The Nian Monster

Tong tong! The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales, and wide, wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling! The old tricks to keep him away don’t work on Nian anymore, but Xingling is clever. Will her quick thinking be enough to save the city from the Nian Monster?

  • 32 Pages
  • 10.75" x 8.5"
  • 9780807556429
  • December 2016

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807556436
  • December 2018

Other Places to Buy


  • Wang’s story thrills but doesn’t threaten: Chau’s wonderfully vivid watercolors give the monster doe eyes and a round body that make him seem like a cranky, overgrown teddy bear, and Wang shares cultural information about the Chinese New Year with the lightest of touches.

    - Publishers Weekly starred review

  • Alina Chau’s vibrant depictions of Shanghai’s cityscape, docks, and marketplaces surround an adorably wide-eyed Xingling as she saves the day in bunny slippers, merging old and new traditions while celebrating the spirit of the season.

    - Foreword Reviews

  • This tale of New Year’s high jinks has enough information to be enjoyed by those who have never encountered the holiday, and the focus on Xingling’s wits and the monster’s antics will be a draw for those who have celebrated it their entire lives. A fun read-aloud that’s sure to induce giggles.

    - School Library Journal

Awards & Accolades

  • The Original Art 2017 Exhibit
  • 2017-2018 Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Literature Award Picture Book Hono


Alina Chau

Common Core

L.2.3,4,4a,4c,4d,5,5a,5a,6 RF.2.3,3c,3d,3f,4,4a,4c RL.2.1,2,3,4,4,6,7,9,10 SL.2.1,1b,1c,2,3,4,6 W.2.2,3,5,6,7,8