Yummy Storybooks for Lunar New Year

by Fang

Lunar New Year is coming on Feb. 10, which kicks off the 15-day celebration spreading festivities and excitements all around world, like Spring Festival in China, Seollal in Korea, Tet in Vietnam and more! Many fabulous titles are ready for you to enjoy in ICPL’s children’s room, in the holiday section (j394.26951), or through our themed book display. As always shown in many authors’ wonderful titles, food is usually the most popular part that people love to taste and share when they celebrate diverse cultures and traditions. Together with your children, please enjoy some recently published sweet and delicious reads featuring food, family and culture.

A sweet new year for Ren

Sterling, Michelle, author.

j394.26951 Sterling

Ren has always been too little to help make her favorite 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.

Grumpy New Year

Moore, Katrina, author.

j394.26951 Moore

Daisy, a young Chinese American girl, is excited to be celebrating the Lunar New Year with her Yeh-Yeh in China, but at first she is too grumpy from lack of sleep to enjoy the activities he has planned. Includes recipes for fried Jiao Zi (dumplings) and Eight Treasure Rice.

Lunar New Year

Yim, Natasha, author. https://isni.org/isni/0000000037878360


"Join Ling and her family as they celebrate 15 days of Lunar New Year--a time full of careful preparations, delicious food, lanterns, fireworks, and dragon dancing."--

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Coming soon
- Fang

Chinese menu : the history, myths, and legends behind your favorite foods

Lin, Grace, author, illustrator.

j641.5951 Lin

"The origin stories of each Chinese dish told using the framework of Chinese cuisine-oftentimes based in folklore, both ancient and contemporary"--

Dumplings for Lili

Iwai, Melissa, author, illustrator.

jE Iwai

Lili loves to cook little dumplings called baos with her grandmother, but when cabbage is needed, Lili races up and down the stairs of her grandmother's apartment building to find the ingredient and help the other grandmothers borrow ingredients for different dumplings, from Jamaican meat patties and Italian ravioli to Lebanese fatayer and more.

Little dumplings

Kuhlmann, Jekka, author.

jBOARD BOOK Kuhlmann

"So many dumplings to love! This sweet rhyming board book introduces the youngest of readers to traditional dumplings from all over the world, from bao to pierogi, samosa, and more! Featuring more than 30 different dumplings, this multicultural board book is just right for sharing a love of food and diverse culinary traditions with little ones. Everyone is welcome at this dumpling celebration!" --

Laolao's dumplings

Liu, Dane, author.

jE Liu

"Millie makes a special batch of dumplings filled with love that Laolao will never forget after she falls ill"--

Grandpa grumps

Moore, Katrina, author.

jE Moore

When Daisy's grandfather, or Yeh-Yeh, visits from China, she does everything she can think of to make him smile and finally finds a way. Includes glossary of Chinese words and recipe for fried rice.

Dim Sum Palace

Fang, X., author.

jE Fang

"A picture book about a girl and her love of food, set in a restaurant."--

Dim sum, here we come!

Lam, Maple, author, illustrator.

jE Lam

"Today is Sunday and that means its dim sum time with my whole family! I can't wait to see everyone, especially Grandma. I'm going to eat lots of shrimp dumplings, rice noodle rolls, egg tarts, and my favorite--char siu buns. We will have to order enough for us all to share. So what are you waiting for? Dim sum, here we come!"--

Luna's yum yum dim sum

Yim, Natasha, author.

jE Yim

For Luna's birthday the whole family goes out for dim sum, but when Luna drops her pork bun she and her two brothers argue over how to divide up the remaining buns.

Amy Wu and the warm welcome

Zhang, Kat, 1991- author.

jE Zhang
Picture Books

Amy Wu would love to welcome the new student in her class, but Lin has just come from China and does not speak much English, so with the help of her family Amy tries to work out a way to bridge the language gap.

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The Amy Wu picture book series is the perfect combination of lyrical storytelling and vibrant illustration. They tell the “real life" adventure stories that happen to every children of every immigrant families in their everyday growing-up. Check out this heartwarming story about Amy and her new friend from China, Lin! Lin feels warmly welcomed by Amy's yummy and jolly dumpling party, and a very special banner saying 欢迎你 (Welcome). Both kids learn a powerful lesson of inclusion through courageous and creative efforts!
- Fang

Amy Wu and the perfect bao

Zhang, Kat, 1991- author.

jE Zhang

Amy is determined to make a perfect dumpling like her parents and grandmother do, but hers are always too empty, too full, or not pinched together properly.

