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50 Beautiful Children’s Books Written with Asian Heritage & Culture in Mind

This blog post will highlight 50 beautiful children’s books written with Asian heritage and culture in mind. These books celebrate the diverse experiences and perspectives of Asian communities and are an excellent way to introduce children to different cultures, customs, and traditions. These Asian American children’s books offer heartwarming stories about family and friendship to adventurous tales of travel and discovery, these books offer something for readers of all ages.

Whether you’re looking to expand your child’s reading list or searching for the perfect gift for a young reader, you’re sure to find something special on this list. Join us as we explore the vibrant world of Asian children’s literature.

  1. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

It is a fantasy adventure novel about a young girl named Minli who travels to change her family’s fortune and find the Old Man of the Moon. She encounters a dragon along the journey who becomes her companion, and together they endure many hardships and learn the true meaning of family and friendship.

  1. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

This children’s book is about a Korean girl named Unhei who moves to America and struggles to fit in. She considers changing her name to something that sounds more American, but after working on a project in class, she embraces the uniqueness of her name and her culture.

  1. I Am Golden by Eva Chen

An ode to the immigrant experience, and a manifesto of self-love for Chinese American children, this joyful and lyrical picture book is a New York Times bestselling title.

  1. The Together Tree by Aisha Saeed

It is a story about a young girl named Amina who is forced to leave her home and community in Pakistan to live with her estranged father in America. As she struggles to adjust to her new life, she learns the true meaning of family, sacrifice, and the power of hope and forgiveness.

  1. A New Day by Anuja Mohla

A new day is a book about a fun day with lots of new things that can happen. It will be a learning adventure for you and your little one. Children will have a lot of fun learning about colours, numbers, and opposites. This book will help people of all ages learn the basic Gujarati words they need to talk to each other.

  1. Tomorrow is New Year’s Day by Aram Kim

Tomorrow is New Year’s Day, written and drawn by Korean American Aram Kim. It is about a little girl who tells her classmates about the fun traditions of Seollal, the Korean Lunar New Year. Aram Kim has made a must-have book for the New Year’s season with this happy book about celebrating old traditions with new friends. There is a glossary of Korean words and a guide to how to say them.

  1. Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina Gilmore Young

Cora comes from a Filipino family that loves food, but since she is the youngest, she only gets to do “kid jobs” in the kitchen. One day, it’s just her and her mom, and she gets to learn how to make pencils, which is one of her favourite foods.

  1. Baby Snack Time Board Books by Judy Li

It is a board book that is written in both English and Mandarin. It also uses pinyin, a Romanization system that helps people learn how to say Mandarin. This book is great for kids ages 1 to 6, which is the best time to learn a language. In “Baby Snack Time,” snacks that many Asian families grew up with are used to honour Asian culture. Both adults and children will enjoy it.

  1. Bowie’s School Trip by Lisa Chan

It is written in Simplified Chinese, English, and Pinyin, and it has five buttons that play popular nursery rhymes in Mandarin. In the story, Bowie and her friends go on their first school trip. They start by taking a bus to a lake where they learn how to fish. Then, Bowie and her friends go to a farm, where Bowie milks a cow and plays with her dog. This interactive bilingual music book is the perfect place for young children to start learning English and Chinese.

  1. I am an Amazing Asian Girl by Yobe Qiu

Looking for a story that will help your child feel better about herself? I Am an Amazing Asian Girl shows young people that they can do anything if they believe in themselves. Yobe Qiu, an author and teacher, wrote this story to help young Asian girls see their strength, power, and worth. As you read, page-by-page affirmations will pop up. This Asian girl is active, liked, and real, among other things.

  1. Are There Nuts in That? by Hanna Chung

“Are There Nuts in That?” helps young kids allergic to nuts learn more about their allergies and how to deal with them. In different parts of this sturdy board book, Logan tries to avoid eating nuts. “Are There Nuts in That?” is a great way to start helping your toddler learn how to live with nut allergies. It has simple words and cute pictures.

