Fantastic CNY Reads and Where to Find Them

by Jackie Park



Shanghai Mamas has very kindly been given permission to reprint this article, which originally appeared on Jackie’s blog, , bringing up her two small children in their Chinese-Malaysian-Filipina-Korean mixed family in Beijing. Please check it out for more interesting articles (no VPN required). 


Last week, Jackie featured Miss Panda Chinese’s post about Chinese Lunar New Year and culture books for kids. These could be great additions to your library especially if your family likes learning about Chinese culture, and if you would like to know the full summaries of the stories, visit the Miss Panda Chinese’s post here. It’s a great starting point, detailing twenty books for children of all ages, and here Jackie expands the original post to include details of where to purchase some of the books online. Neither Jackie nor Shanghai Mamas are affiliated with these websites, so cannot ascertain the quality of these books.

Preschoolers and Up

  1. Bringing in the New Year is a colorful book by Grace Lin is the story of a Chinese-American family preparing for the New Year. This child-friendly book is available on Dangdang.
  2. The Pet Dragon by Christoph Niemann is a children’s story about a young girl who befriends a dragon and seeks him out when he mysteriously disappears. According to a review on, “The Pet Dragon is a playful introduction to the fascinating world of Chinese language and culture . . . and a terrific story to share with children everywhere.” This children’s story is available on Taobao.
  3. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Morsel is a retelling of the Chinese folktale about the boy with the long name. This classic is available on Tmall and on Amazon China.
  4. Grandma Panda’s Storybook by Mingmei Yip is a collection of Chinese fairytales and folktales that aims to introduce Chinese culture to children in a fun way. This book is available on Dangdang.
  5. The Panda and Their Chopsticks is a collection of classic animal stories that showcases the importance of good values. This book is available on Jingdong.
  6. Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim is a fun retelling of Goldilocks with the same mishaps just in a Chinese New Year setting. This book is available on Taobao and soon at the Bookworm.
  7. Chinese & English Nursery Rhymes is a collection of English nursery rhymes and their Chinese counterparts. This book by Faye-Lynn Wu is available on Dangdang.


Grades Three and Up

  1. The Year of the Dog is a novel by Grace Lin about a young girl who discovers that the Year of the Dog is the year she is supposed to discover herself. This book is currently available on Dangdang.
  2. Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats is a collection of Chinese holiday tales accompanied by their respective activities and recipes. This book by Nina Simonds is available on Dangdang and on Taobao (where it’s cheaper!).
  3. Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Yim is a book young feminists will love. It is the story of a young girl who dreams of going to college like all the other boys, instead of just being married of. This book is available on Taobao.
  4. All About China is a very informative book for young children to help them understand China better. This collection of stories, songs, crafts and more by Allison Branscombe is available locally on Taobao.
  5. The Runaway Wok by Ying Chang Compestine is the story of a young boy and his magical wok that saves their Chinese New Year. And, as should be expected of a book about a magical wok, there’s a free recipe at the end for everyone to try! available on Amazon China.
  6. The Great Wall of Lucy Lu by Wendy Wang-long Shang is a short novel about a young girl’s expectations of a new life as a sixth grader are unexpectedly dashed by the arrival of an unexpected roommate! Is her year ruined? This book is available via Dangdang.


I’ve tried to ensure that the books included should be able to be delivered it in time for Chinese New Year, but of course there is no guarantee. Do you know where else in China these books are available? Let me know in the comments section below or you can e-mail me here. I’ll add your information!

Thank you for reading, and have a happy Chinese New Year!