The rice in the pot goes round and round

Shang, Wendy Wan Long, author.

jE Shang
Picture Books

Presents a song set to the tune of "The wheels on the bus," where a multigenerational family enjoys a culturally rich meal.

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One of the top picks in ICPL's weekly Chinese Bilingual Storytime! While reading aloud and singing along to the sweet family-themed picture book, kids and parents can enjoy a big feast of authentic Chinese food. And subtly, page by page, they learn all the Chinese words of the whole big family!
- Fang

My love for you is always

Sze, Gillian, 1985- author.

jE Sze

As she prepares a traditional Chinese meal for her family, a mother answers her child's question: "What is love?"

Ra Pu Zel and the stinky tofu

Compestine, Ying Chang, author.

jE Compesti

"The story of Rapunzel where she's being locked in a tower by a witch is a good one--but it's not totally the truth. The real story is about a young princess in China named Ra Pu Zel who doesn't want to talk to princes or look proper. What Pu Zel wants is to cook and eat in peace, her long hair neatly braided to keep it out of her food. And when she gets tired of everyone telling her what to do, she locks herself in a tower with her dog Bao. Although princes from everywhere try to convince her to come down, it's not until a young chef arrives with an intriguing food to share that Ra Pu Zel finally has a reason."--

Tofu takes time

Wu, Helen H., author.

jE Wu

"Lin makes tofu with her grandma and discovers that patience brings a whole universe together in a simple dish made by a modern Chinese American family"--

Mommy's hometown

Lim, Hope, author.

jE Lim

When a young boy and his mother travel to her childhood home in Korea, the town is not as he imagined until he visits the river where she used to play and sees that the spirit and happiness of those days remain.

Night market rescue

Cheng, Charlotte, 1982- author.

jE Cheng

"While resting on a stoop, Gogo smells something sweet and spicy on the breeze. It leads him to a place he's never been--a bustling night market where vendors sell delicious treats. As he wanders, sniffing for scraps, GoGo discovers something else as well: a little girl who has gotten separated from her parents. He knows he can help and guides her through the market--to where her worried parents wait for her--with open arms for their daughter and GoGo, their new pet"--

Rainbow shopping

Zhuang, Qing (Illustrator), author, illustrator.

jE Zhuang

Shopping for and preparing a delicious meal helps a young Chinese American girl feel connected to her family.

The whole world inside Nan's soup

Liguore, Hunter, author.

jE Liguore

A rumination on our ability to recognize our interconnectedness with all people, that in order to eat a single meal, it takes the whole world to make it. There's something special bubbling in Nanni's big metal pot. And it smells delicious! What ingredients might be inside? When Nanni lifts the lid on her soup, she reveals the whole world inside: from the seeds that grew into vegetables, to the gardeners who lovingly tended to the plants, to the sun, moon, and stars that shone its light above them. And, of course, no meal is complete without a recipe passed down generations of family, topped and finished with Nanni's love. In this tender tale by award-winning author Hunter Liguore and artist Vikki Zhang, readers will marvel at how a community and world can come together to put on an unforgettable meal between a granddaughter and her Nanni. -- Amazon.

The tray of togetherness

Leung, Flo, author, illustrator.

j394.26951 Leung

"THE TRAY OF TOGETHERNESS is a celebration of a culturally specific experience that also speaks to the universality of having family traditions and the specialness of that connection. In Flo Leung's heartwarming, food-focused story, a young girl helps her multi-racial family prepare their Tray of Togetherness as part of that evening's Lunar New Year celebration. And her exuberance for the task at hand will have readers - whether familiar with the tradition or not - happily joining her. The story opens with the girl helping prepare her family's apartment - a space warmly decorated with a wall of portraits that signal to the reader the diversity of this girl's family and what "togetherness" might mean to her. Then it's time to get their coats and go on a shopping adventure - their tray needs to be filled with all sorts of good wish treats: candied coconut for strong family ties, peanuts for a long life, candied winter melon for good health and much more... After collecting their special treats from the bustling market, the family returns home, passing out delicious good wishes to the friends and neighbors they meet along the way. Once home, the tray is filled and finishing touches hung - just in time for their party. Friends and family arrive, all ready "to celebrate this HAPPY NEW YEAR together!" A short note from Flo at the end of the book explains the word play behind the edible New Year's wishes and fondly describes her own experiences as a child whose family celebrated Lunar New Year."--

Spicy spicy hot!

