How I taught my kids about the Chinese New Year

January 31 makes the start of the Chinese New Year and the start of the lunar year.  This year is the Chinese Year of the Horse.  There is much history and tradition behind the Chinese New Year which can be found in the link below.

While I am not Chinese, and do not celebrate this is holiday, it does remind me of a book I read aloud to my children.  It is written by Kevin Henkes and titled “The Year of Billy Miller”. 

the Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
photo credit

At the start of the book, Billy is beginning third grade and his teacher says it is the Year of the Rabbit.  This prompted a small history lesson on the Chinese New Year to my kids who asked what the Year of the Rabbit was.

The summary from GoodReads:

When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad. Newbery Honor author and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes delivers a short, satisfying, laugh-out-loud-funny school and family story that features a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white art by the author, this is a perfect short novel for the early elementary grades.

It is a great book and I recommend it for your son or daughter!

History of the Chinese New Year

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