Staff Picks: Children's Books to Celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we're sharing children's books that offer positive, diverse representations of Asian American and Pacific Islander history and culture. Enjoy them all year long!
Check out our AAPI children's book staff picks:
1. Suki's Kimono
By Chieri Uegaki
Spirited Suki wears her kimono, a gift from her obachan, on the first day of school.
"One of my daughter's favorites - beautifully illustrated, spirited characters, loving memories of a grandmother" - Laurel MacLaren, International Programs
2. The Ugly Vegetables
By Grace Lin
A little girl worries what their neighbors will think when their garden is filled with 'ugly-looking' traditional Chinese vegetables instead of beautiful flowers. In the end, the neighbors are happy to join the family eating food made from the vegetables.
"It's a common theme in America that children of immigrants are made to feel embarrassed about the foods the eat, etc. This book validates that immigrant experience while showing the value that the immigrant culture brings to America and shows the little girl learning to appreciate that aspect of her family's culture." - Heidi Schubert, Department of Education and Child Protection
3. The Gift of Ramadan
By Rabiah Lumbard
A little girl learns about the meaning of Ramadan as she tries to fast for the first time
"While not solely AAPI, the majority of the world's Muslims do live in Asia, and Ramadan is one the most important celebrations." - Laurel MacLaren, International Programs
4. Keala and the Hawaiian Bird
By Patricia McLean
A delightful story told in rhyme that will give kids an idea of what it's like growing up in Hawaii, where bird song is always in the air.
"While my family is from Hawaii, we do not live there now. So, my three daughters enjoy reading this book as well as others in the series to learn more about their Asian American & Pacific Islander cultural heritage from another child’s point of view. They also love that the main character has the same name as my middle daughter – Keala. She adores reading these stories with her friends to show them the beauty of her home." - Sarah Takatani Angel-Johnson, Buisness & Technology Solutions
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