Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage


Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers by Lina AlHathloul and Uma Mishra-Newbery, illustrated by Rebecca Green

Published by mineditionUS, 2022

Loujain and her father defy the rules that girls can’t fly in a story inspired by a real-life woman jailed for protesting the law against driving in Saudi Arabia. 40 pages; grades 1-5.

Laxmi’s Mooch by Shelly Anand, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali

Published by Kokila, 2021

When another girl makes fun of Laxmi’s “whiskers”, her parents assure her that all the women in her family have a “mooch.” Laxmi is empowered to share this with her classmates, and before long, everyone is celebrating their whiskers. 32 pages; ages 4-8.

I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne, illustrated by Julia Kuo

Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2021

A girl loves spending time with her grandmother, Popo, but when she and her family move to the United States and Popo remains in Taiwan, their relationship changes. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

I Am Golden by Eva Chen, illustrated by Sophie Diao

Published by Feiwel and Friends, 2022

Chinese parents address their beloved child, Mei, a name that means beautiful, telling her all the beautiful things they see when they look at her.  They acknowledge that people may treat her as though she’s different but encourage her to remember her heritage which gives her the strength and power to be golden.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Golden Threads by Suzanne Del Rizzo, illustrated by Miki Sato

Published by Owlkids, 2020

The stuffed fox narrator tells the story of being washed away in a storm and, broken and battered, finding a new home where he is loved and restored. Introduces two Japanese ideas: kintsugi, in which broken china is mended with gold, encouraging reuse instead of throwing away; and wabi-sabi, finding beauty in things that are imperfect and incomplete. 32 pages; ages 4-8.

Amira’s Picture Day by Reem Faruqi, illustrated by Fahmida Azim

Published by Holiday House, 2021

When Amira’s class picture day conflicts with her family’s celebration of Eid, she figures out a way to enjoy the holiday, make it to school for the picture, and share a little bit of Eid with her classmates. 40 pages; grades K-3.

Nana, Nenek, & Nina by Liza Ferneyhough

Published by Dial Books, 2022

Nina’s grandmothers live a world away: Nana in England and Nenek in Malaysia. She loves to see them, although she misses her home and the other grandmother whenever she goes for a visit. 32 pages; ages 4-8.

Amah Faraway by Margaret Chiu Greanis, illustrated by Tracy Subisak

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2022

Although Kylie loves her Saturday computer chats with Amah, things are different when she visits Taipei, and it takes her awhile to feel comfortable with Amah in person. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Kapaemahu by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu Dean Hamer, and Joe Wilson, illustrated by Daniel Sousa

Published by Kokila, 2022

 This Hawaiian legend tells the story of four healers, or mahu, who traveled from Tahiti and were neither male nor female, but “a mixture of both in mind, heart, and spirit.” 40 pages, grades 1-5.

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho, illustrated by Dung Ho

Published by HarperCollins, 2021

 “Some people have eyes like sapphire lagoons with lashes like lace trim on ballgowns,” a Chinese-American girl reflects.  “Not me.” She shows readers the warm connections among the girls and women in her family, reflected in their eyes that “kiss in the corners” and concludes that all of their eyes are beautiful. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

I Am the Subway by Kim Hyo-eun, translated by Deborah Smith

Published by Scribble US, 2021

A subway train that is part of the Seoul network (one of the longest in the world) tells the story of its travels. 52 pages; grades 1-5.

Dumplings for Lili by Melissa Iwai

Published by Norton Young Readers, 2021

When Lili and Nai Nai run out of cabbage for their baos, Lili goes in search of some through Nai Nai’s apartment building and gets some lessons about dumplings from other cultures and countries. 48 pages; ages 4-8.

My Grandma and Me by Mina Javaherbin, illustrated by Lindsey Yankey

Published by Candlewick Press, 2019

The narrator describes her beloved grandmother, and how they spent their days together as she grew up in Iran. 32 pages; ages 4-8.

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by  Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Alea Marley

Published by Sterling Children’s Books, 2019

Harpreet loves to dress according to his moods until a big move with his family has him feeling shy and sticking with “safe” colors like white and gray. 32 pages; ages 3-8.

Under My Hijab by Hena Khan, illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel

Published by Lee and Low Books, 2019

A young girl talks about the different women in her life–her baker grandmother, doctor mother, artist aunt, and fashionista older sister–and how each one has a distinctive way of wearing her hijab. 32 pages; ages 4-8.

The Shape of Home by Rashin Kheiriyeh

Published by Levine Querido, 2021

It’s Rashin’s first day of school, having recently immigrated from Iran to the U.S. When she tells her classmates the shapes of things she encountered that morning, they start sharing what shapes their countries of origin are, including Iran, shaped like a Persian cat. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Finding Papa by Angela Pham Krans, illustrated by Thi Bui

Published by HarperCollins, 2023

Mai and her mother make a perilous journey from Vietnam to America to reunite with her papa. Based on the author’s real-life experience in 1983. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Dim Sum, Here We Come! By Maple Lam

Published by HarperCollins, 2023

A girl is excited to be heading out for a weekly dim sum extended family gathering at their favorite restaurant.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

The Paper Boat: A Refugee Story by Thao Lam

Published by Owlkids Books, 2020

This wordless picture book tells the story of how the author’s family escaped from Vietnam in 1980 when she was two years old. 40 pages; grades 2-7.

