It’s surprisingly difficult to find children’s picture books about New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. Holiday books are usually not in short supply and there are quite a lot of books about Chinese New Year and Rosh Hashanah, but surprisingly few for the January 1st holiday.
Nonetheless, fearless book finder that I am, I rustled up a few New Year picture books for you to read with the kids. So whether you stay up all night, counting down the hours until the start of a brand new year and making resolutions, or if you all head off to bed early for a good night’s sleep these picture books will help you start the New Year off right. (Note: Book covers and titles are affiliate links)
Kids’ Books for a Happy New Year:
The Stars Will Still Shine. I’ll just start out with my favorite, shall I? It’s not really a New Year-specific book, but is still at the top of my list of books to read when everyone is talking about the holiday. I love this gentle reassuring book about how cycles of events continue to come and go. It’s optimistic, reaffirming the goodness of life and the kindness of individuals no matter what comes. Read it all year long.
The Night Before New Year’s. Author Natalie Wing has a series of “night before [insert holiday here]” books. This one looks at… you guessed it. New Year’s. It’s a fun choice for kids addicted to counting down the hours.
I really like the simple illustrative style of P. Bear’s New Year’s Party: A Counting Book, and it’s great for toddlers and preschoolers. There are some nice components: a clock for teaching time, interesting vocabulary for groups of animals (“flock”, “herd”, etc), as well as counting.
Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution is a fun choice to read if you are discussing resolutions with your children. Squirrel walks through the forest wondering what resolutions she should make for the new year, finally realizing that all her kind and helpful actions are what’s really important.
Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas. Eating black-eyed peas at New Year’s is a southern tradition signifying good luck for the coming year. When Shanté goes out to her neighbors, looking for the requisite peas, she learns all about how other cultures celebrate New Year’s. If you’ve been reading multicultural Christmas books this season, this is the natural successor.
Happy New Year Everywhere! Are you the kind of person who has the energy for New Year’s themed crafts and activities organized by country? If you are, then this is the book for you.
Get ready to read for more holidays: