the Chinese festivals of Singapore. It is truly unique, and jam-packed with pages and pages of eye-catching illustrations and cleverly designed craft activities. 

For Chinese New Year, you can stick the lucky sayings with the dishes on the reunion dinner table. There is a pull out page where you can punch out the paper doll of the little girl in the book, Tong Tong and dress her up in cute costumes. 

For Qing Ming Festival, Tong Tong is looking for her grandfather’s altar at the columbarium, and we have to lift the various flaps to find two matching Ye Ye!

Chinese New Year book
过年咯!Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year book
过年咯!Chinese New Year card description in Chinese
Chinese New Year book
过年咯!Chinese New Year description in English
Chinese New Year book
过年咯!Qing Ming Festival
Chinese New Year book
过年咯!Qing Ming, can you find the same Ye Ye?
Chinese New Year book


Written and illustrated by 作者/绘者: 乔乔

ISBN (Simplified Chinese/English): 9787508539065

Available to borrow as an ebook from National Library of Singapore

This is a beautifully illustrated picture book of all the main Chinese festivals. Feast your eyes on the dazzling creatures and be prepared to be swept away by the beautiful prose. 

The English translation does not do its Chinese text justice, but overall, it is still a delightful read.

Chinese New Year book
我是中国节 The cutest Nian ever!
Chinese New Year book
我是中国节 English and Chinese poem of Spring Festival
Chinese New Year book
我是中国节 Little background knowledge about Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year book
我是中国节 Simple picture vocabulary list of associated words for Chinese New Year

Here’s wishing everyone a fabulous Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year!



More Chinese New Year books, crafts and ideas for you in these posts

Want to know what our favourite Chinese New Year books in English are?

Want to teach your children about the Chinese Zodiac

Don’t forget to grab a copy of these beautifully illustrated bilingual picture books about the Chinese Zodiac and Chinese culture.

Love to send a Chinese New Year card and write personal heartfelt Chinese New Year wishes, but not sure how? Here are four free cute Chinese New Year cards for you to download. 

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