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January Book Picks: Chinese New Year

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By: Shannon Kaiser   |   January 27, 2022

The Chinese New Year – also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year – starts with the first new moon of the year and is welcomed with a 15-day celebration in many Asian communities around the world.

The Chinese zodiac assigns an animal to each year in a repeating twelve-year cycle. In 2022 the Chinese New Year starts on February 1, 2022 which marks the start of the year of the Tiger – a symbol of fortune and confidence.

Celebrate with some of these gorgeous children’s books about the Chinese New Year!

Babies & Toddler


By Karen Katz

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!

Purchase the book through Amazon Smile HERE.




The bright and colorful images in this book are the perfect way to discover the new year holiday traditions together. From colorful lanterns, to beautiful traditional clothes, to special animals that each year is named after, Baby's First Chinese New Year features all the familiar favorites associated with one of Asia's biggest and brightest celebrations.

Purchase the book through Amazon Smile HERE



By Grace Lin

This exuberant story follows a Chinese American family’s preparations for the Lunar New Year. Each member of the family lends a hand as they sweep the dust of the old year out, 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 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.

Purchase the book through Amazon Smile HERE.


By Hannah Eliot

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.

Purchase the book through Amazon Smile HERE.


By Joan Holub

A great introduction to the customs of Lunar New Year. This interactive lift-the-flap book is perfect for parents and early readers to enjoy together!

It's Lunar 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 Lunar New Year's parade!  

Purchase the book through Amazon Smile HERE.

Elementary School


By Mei Zihan // Illustrated by Qin Leng 

It’s Lunar New Year, a time when families come together for a wonderful feast, and a father longs to be with his daughter — but she lives in another country. As he imagines how his daughter is spending the festivities, he recalls fond memories of time spent with her, feeling a sense of loss and dislocation. While he misses her deeply, he also recognizes her need to move away, grow up, and become herself. New Year is a stunning portrait of leaving home, finding independence, and loving those who are many miles away. 
At a time when so many families are unable to gather together, readers will relate to the universal message of missing our loved ones and dreaming of being together again. 

Purchase the book through Amazon Smile HERE.


By Carolyn Otto

Children have never had so many reasons to learn how Chinese people everywhere ring in the new and ring out the old. As China takes its new place on the global stage, understanding Chinese culture and values becomes ever more essential to our next generation.

Celebrate Chinese New Year is the latest, timely addition to National Geographic’s popular Holidays Around the World series. With 25 colorful images and a simple, educational text, the book is a lively invitation to revel in this child-friendly, national and international holiday. Carolyn Otto brings the historical and cultural aspects of the Chinese New Year into focus, and young readers experience the full flavor of an event celebrated by over a billion people in China, and countless others worldwide.

Purchase the book through Amazon Smile HERE.


By Ling Lee

The Jade Emperor has invited all the animals of the kingdom for The Great Race. Which 12 animals will cross the river first and become a part of the Chinese Zodiac? Teach young readers Chinese through this retelling of a classic Chinese legend passed through the generations. Follow along in Traditional Chinese, Pinyin, and English. Children, parents, and teachers will enjoy the beautiful, immersive illustrations and dynamic story. 

Purchase the book through Amazon Smile HERE.


SMMC February Book Club

By Jenny Lawson 

Have you been meaning to take some time for yourself? Grab this February’s Book Club choice and let’s meet up to discuss the book, life and wherever the conversation takes us!

This month, we are reading Broken (in the best possible way) by Jenny Lawson and meeting at Marinitas in San Anselmo.

About the Book:
As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken (in the best possible way), Jenny brings listeners along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way.

With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor - the Ricky to Jenny’s Lucille Ball - is present throughout.

A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.

Register for Book Club HERE

Purchase the book through Amazon Smile HERE.

Amazon Smile
Help raise money for SMMC philanthropy projects by selecting Southern Marin Mothers’ Club as your AmazonSmile beneficiary. AmazonSmile is an easy way to give back and support the organization with your Amazon purchases. Register your Amazon account HERE.


Shannon Kaiser lives in Tiburon with her husband, Rolf, and three crazy kids who are in 4th grade, 1st grade, and Montessori. She spends her days chauffeuring her kids around town, folding laundry and serving as the 2021-22 term Southern Marin Mothers' Club President. You can reach Shannon at
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