HomeBooks by AgeAges 4-8Chinese New Year, 2011: The Year of the Rabbit

Chinese New Year, 2011: The Year of the Rabbit

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: January 31, 2010

This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 3, 2011. It is the Year of the Rabbit—the fourth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. The rabbit represents hope, and it is widely shared that “People born under the sign of the rabbit are gentle, sensitive, modest, and merciful and have strong memory. They like to communicate with others in a humorous manner. They cannot bear dull life, so they are good at creating romantic or interesting spice…”

The picture books listed below, offer solid introductions into the Chinese New Year and are then followed by some good-old bunny tales to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit.

Bringing in the New Year

by Grace Lin

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 34 pages

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (January 8, 2008)

Publisher’s synopsis: This exuberant story follows a Chinese American family as they prepare for the Lunar New Year. Each member of the family 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.

Add this book to your collection: Bringing in the New Year

Celebrating Chinese New Year

by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith (Author), Lawrence Migdale (Photographer)

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Holiday House (October 1999)

Source: Library

Publisher’s synopsis: A Chinese-American boy’s family observes a cherished tradition.

Add this book to your collection: Celebrating Chinese New Year

Celebrating Chinese New Year: An Activity Book

by Hingman Chan

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Asia for Kids; Activity edition (July 15, 2004)

Publisher’s synopsis: Celebrating Chinese New Year is a fun-filled craft, activity and resource book for the Chinese New Year. In addition to basic facts and history of the Chinese New Year, you can make a dragon parade, a paper lantern, and red lucky envelopes following simple directions and examples in this activity book. You will also have fun learning about your Chinese Zodiac signs. This classroom tested copy-ready activity book is an excellent resource for parents and teachers with children ages 5 to 10. A must for celebrating Chinese New Year!

Add this book to your collection: Celebrating Chinese New Year: An Activity Book

Sam and the Lucky Money

by Karen Chinn (Author), Cornelius Van Wright (Author), Ying-Hwa Hu (Author)

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Lee & Low Books (July 1997)

Publisher’s synopsis: This year Sam gets to spend his New Year’s gift money any way he chooses. Shopping carefully in his favorite Chinatown stores, he is disappointed to find that everything he wants is too expensive. Deciding to forgo a tasty sweet or a new toy for himself, Sam donates his money instead to a barefoot homeless man. Full color.

Add this book to your collection: Sam and the Lucky Money

The Dancing Dragon

by Marcia K. Vaughan

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Paperback: 24 pages

Publisher: Mondo Publishing (September 1996)

Publisher’s synopsis: The Chinese New Year is about to begin. There’s lots to do–tie strings of firecrackers outside, hang up red scrolls, bake special cakes, and sing New Year’s songs. And when family and friends are gathered together, it’s time for the parade to begin. This book folds out to reveal all the color and excitement of a traditional Chinese New Year celebration, complete with dancing dragon! Full color.

Add this book to your collection: The Dancing Dragon


The Year of the Rabbit

Bunny Days

by Tao Nyeu

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Hardcover: 48 pages

Publisher: Dial (January 21, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: Six frolicking bunnies, two busy goats, and a very handy bear live harmoniously—though not without mishap—in this picture book charmer. What do the bunnies do when Mr. Goat drives by on his tractor and accidentally splashes them all over with mud? They hop over to Bear, who always knows just how to help—in this case, with the delicate cycle and a refreshing line dry! Two additional stories are even more surprising and giggle-worthy.

All’s well that ends well in this eye-catching, endearing treat of a book, full of funny details and exhilarating artistry.

Add this book to your collection: Bunny Days

Duck! Rabbit!

by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 0-6

Hardcover: 40 pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st edition (March 11, 2009)

Publisher’s synopsis: From author of Little Pea, Little Hoot, and Little Oink comes a clever take on the age-old optical illusion: is it a duck or a rabbit? Depends on how you look at it. Readers will find more than just Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s signature sense of humor here–there is also a subtle lesson for kids who don’t know when to let go of an argument. This is a smart, simple story that will make readers of all ages eager to take a side, Duck! Rabbit! makes it easy to agree on at least one thing: reading it again!

Add this book to your collection: Duck! Rabbit!

Not a Box

by Antoinette Portis

Reading level: Baby-Preschool

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins (December 12, 2006)

Source: Personal collection

Publisher’s synopsis: A box is just a box . . . unless it’s not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows.

Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Antoinette Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real—when the imagination takes over and inside a cardboard box, a child is transported to a world where anything is possible.

Add this book to your collection: Not a Box

My Friend Rabbit

by Eric Rohmann

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: Square Fish (March 6, 2007)

Publisher’s synopsis: When Mouse lets his best friend, Rabbit, play with his brand-new airplane, trouble isn’t far behind. From Caldecott Honor award winner Eric Rohmann comes a brand-new picture book about friends and toys and trouble, illustrated in robust, expressive prints.

Add this book to your collection: My Friend Rabbit

Marshmallow

by Clare Turlay Newberry

Reading level: Ages 4-8

Paperback: 32 pages

Publisher: HarperCollins (January 26, 2010)

Publisher’s synopsis: A bunny’s a delightful habit, No home’s complete without a rabbit.

Oliver is a tabby cat who is always the center of attention. Marshmallow is a baby rabbit who moves into Oliver’s home. At first Oliver does not welcome Marshmallow, but the little bunny’s charms are impossible to resist. This is the true story of how Oliver and Marshmallow become friends.

Add this book to your collection: Marshmallow

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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