10 Children’s Books to Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage


Raising our book-loving Filipino-American daughter, we decided that it’s important to start including more diverse options in her book collection each month. May is AAPI Heritage Month. Here is a short list of 10 Children’s Books to Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month that are currently in the bedtime story rotation!

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

Your child will learn about the different phases of the moon and the mischievous nature of the Little Star, who sneaks away each night, eating a bit of the big mooncake that she baked with her mom.

Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Gillmore

Being the youngest in her family, little Cora is never able to do the big kid jobs in the kitchen. One day, her mom chooses her to help shred the chicken and to stir the noodles for her favorite Filipino dish, pancit!

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho

The young girl in this book notices that her eyes are a little different from her peers. But she quickly learns that her eyes that “kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea” are beautiful; filled with stories of the past like her Amah and hope for the future like Mei-Mei.

The Most Beautiful Thing by Kao Kalia Yang

The author draws from her own experience as a Hmong refugee, leaving the jungles of Laos to start a new life in the United States. It is her grandmother who helps her to see that sometimes the most beautiful thing is found with the people we love most.

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Recently moved from Korea, Unhei is the new kid in school. She’s anxious about hearing her classmates try to pronounce her name, so she comes up with the idea to pick a more American name from the Name Jar by the end of the week. But the Name Jar disappears, since her classmates want her to embrace her name.

Natsumi! by Susan Lendroth

As Natsumi tries to prepare for her town’s Japanese arts festival, she can’t seem to get anything right. From stirring the tea too vigorously to arranging the flowers incorrectly, she learns by the end of the story that sometimes, you just march to the beat of your own drum!

No Kim Chi for Me by Aram Kim

Yoomi is not a fan of kimchi, the pickled cabbage served at Korean meals. She tries everything from putting it on pizza to eating it with ice cream. Nothing works until her Grandma makes a kimchi pancake.

Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers

This beautifully illustrated book follows Finn’s imagination as her remembers the stories that his grandfather told him about the area where the ocean meets the sky. Your kids will love the whimsical illustrations as Finn travels on his boat, meeting whales, jellyfish, and other boats!

One, Two, Three, Dim Sum A Mandarin-English Counting Book by Richard Lo

Featuring traditional Chinese food items, readers learn that two is for chopsticks and five is for egg rolls! This book teaches numbers 1-10, showing simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, and English.

The Umbrella Queen by Shirin Yim Bridges

Noot is finally old enough to paint umbrellas like the other girls in her village. She first starts with the traditional flowers and butterflies like her mother and grandmother. But her imagination takes over, now wondering if she will be named the Umbrella Queen?

Do you have a favorite book to celebrate Asian American Heritage Month? Share your favorites with #MomsAroundLouisville!


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