  1. My Name Is Saajin Singh By Kuljinder Kaur Brar

In this book, the main character is Saajin. Saajin likes his name. He likes it so much that he sees it everywhere—on his snacks, in the sky, and even sometimes when he sings. Here, Saajin realizes how important it is to take back his name and accept who he is. This empowering story, with illustrations by Samrath Kaur that are lively and full of colour, will speak to anyone who has ever felt misunderstood.

  1. The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman

It is a nonfiction book for kids about the artist and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian. She was one of the first to study insects and draw their life cycles in detail.

  1. The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio

It is a middle-grade novel about a Filipino-American girl named Lou who wants to build a house for her family. Through her determination and hard work, Lou learns about the importance of community, family, and following her dreams.

  1. The Umbrella Queen by Shirin Yim Bridges

This picture book is about a little Chinese girl who wants to make umbrellas like her father. She learns the importance of hard work and perseverance through her journey to achieve her dreams.

  1. The Runaway Rice Cake by Ying Chang Compestine

It is a children’s picture book that tells a folktale of a rice cake that wants to escape being eaten. The rice cake learns through its journey how important it is to work hard and how important it is to be appreciated.

  1. The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart

This novel tells the story of a young boy named Reuben who discovers a mysterious watch that allows him to turn invisible. He uses this ability to uncover a secret society and solve a crime with the help of his friends.

  1. My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits

This is a story of a young girl named Yoon adjusting to life in America after moving from Korea. Through her struggles with language and fitting in, Yoon learns to appreciate her unique name and culture.

  1. The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin

The young Chinese-American protagonist, Willow, grows to love the unattractive vegetables in her garden as she reads this charming picture book. Along the way, she discovers the value of history, customs, and variety.

  1. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

It is a children’s book about a young Asian princess who outsmarts a dragon and saves her prince. Through her wit and determination, she learns the true meaning of strength and self-reliance.

  1. The Magic Brush by Minfong Ho

It is a children’s novel that tells the story of a young Chinese boy named Ma Liang, who is gifted with a magic paintbrush. He uses his gift to help the poor and oppressed but soon learns that with great power comes great responsibility.

  1. The Terrible Suitcase by Emma Allen

There is a story of a young Japanese girl named Emiko who must confront her fear of a mysterious suitcase left behind by her grandmother. Through her journey, she learns about family, heritage, and the importance of facing our fears.

  1. The Tiger’s Egg by Lensey Namioka

In search of a mystical egg, a young Chinese girl named Taro learns important lessons about the value of tradition and family and develops her own sense of bravery and tenacity.

  1. The Legend of the Poppy by Tomie dePaola

The writer describes a story of a young Chinese boy named Ying who learns about courage, sacrifice, and the true meaning of friendship through a legend about the poppy flower.

  1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The novel tells the story of two boys growing up in Afghanistan and the events that bind them together and tear them apart. Through their journey, they learn about friendship, loyalty, and the true meaning of family.

  1. The Girl Who Could Fly by P.J. Petersen

There is a story of a young Japanese-American girl named Yuki who discovers she can fly. Through her journey, she learns about identity, heritage, and the importance of standing up for what is right.

  1. The Magic Paintbrush by Demi

This picture book has beautiful pictures that tell the story of a poor Chinese boy named Ma Liang, who a god gives a magic paintbrush. With it, he is able to bring to life anything he paints and uses it to help the poor and oppressed.

  1. Where The River Begins by Thomas Locker

It is a children’s book that tells the story of a young Asian boy named Young Lee who embarks on a journey to find the source of a river, and in the process, he learns about the natural world and the importance of preserving it.

  1. The Secret Keeper by Katherine Marsh

This is a middle-grade novel set in Korea during the Korean War. It follows a little girl named Jinny as she faces the perils of war and her family’s dark background.

  1. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

It is a fantasy book for young adults that tells the story of a young girl named Asha. She is the last of a group called the Namsara, who can control dragons by telling stories. Asha must confront her past and the truth about her people to save her kingdom.