Wen, Lenny, author, illustrator.

jE Wen

Lintang is determined to embrace the spice of sambal in order to connect with her Indonesian grandmother and heritage.

My day with Gong Gong

Yee, Sennah, 1992- author.

jE Yee

"A day in Chinatown takes an unexpected turn when a bored little girl makes a connection with her grandpa. May isn't having fun on her trip through Chinatown with her grandfather. Gong Gong doesn't speak much English, and May can't understand Chinese. She's hungry, and bored with Gong Gong's errands. Plus, it seems like Gong Gong's friends are making fun of her! But just when May can't take any more, Gong Gong surprises her with a gift that reveals he's been paying more attention than she thought. With lighthearted, expressive illustrations by Elaine Chen, this charming debut expertly captures life in the city and shows how small, shared moments of patience and care--and a dumpling or two--can help a child and grandparent bridge the generational and cultural gaps between them. A glossary at the end of the book features translations of the Chinese words from the story into Chinese characters and English."--

The best kind of mooncake

Auyeung, Pearl, author, illustrator.

jE Auyeung

"Once upon a morning in Hong Kong, in the alley of Tai Yuen Street, a girl is promised a mooncake with a double-yolk center...the special mooncake seems like the only excitement on an otherwise boring day in the market where nothing changes...until an exhausted stranger falls to his knees right in the street! He ran through forests, swam through rivers, and even stowed away on a ship, all to get to Hong Kong. Now at the end of his journey, all he needs is a bite to eat, but no one seems willing to help"--

Everyone loves lunchtime but Zia

Liao, Jenny, author.

jE Liao

Even though Zia loves the Cantonese food her parents prepare at home, she is embarrassed to eat it at school, but when she realizes each meal has a special meaning, she begins to look forward to lunchtime. Includes a recipe for Zia's lucky yi mein.

Wish soup : a celebration of Seollal

Park, Junghwa, author, illustrator.

j394.269519 Park
Picture Books

Sohee helps her family prepare for the Lunar New Year celebration.

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A very funny story about silly Sohee and the unique Korean Lunar New Year tradition: Each bowl of tteokguk (the special rice cake soup for New Year's Day) you eat will make you one year older! It's always fun to explore different festive tradtions around the world!
- Fang

Tomorrow is New Year's Day : Seollal, a Korean celebration of the lunar new year

Kim, Aram, author, illustrator.

j394.269519 Kim

"From Korean American author-illustrator Aram Kim, Tomorrow is New Year's Day follows a little girl sharing the fun customs of Seollal--the Korean Lunar New Year--with her classmates. Seollal, the Korean Lunar New Year, is Mina's favorite day of the year. Mina can't wait to share the customs of Seollal with all of her friends at school. She will show her classmates her colorful hanbok, demonstrate how to do sebae, and then everyone will make tasty tteokguk in the cooking room. Yum! Her little brother may even join in on the fun... if he can find a way out of his bad mood. In this joyful book about sharing age-old cultural celebrations with new friends, Aram Kim has created a must-have book for the New Year's season. A glossary of Korean terms, with pronunciation guide, is included."--

A spoonful of time

Ahn, Flora, author.

jFICTION Ahn Flora

"Maya discovers stories and secrets from her family's past in Korea as her grandmother teaches her to cook and about their family's ability to time travel into memories via food"--

Bee-bim bop!

Park, Linda Sue.

jE Park

A child, eager for a favorite meal, helps with the shopping, food preparation, and table setting.

Kimchi, kimchi every day

Kim, Erica, author, illustrator.

jE Kim

"Explore the different ways to eat kimchi in this fun, rhyming tale that also teaches the days of the week. Korean-American author-illustrator Erica Kim shares her pride in her delicious cultural food through her cut paper art technique. The Hanji paper that is used to illustrate the book comes from a paper mulberry tree native to Korea."-- Amazon.

