Reading a book with your children is a great way to learn about the holidays. New Year’s is such a diverse holiday that’s celebrated differently around the world. From North American traditions like a New Year countdown and making New Year’s resolutions, to Lunar New Year and Chinese New Year, there are so many distinct cultures celebrating the fresh start of the coming year.
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We’ve compiled an exhaustive list of New Year’s books that young readers are sure to enjoy.
Happy New Year Pooh By Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
Winnie the Pooh is worried that maybe his calendar has broken when it runs out of pages. He asks Christopher Robin to help him with his calendar and discovers that each year has only 12 months and a new one is about to begin! This is a good introduction for Kindergarteners about how the months of the year work.
Angelina Ice Skates By Katharine Holabird
Mouseland is going to have a New Year’s Eve ice dance and Angelina is planning it! If a giant snowball fight breaks out will it ruin Angelia’s plans? Can she still make the ice dance a success somehow? She and all her friends will try their best and see if the show can go on.
First Night By Harriet Ziefert
Amanda Dade is out, in front, to lead the parade. This book has rhyming words and pleasant repetition. It’s a beautiful picture book about a New Year’s Day parade. Young children will love the simple text and lively illustrations.
Griselda’s New Year By Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Griselda the goose has a New Year’s resolution. She wants to make people happy! But she doesn’t seem to understand that her help might not be so… helpful. This is a wonderful book to introduce the idea of New Year’s resolutions to young readers.
P. Bear’s New Year Party By Owen Paul Lewis
This is a fun counting book about a polar bear who invites his friends to a New Year’s party. Who’s coming? One whale, two horses, three cows… let’s learn to count and celebrate the holidays.
Happy New Year Charlie Brown By Charles M. Schulz
Over the winter holidays Charlie Brown has a book report to write about war and peace. But Marcie and Peppermint Patty are throwing a New Year’s Eve party. Maybe this is a good opportunity to ask someone on a date?
Little Bear’s New Year’s Party By Janice Brustlein
Mouse, squirrel, sparrow and owl are enjoying their new Christmas gifts with Little Bear and start chatting about the New Year. Usually, Little Bear is hibernating, but this year Little Bear decides to throw a party. What are they to do when an unexpected number of guests show up? (This book may be out of print but you can find limited stock on Amazon and also possibly at your local library.)
Twas the Night before New Year’s By Natasha Wing
‘Twas the night before New Year’s and all through the house… the whole family is getting ready! Will everyone stay awake until midnight? Probably not, but everyone’s ready to have a fun New Year’s Eve party! This book follows the familiar rhyme pattern structure of the well known: ‘twas the night before Christmas.
Happy New Year Corduroy! By Don Freeman
Corduroy is ready to celebrate the start of the new year with his friends. It’s time to play games, drink hot chocolate and count down until midnight with this bright fun board book for youngsters.
Happy New Year, Everywhere by Arlene Erlbach
This multi-cultural look at the New Year holiday celebrations from 20 countries shows how children can join in with New Year celebrations from all over the globe. There is even a craft or game with instructions from each included country to help inspire your festivities.
A Happy New Year’s Day by Roch Carrier
All year long there are small preparations for the New Year’s Day celebration. Summertime means grandma makes cherry wine and in the winter, the neighbours are painting and repairing their sleds. When the holiday finally arrives there is a lot of cooking to be done, and the arrival of extended family members is exciting. Roch is thankful for a big feast and the fun that comes along with celebrating New Year’s Day.
Happy New Year Strawberry Shortcake By Amy Ackelsberg
It’s time to celebrate the New Year with this beloved character, Strawberry Shortcake, and all her friends. This is also a great activity book that comes with a set of stickers to enjoy.
Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution By Pat Miller
What does it mean to make a New Year’s resolution? Squirrel wants to find out. She visits others around the forest to learn more and help her friends get started on their resolutions for the New Year ahead. This is a great book to begin learning about what a New Year’s resolution is and to find out what squirrel’s New Year’s resolution is too!
Happy New Year, Spot By Eric Hill
Spot is too young to celebrate New Year’s at midnight so he celebrates early with his family. This lovable character is perfect to help explore the theme of New Year celebrations with.
Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas By Gail Piernas-Davenport
Shanté Keys is a young girl who loves celebrating the New Year. But you can’t have New Year’s Day without some black-eyes peas, it would be bad luck without them! Shanté sets out to borrow some from the neighbors. Learn more about how Shanté’s family celebrates this holiday in this fun, colorful book.
New Year at the Pier – a Rosh Hashanah Story By April Halprin Wayland
The main character, Izzy, likes to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Her favorite part of the celebration is Tashlich, a ceremony in which apologies are made for the mistakes people made in the previous year so they can start fresh in the New Year. This book is full of information about the Jewish New Year and is also a lovely picture book.
Happy Chinese New Year Kai-lan By Lauryn Silverhardt
Join Kai-lan for a lovely story about a Chinese New Year celebration! With all her friends, Kai-lan gets to carry the dragon costume in the big New Year parade. Can they figure out how to work together to make the dragon dance? Learn more about Chinese New Year traditions in this fun book.
Goodbye Old Year, Hello New Year By Frank Modell
This is a cute story about two boys who really wanted to stay up to celebrate New Year’s but fell asleep. When they wake up they decide to bang pots and pans but of course that doesn’t go well with their neighbors.
Just in Time for New Year’s By Karen Gray Ruelle
It’s almost time for a big New Year’s Eve celebration. But how can Harry and Emily possibly stay up? Readers must read on to find out. This sweet story is great for early readers.
Bertie’s New Year By L.M. Montgomery
From the same author who gave you Anne of Green Gables, this short story is about Bertie who is asked to attend the town doctor’s holiday dinner. It’s a wonderful New Year surprise when he is given a gift for himself and his cousin and also offered a job as the doctor’s errand boy.
Every Month is a New Year By Marilyn Singer
Did you know that not everyone celebrates New Year’s on January 1st? Lunar New Year is celebrated in January or February, the Iranian New Year is on March 21, Diwali is in October or November and Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is in September or October. This book is a collection of poems that showcase the festivities of diverse celebrations that occur on these holidays.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this long list of New Year books you can enjoy with kids. Add a few to your list to read next new year!
If it’s part of your family’s New Year’s Resolution to read more books, teen boys can be notoriously hard to engage. Take a look at this list of books for teenage boys to help keep them hooked on reading.
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