  1. The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

This novel tells the story of a young girl named Nisha who lives in India during the Partition. Through her diary entries, she learns about the meaning of family, identity, and the cost of war.

  1. The Girl from the Mountain by Nicole Helget

There is a story of a young Hmong girl named Mai who must confront her culture’s traditions and her family’s expectations after her mother’s death.

  1. The Red Thread by Grace Lin

It is a children’s book that tells the story of a young Chinese-American girl named Dawn who learns about the Chinese legend of the red thread, which connects people who are destined to be together. Through her journey, she learns about family, identity, and the importance of following her heart.

  1. The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland

This children’s book tells the story of a young Vietnamese girl named Lan who must confront the memories of her past and the expectations of her culture after her mother’s death.

  1. The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina

There is a story of a young Mexican-American girl named Ana who discovers she has the power to control the wind. With this power, she must confront the secrets of her past and the expectations of her community.

  1. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

It is a novel that tells the story of a young Chinese-American girl named Emily who moves to a small town in North Carolina and learns about the secrets of her past and the magic of the town.

  1. The House that Uncle Thomas Built by Uma Krishnaswami

It is a picture book that depicts the narrative of a little Indian kid who learns about his family’s history and culture from his uncle’s stories.

  1. The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng

There is a story of a young Chinese-American girl named Anna who struggles to fit in at school and finds solace in reading.

  1. The Little Crane by Yumi Heo

This picture book tells the story of a young crane who learns the importance of perseverance and determination when he tries to fly for the first time.

  1. The Secret Keepers of Nagasaki by Heather Morris

This novel tells the story of a young Japanese boy named Tomoya who discovers a hidden family secret after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

  1. The Memory Keeper by Kim Fay

It is a story of a young Cambodian girl named Rina who learns about the importance of family and the power of memory after losing her mother during the Khmer Rouge regime.

  1. The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Ashok K. Banker

This young adult novel follows Laxmi, a young Indian girl who must negotiate the perilous worlds of politics and magic in order to learn the truths of her history and save her family.

  1. The Red Lantern by Grace Lin

It is a picture book that tells the story of a young Chinese-American girl named Mei-Mei who learns about the importance of family, tradition, and the power of memories during the Chinese New Year.

  1. The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

This fantasy novel tells the story of a young girl named Marinka who comes from a long line of Baba Yagas and must navigate the challenges of her role as a gatekeeper between the living and the dead.

  1. The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

It is a middle-grade novel that tells the story of two young sisters from India who must navigate the challenges of living on the streets of Chennai and finding a way back to their family.

  1. The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

There is a story of a young girl named Ami who lives on a remote island in the Philippines and must confront the challenges of modernization and the loss of her culture.

  1. The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs

This novel tells the story of a young Asian-American boy named Lewis who moves in with his eccentric uncle and learns about magic, mystery, and the power of family.

  1. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

That young adult novel tells the story of a young boy named Matteo Alacrán, who lives in a world where clones are treated as property and must navigate the challenges of identity, humanity, and the power of love.

  1. The Day of the Dragon King by Jean Marzollo

This book is a children’s book that tells the story of a young Chinese boy who must confront the challenges of a dragon king who wants to destroy the world.

  1. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

It is a novel that tells the story of a young girl named Laurel who discovers a hidden family secret and must navigate the challenges of her past and the power of family and friendship.

Conclusion

In conclusion, many beautiful Asian American children’s books. From fantasy and adventure to historical fiction and nonfiction, these books offer a diverse range of stories that explore different aspects of Asian culture and heritage. They offer both children in the AAPI community as well as others the opportunity to learn about different cultures, traditions, and customs while also providing a window into the experiences of children growing up in different parts of the world.

These books also provide a powerful reminder of the importance of family, community, and self-discovery. These Asian children’s books can help to promote a deeper understanding of the world around us and inspire children to explore their heritage and identity. Whether you’re looking for a heartwarming tale, an action-packed adventure, or a thought-provoking story, there’s something for everyone in the world of Asian children’s literature.

 

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