Danbi's favorite day

Kim, Anna, author, illustrator.

jE Kim

Danbi invites her friends to celebrate Children's Day like she did in Korea and is worried the picnic behind her parents' deli falls short of the kites and magic train rides she promised her friends.

Hot pot night!

Chen, Vincent, 1996- author, illustrator.

jE Chen

In this version of the classic tale, nobody in the apartment building has enough ingredients for dinner--so a child suggests that they have a community hot pot night. Everybody contributes something, bringing their diverse community together for a delicious meal. Includes a recipe for hot pot.--

Sari-sari summers

Bontigao, Lynnor, author, illustrator.

jE Bontigao

"Nora loves spending summers with Lola at her sari-sari store, a treasure trove filled with everything you could need, from hair accessories to toys, creamy yema to sour tamarind candy. And this year, Nora is big enough to help her grandmother. But when a heat wave strikes and no one comes to the store, Nora worries that she won't get to spend the rest of the summer with her lola -- until she gets a sweet idea. After all, the mangoes on the tree outside are finally ripe, and with a bit of measuring, mixing, and a good deal of tasting, Nora and Lola have a refreshing way to bring people together -- and to the sari-sari store" --

Ramen for everyone

Tanumihardja, Patricia, author.

jE Tanumiha

"A young boy aspires to make a bowl of ramen as delicious as his dad's, and runs into some surprises--both delightful and disastrous--on his first attempt"--

The perfect sushi

Satoko Seo, Emily, author.

jE Satokose

A little girl is determined to make perfect nigiri sushi for her grandmother, but her efforts only lead to frustration, until a surprising discovery helps her understand that cooking with love is more important than cooking perfect food.

I love Boba! = Wo ai zhen zhu nai cha!

Liu, Katrina, author.

j495.1834 Liu

An ode to boba! A full-color picture book celebrating bubble tea and Asian culture with a whimsical rhyming story describing the many amazing reasons why boba is so great! I

Teatime around the world

Waissbluth, Denyse, author.

jE Waissblu

"With poetic text and sidebars that overflow with scrumptious facts, Teatime Around the World celebrates a beloved drink--tea!--and all the wonderful ways we can enjoy a cup (or two!)."--

Luli and the language of tea

Wang, Andrea, author.

jE Wang

"Though they may speak different languages, kids from all over the world come together to enjoy the shared pastime of tea in this delicious book for young readers. When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can't speak English, neither can anyone else. That's when she has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring them all together. Luli removes her teapot, thermos, and teacups from her bag and calls out "Chá!" in her native Chinese. One by one, her classmates pipe up in recognition: in Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, and Spanish, Portuguese, and Swahili. Tea is a tasty language they all know well, and it gives them a chance to share and enjoy each other's company. When all the tea is gone and it's time for dessert, Luli gets to use her favorite English word, cookie! After that, the playroom isn't so quiet."--

I dream of Popo

Blackburne, Livia, author.

jE Blackburne

When a young girl and her family emigrate from Taiwan to America, she leaves behind her beloved popo, her grandmother. She misses her popo every day, but even if their visits are fleeting, their love is ever true and strong. Includes author's and illustrator's notes detailing their personal experiences, and glossary of Chinese words connected to the story.

Amah faraway

Greanias, Margaret Chiu, author.

jE Greanias

Nervous about visiting her grandmother in Taipei, Taiwan, a young girl soon adjusts to her unfamiliar surroundings and enjoys the adventure.

Karl's adventures in Beijing

Song, Sharon, author.

j951.156 Song
Picture Books

"The story follows Karl’s journey to Beijing, where he meets his friends. They stroll through some notable places in Beijing, like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. He also uses modern technology to receive red envelopes, experiences public square dancing, takes a high-speed train to learn Shaolin Kung Fu, and much more. Read this book to learn about the Chinese culture, Mandarin words, and have fun!" ~from publisher's website.

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Follow Karl's 15 adventures in Beijing! You don't want to miss the famous snack street where people taste yummy Chinese food: stinky tofu, Beijing Ducks and more! In this fun bilingual picture book, local children's author Dan (Sharon) Song shares her curiosity and exploration of the Chinese culture, cuisine, and language.
- Fang

Two New Years

Ho, Richard (Children's author), author.

j394.26951 Ho

A multicultural family celebrates the traditions of two New Years--the Jewish Rosh Hashanah in the autumn, and the Asian Lunar New Year several months later.