Books for Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month
6 children's books by Asian American authors and illustrators
Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! One way to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month with your kids this May is by reading books by Asian American authors and illustrators. All of these books are available from the Philadelphia Free Library and tell a wide variety of stories. This is only a small selection of all titles for young readers by Asian Americans that the library has to offer; be sure to browse their full list for even more recent picks.
by Supriya Kelkar and illustrated by Parvati Pillai
This book is about a young girl named Bindu who connects with her grandmother over their mutual love of bindis, which are forehead decorations worn by women in South Asia. “Bindu’s Bindis” explores themes of self-confidence and acceptance. Ages 3-7 years.
by Mark Karlins and illustrated by Nicole Wong
After watching his grandfather write a haiku, Kiyoshi asks him “Where do poems come from?” and they set off on a walk, observing sights around the city as the grandfather continues to compose haikus. This book is a beautiful way to introduce your kids to the poetry that is all around them. Ages 6-8 years.
by Thao Lam
In this book, Thao Lam tells the story of growing up with a Vietnamese name that was often mispronounced at school. Through typography, childhood photos and collage, Lam explores ideas about identity and cultural pride in a kid-friendly way. Ages 4-8 years.
“My Day with Gong Gong”
by Sennah Lee and illustrated by Elaine Chen
This story follows the main character May as she spends a day with her grandfather, Gong Gong, in Chinatown. Gong Gong doesn’t speak much English and May doesn’t know Chinese, so they have trouble connecting until Gong Gong gives May an unexpected gift. Ages 4-7 years.
“Up to My Knees!”
by Grace Lin
Caldecott Honor winner Grace Lin introduces young children to math in this board book that follows Mei as she plants a sunflower seed and takes measurements of the flower as it grows. “Up to My Knees!” is part of the Storytelling Math book series that encourages kids to explore math through daily adventures and activities. Ages 3 months-2 years.
“Sugar in Milk”
by Thrity Umrigar and illustrated by Khoa Le
“Sugar in Milk” follows a young immigrant girl struggling with loneliness and homesickness until her aunt tells an ancient folktale about refugees. The folktale that Thrity Umrigar shares in her beautifully illustrated book is one that she frequently heard during her Zoroastrian upbringing as a Parsi child in India. Ages 4-8 years.