Cover image for Chinese New Year colors
Chinese New Year colors
First edition.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Reading Level:
Ages: 3-7.

Grades: K to Grade 3.
This vibrant, simple, and highly graphic bilingual book is the perfect introduction to Chinese and English words for colors as it honors one of the biggest holidays around the world.
Language Note:
Colors identified in both English and Chinese.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available

On Order



H ng is the color of explosive firecrackers! Jin is the hue of lucky coins. Zong is the shade of sweet peanut puffs. Welcome to the festivities of the Chinese New Year, where symbolic gifts, foods, and objects come together in a celebration of beautiful colors.

This vibrant, simple, and highly graphic bilingual book is the perfect introduction to Chinese and English words for colors as it honors one of the biggest holidays around the world. Includes informative back matter.

Author Notes

Rich Lo, born in Canton, China, was always drawing and painting with his six siblings. At the age of seven, he and his family immigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago's Chinatown. An accomplished illustrator and fine artist, his work can be found on packaging and ads for national brands and on large installations in public buildings throughout the Midwest. He is also the illustrator of Mountain Chef and Father's Chinese Opera , which was an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1--This simple and beautiful color concept book features large monochromatic watercolor paintings of items commonly used to celebrate Chinese New Year. The eye-catching text is limited to the name of the color in English and Chinese (both in characters and pinyin translation). With one color featured on each spread, the effect is quite striking. Due to the predominance of red in New Year celebrations, some items are pictured in nonstandard colors (firecrackers are red, but lucky money envelopes are yellow and the lucky fish symbol is black). Multicolored items are also rendered in a single shade (such as a cerulean lion dance). Back matter gives a few sentences of explanation about each item pictured and its role in holiday celebrations. The simplicity of the design and concept means even the youngest readers will enjoy this one; it's also a fun and easy vocabulary lesson for older readers who do not already speak Mandarin. VERDICT This wonderfully executed concept book is a great holiday choice for younger readers.--Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington County Public Libraries, VA

Publisher's Weekly Review

Chinese-born, Chicago-raised artist Lo presents a bilingual picture book of 14 colors, illustrated with traditional components of Chinese New Year celebrations. Each verso page is bisected; above the fold, the color is listed in English, while below, the simplified Chinese translation sits beside the pinyin pronunciation. On each recto page, an item used to celebrate Chinese New Year (red firecrackers, a lucky gold coin, an orange tangerine) is painted large in a lush wash of color, some in improbable shades. Interestingly, Lo employs traditional characters in his elegant illustrations, carefully preserving details such as a partial "boundless longevity" message on a blue teapot and "Happy New Year" on a gray fan. A spread at the end identifies each element and its significance, both in Chinese culture and specifically for the occasion. A lovely, surprisingly comprehensive entry into colors and the holiday. Ages 3--7. (Nov.)

Kirkus Review

A color-concept book with a bilingual, cultural twist.Chinese New Year gets a daring new look. A single color dominates a complete page spread. On recto, the name of the featured color in English is displayed on a white background while both the traditional Chinese characters and a romanized rendition, complete with accent marks, appear below in an inverse color scheme. A single cultural object related to Chinese New Year fully occupies the right. Here Lo's talents shine with his renderings. The composition is simple, with the object sitting solo, centered within the line of sight. Artistic liberties are tastefully taken, with the object portrayed in a singular color that is occasionally contrary to tradition. Yet no embellishments are lost in the deceptively spare composition. This is best observed on the portrait of the teapot. Lo makes sure that no flower, leaf, or curly twirl of its details is omitted. The objects seem to pop due to the skilled shading and tricks of perspective. The background itself teems with textures, with occasional splatters of paint, bleeding edges, and blooms of watercolor that unevenly occupy the space. Vocabulary-wise, the only outlier is the use of the word "Cerulean" instead of "light blue," which may require an explanation. A guide describing each object follows.Bright and bold, this will certainly catch the eye of every reader. (Picture book 2-5) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.