8 Children’s Books about the Dragon Boat Festival

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Children's Books about the Dragon Boat Festival



One of the major festivals in Chinese culture, the Dragon Boat Festival celebrates the famous poet Qu Yuan who is said to have leapt into a river when an evil king captured his kingdom. Fishermen tried to save him by beating on drums and splashing their oars to keep the water dragons away. When they realized that it was too late, they scattered rice dumplings into the river so that his soul would never be hungry.

8 Children’s Books about the Dragon Boat Festival

Babies & Toddlers

One Is a Drummer: A Book of Numbers
by Roseanne Thong

Children's Books about the Dragon Boat Festival: One is a drummer

“One is drummer / One is a race / One is a dragon boat / that wins first place!” One Is A Drummer is a lively counting book that features many Asian objects, from dragon boats and dim sum cards to mahjong tiles and bamboo stalks. With rhyming text and bright gouache illustrations, this engaging picture book will appeal to little ones everywhere. ~ Babies & Toddlers

Related: Asian Children’s Books for Babies & Toddlers



Gung Ho! A Dragon Boat Story
by Susan Hughes

Children's Books about the Dragon Boat Festival: Gung Ho!

Gung-Ho! follows a dragon boat team as they prepare for the race, are taken on a fantastic flight through Philadelphia, and arrive back just in time to win the race.  With simple text and warm watercolour-and-pencil paintings, this beautiful picture book captures the exciting atmosphere of the dragon boat festival. All proceeds from this edition go to The Nexus School for children within the autism spectrum in Pennsylvania. ~ Preschool

Related: 16 Multicultural Children’s Books about Autism

Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival
by Sanmu Tang

Children's Books about the Dragon Boat Festival: Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival

Little Mei’s family prepares for the Dragon Boat Festival. She wants to know why she must wear a special scented pouch to ward off the evil spirits. Her grandfather tells her the story of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet who loved his kingdom so much that he gave his life for it. Celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival is a colourful picture book about a little girl’s excitement on the day of the festival. Includes a recipe for zongzi, traditional sticky rice balls wrapped in reed leaves.  ~ Preschool

Related: 180+ Asian & Asian American Books For Children & Teenagers

Dragon Boat Festival Wishes
by Jillian Lin

“Our family is excited, especially Baba. / He has been training for today all year. / It is the Dragon Boat Festival.” Written in English and Chinese, Dragon Boat Festival Wishes follows Ying and Han as their family prepares for and celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival. Backmatter includes more facts and questions for discussion. ~ Preschool

Related:  Asian Children’s Books for Preschool


Elementary School

Celebrating Chinese Festivals: A Collection of Holiday Tales, Poems and Activities
by Sanmu Tang

Celebrating Chinese Festivals presents the most important festivals of China, explaining the traditions, foods, activities and special customs that go with them. Learn all about the Chinese New Year, with fireworks at midnight, lion dancing and visiting with family members; the Lantern Festival, a parade of lanterns to celebrate the first full moon; the Dragon Boat Festival, full of dragon boat racing and lots of zongzi to eat; and many more! ~ Elementary School

Related: 28 Children’s Books About The Lunar New Year

Awakening the Dragon: The Dragon Boat Festival
by Arlene Chan

Children's Books about the Dragon Boat Festival: Awakening the Dragon

Arlene Chan, a librarian and dragon boat racer herself, explains the origins and customs of the dragon boat festival, from wearing fragrant pouches to eating rice dumplings and participating in the thrilling boat race. The stunning, detailed illustrations in Awakening the Dragon reflect the spirit of this ancient festival beautifully. ~ Elementary School

Related: Asian Children’s Books for Elementary School

The Legend of the Dragon Boat
by Slong

Due to be released 30 June 2021, The Legend of the Dragon Boat is an imaginative story about family and growth. Whenever Grandpa talked about the dragon boat worshipped in the ancestral shrine, his face glowed with excitement. In Grandpa’s story, the dragon boat was a superhero, but little girl Ying Er doubted it. “On the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, it was hot and humid, and pests were rampant. Danger was approaching.” Because of Ying Er’s negligence, disasters struck in waves . . .Can the dry, cracked old dragon boat with a missing tooth turn into a superhero as Grandpa said? ~ Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, Activities & Recipes
by Nina Simonds

Children's Books about the Dragon Boat Festival: Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats

Amongst other Chinese holidays, Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats features a section about the Dragon Boat Festival. Starting with a description of the history and customs of the festival, the section includes the tale of Qu Yuan, a recipe for sweet rice packages and step-by-step instructions for building a miniature dragon boat. ~ Elementary School

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3 Responses

  1. Ann
    | Reply

    What an interesting story. Thanks for sharing. Lots of great books to choose from, too.

  2. Tara
    | Reply

    Great collection of books!

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