Mid-Autumn Festival, Mooncake Festival, Moon Festival – whatever you call it, we're reading some fun stories with the kiddos for the celebrations…
We’re always looking for ways to get the kids hooked on books. Luckily, Singapore has plenty of cultural events and traditions to get the kids talking, wondering and wanting to read. With Mid-Autumn Festival here, we’re not just stocking up on mooncakes, pomelos and lanterns. We’re also digging through the best local libraries and our fave bookstores for some cool Mid-Autumn Festival books! We’ve found tales about rabbits, mooncakes plus rather cool folklore for kids of all ages: perfect to inspire some fun chats about all things Mid-Autumn and mooncakes…
(Psst, after you’re done reading these books, check out Netflix’s Mid-Autumn Festival movie, Over The Moon for more!)
15 books about the Mid-Autumn Festival for kids to read
1. The Wee Adventures of Shabu Shabu – The Jade Legend by Kristina Thornton and Michael Csokas
Shabu Shabu’s grandfather has been telling her stories of his adventures and of the legendary Jade Rabbit of the moon since she was tiny. By the time Shabu has built a strong enough telescope, her grandfather is no longer able to see the Jade Rabbit, but she does see something… or is it someone? Kiddos will have a blast following the steampunk adventure of brave Shabu and her friend Chow the squirrel.
2. The Shadow in the Moon by Christina Matula
The story of Chang’E, the lady on the moon, comes to life in this enchanting book following two sisters celebrating and learning about the Mid-Autumn Festival with their family. Learn about the archer, Hou Yi, his brave wife, Chang’E, and how a potion of immortality ended up tearing these two lovers apart.
3. Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
Some cultures believe a man lives on the moon, some believe it is Chang ‘E, and some believe it is a rabbit. It’s not the first time a rabbit has been mistaken for something else. Not exactly a Mid-Autumn book but this fun read-aloud board book is a hit with kiddos who love silly arguments (all of them, then!).
4. Man on the Moon (A Day in the Life of Bob) by Simon Bartram
Speaking of the man on the moon, who is he? Well, apparently his name is Bob and his job is to fly to the moon every day and make sure it is kept clean and tidy. He entertains space tourists and educates visitors on the moon, and keeps an eye out for aliens. Not that there are any, he would know if there were! See if you can find any funny creatures hiding among the craters…
5. The Moon Lady by Amy Tan
Do you know who else may be hiding on the moon? The Moon Lady! Take a peek into Grandmother Ying-Ying’s childhood as she looks for the Moon Lady to grant her a secret wish. On the day of the Moon Festival, Ying-Ying is dressed in silk and should be behaving nicely; instead, she gets into trouble and finds herself lost in the busy streets of China. Filled with vibrant illustrations and plenty of imagination, kiddos will love learning that even grandparents were naughty once upon a time.
6. A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin
We can’t forget one of our favourite things about Mooncake Festival – mooncakes! This gorgeous picture book will make you want to bake your very own giant mooncake. But beware of cheeky ‘Little Stars’ who get munchy and turn the full mooncake into a constellation of crumbs. From the galaxy-like home to the moon’s changing phases, this book is an absolute delight for kids who love the moon, cake… and mooncakes!
7. Mooncake (Moonbear) by Frank Asch
Forget making mooncakes – how about sampling a bite of the moon itself? Moonbear is curious as to what the moon tastes like and so sets off in a rocket. Turns out, the moon is made of cake, not cheese! Sit back with a slice of mooncake and enjoy this classic tale by beloved author and illustrator Frank Asch.
8. Georgette’s Mooncakes by Adeline Foo
Mooncakes sure are tasty, but how did they come about? These sweet lotus-filled pastries are a staple of the Mooncake Festival for good reason. Follow the story of two little girls as they find themselves in the middle of a rebellion against the Mongol rule in ancient China and find out how these cakes played a part in history.
9. Lin Yi’s Lantern by Brenda Williams
Sometimes we have to choose between what we want to do and what we should do. When Lin Yi heads to the bustling market to buy food, he spots a beautiful red rabbit lantern. He wants to buy it for the Moon Festival, but he only has enough money to buy the food he needs, so what will he do? A poignant story about temptation and discipline, the book also includes instructions for making your own lantern.
10. Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu
It’s not just the Chinese folks that celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival; in fact, it’s collectively known as Moon Festival in other Asian countries. Yobe Qiu’s children’s book shines the spotlight on three families – Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese – celebrating the festival according to their cultures, traditions and activities. Readers can see the similarities and differences in how this festival is being celebrated.
Mid-Autumn Festival in China is a celebratory time for families. Unfortunately, Maomao’s father is away and will not be able to celebrate with the family. Maomao thus decides to write a postcard for his father and asks the moon to deliver it for him. We loved that the story is told in both English and Chinese.
12. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
Here at HoneyKids, we love reading Eric Carle’s works to our kiddos… So naturally, this one has to make it to this reading list. Monica wishes she could play with the moon. The only problem is, she can’t reach it! The little girl then decides to ask her father to bring the moon down to her. Readers will learn about the lunar phases while reading this book.
13. Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong
Have you noticed that mooncakes are exclusively round in shape? Bet you didn’t know that! In this cute rhyming book, a little girl goes around her neighbourhood looking for things that are round, square, and even rectangular in shape. Most of the items she found are of Asian origins, and a short glossary explains the cultural significance of the objects featured in the book.
14. Mooncakes by Loretta Seto
This book tells the story of a family celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival together. While they eat mooncakes and drink tea under the moon, the girl’s parents explain the festival’s history and three ancient tales. There are a lot of rave reviews for this on Amazon, so this is a must-get and a must-read!
15. The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
Is your child curious about the moon? Get them this book, where they can read up on fascinating facts about the moon. From how the moon affects the ocean‘s tides to why there are eclipses, your littles will discover a lot about Earth’s sole natural satellite. Legends about the moon, trivia, and facts about the moon landing are also included.
Love this list of Mid-Autumn Festival books for kids? Check out our roundup of Singapore’s best mooncakes!