Happy New Year! 2016 is the Year of the Monkey, according to Chinese zodiac. The Year of the Monkey will start on Feb. 8, 2016 and end on Jan. 27, 2017. Lunar New Year is a time for families to be together. Wherever they are, people come home to celebrate the festival with their families. Streets, buildings, and houses are decorated with red. Red is the main color for the festival, as it is believed to be a lucky color. Red lanterns hang in streets; red couplets are pasted on doors; banks and official buildings are decorated with red New Year pictures depicting images of prosperity. As 2016 is the year of monkey, decorations related to monkeys will be commonly seen. There are red monkey dolls for children and New Year paintings with monkeys on.
The Star Maker by Laurence Yep
If only Artie had kept his mouth shut. But his mean cousin Petey was putting him down, so Artie started bragging. Now he has to come up with enough money to buy firecrackers for all his cousins by the Lunar New Year. Luckily, there’s one person he can count on . . . Uncle Chester! Newbery Honor Book author Laurence Yep celebrates family and Chinese New Year traditions in this story of a boy and his uncle who discover that age doesn’t matter when it comes to helping out a friend.
Paper Crafts for Chinese New Year by Randel McGee
Do you want to make your own dancing dragon puppet? Dragon dances are an important part of Chinese New Year celebrations. Follow storyteller Randel McGee as he explores Chinese New Year. Learn to make Lai See envelopes, shadow puppets, a Chinese lantern, and more!
The New Year Dragon Dilemma by Ron Roy
Fireworks and dragons and . . . a missing girl? Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are in San Francisco, home of the biggest Chinatown outside Asia. They plan to watch the famous Chinese New Year parade and see Miss Chinatown ride by in a giant float. But during the parade, Miss Chinatown disappears, and so does her crown! Can the kids crack the case?
The Dancing Dragon by Marcia K. Vaughan
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!
Enter the Dragon Mystery by Sarah Kinney
Pre-teen detective Nancy Drew and her best friends Bess and George have seen a lot while solving mysteries in River Heights. But none of them have ever met a dragon before! When the exotic pet mysteriously appears on their teacher’s desk, the Clue Crew have to discover where it came from, how to get it back home, and most importantly, how to take care of it in the meantime. Another sleuth-tastic adventure from the award-winning Nancy Drew comics’ team!
Celebrate Chinese New Year by Carolyn Otto
For two joyous weeks red is all around. The color represents luck and happiness. Children receive money wrapped in red paper, and friends and loved ones exchange poems written on red paper. The Chinese New Year is also an opportunity to remember ancestors, and to wish peace and happiness to friends and family. The holiday ends with the Festival of Lanterns, as many large communities stage the famous Dragon Dance. Fireworks, parades, lanterns, presents, and feasts: these are some of the joys experienced by all who observe Chinese New Year.
To celebrate Lunar New Year with your family, create this paper-chain dragon. Thanks to Scholastic for this simple craft and easy-to-follow instructions. If you don’t have colored paper on hand, just have the kiddos color it.