Chloe’s Lunar New Year by Lily LaMotte, illustrated by Michelle Lee

Published by HarperCollins, 2023

Chloe and her family get ready for Lunar New Year, cleaning, cooking, and preparing a special place of honor for A-má, observing the holiday tradition of honoring ancestors. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Drawn Together by Minh Le, illustrated by Dan Santat

Published by Disney-Hyperion, 2018

A boy is bored while staying with his grandfather, who only speaks Thai, but they finally find a way to communicate through their drawings of superheroes. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

Published by Little, Brown and Company, 2018

Little Star can’t help nibbling bits of her mama’s moon cake in this story inspired by the Asian Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. 32 pages; ages 4-8.

Friends Are Friends Forever by Dane Liu, illustrated by Lynn Scurfield

Published by Henry Holt and Co., 2022

Dandan enjoys a final Lunar New Year with her best friend Yueyue before moving to the U.S. where her connection with Yueyue helps her make a new friend. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Ohana Means Family by Ilima Loomis, illustrated by Kenard Pak

Published by Neal Porter Books, 2020

In a “This is the house that Jack built” cumulative style, the author recounts the steps necessary to get the poi for the family’s (‘ohana’s) lu’au, and in the process, provides an excellent introduction to native Hawaiian culture. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

The Big Bath House by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Gracey Zhang

Published by Random House, 2021

The author recalls her childhood visits to a Japanese bath house with her female relatives. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Happy Diwali! by Sanyukta Mathur and Courtney Pippin-Mathur illustrated by Courtney Pippin-Mathur

Published by Henry Holt and Co., 2021

A girl and her family prepare for Diwali by cleaning and decorating the house, cooking food, and dressing up.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine by Hannah Moushabeck, illustrated by Reem Madooh

Published by Chronicle Books, 2023

A girl and her two siblings love their father’s bedtime stories, especially those about their homeland, Palestine, a place the kids have never seen. 40 pages; grades K-3.

Home Is In Between by Mitali Perkins

Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2021

Shanti leaves her village (in India) to go to her new town (in the United States). It’s exciting to have new experiences, comforting to fall back on the old ones, and sometimes exhausting to travel between the two, but she learns how to make any place feel like home. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui

Published by Capstone, 2017

Poet Bao Phi tells a slice-of-life story from his childhood, growing up as the son of Vietnamese immigrants. On an early morning fishing expedition to help feed their family of seven, the boy’s father tells stories about his own childhood and surviving the Vietnam War. 32 pages; grades 1-5.

My First Day by Phúng Nguyên Quang, illustrated by Huỳnh Kim Liên

Published by Make Me a World, 2021

A young boy describes the journey from his home along the Mekong River to an unknown destination, which in the end turns out to be his new school. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Salma the Syrian Chef by Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron

Published by Annick Press, 2020

Salma and her mother are living in Vancouver’s Welcome Center waiting for Papa to join them from Syria. When Salma notices how tired and sad her mother is, she decides to make her mom’s favorite food, and everyone at the Welcome Center pitches in. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

The Turtle Ship by Helena Ku Rhee, illustrated by Colleen Kong-Savage

Published by Shen’s Books, 2018

A blend of Korean folklore and history, this tells the story of Sun-sin (later Admiral Yi Sun-sin) who was inspired by his pet turtle to create the Turtle Ship, which became a key to the Korean navy’s success. 32 pages; grades 1-4.

Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed, illustrated by Anoosha Syed

Published by Salaam Reads/Simon and Schuster, 2019

Bilal invites his friends over for dinner to sample some of the daal his father is cooking.  The kids help get things started, but when his friends think the ingredients look and smell funny, Bilal is worried. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

A Sweet New Year for Ren by Michelle Sterling, illustrated by Dung Ho

Published by Simon and Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2022

Ren wants to help with the Lunar New Year preparations, but everyone keeps telling her she’s too little. When her big brother Charlie comes home, he finds a way to include Ren in the festivities. 32 pages; ages 4-8.

Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

Published by Kokila, 2021

Fatima and her family enjoy a “great American pastime” when they go on their first camping trip. Includes information about the organization @brownpeoplecamping, founded by the author. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Wishes by Muợn Thị Văn, illustrated by Victo Ngai

Published by Orchard Books, 2021

The story of a refugee family shows them saying goodbye to loved ones, walking a long road with three small children, and traveling by boat on a stormy sea until they are finally picked up by a larger ship and see their destination ahead. Based on the author’s family’s escape from Vietnam. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Watercress by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chin

Published by Neal Porter Books, 2021

The narrator is embarrassed and angry when her family stops to gather watercress by the side of the road. Back home, her mother tells her a story of the famine she endured as a child in China, changing the girl’s perspective on the watercress. 32 pages; grades 1-5.

Playing With Lanterns by Wang Yage, illustrated by Zhe Chengliang, translated by Helen Wang

Published by Amazon Crossing, 2022

Translated from the original Chinese, this tells the story of Zhou Di and her friends who celebrate the new year for 15 days. 40 pages; ages 4-8.

Grandpa Across the Ocean by Hyewon Yum

Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2021

The narrator doesn’t like spending time with his grandfather, who lives in a strange place, eats unfamiliar food, and doesn’t speak his language. Gradually, though, the barriers come down, and by the end of the visit, the boy has enjoyed some fun adventures, learned a few Korean words, and is eagerly anticipating a summer visit. 40 pages; ages 4-8.


Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight: Patsy Takemoto Mink and the Fight for Title IX by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Toshiki Nakamura

As a Japanese American woman, Patsy Takemoto Mink often faced discrimination, experiences she used to become the first woman of color in the U.S. Congress and to co-sponsor Title IX and fight for its passage. 47 pages; grades 1-5.

Milloo’s Mind: The Story of Maryam Faruqi, Trailblazer for Women’s Education by Reem Faruqi, illustrated by Hoda Hadadi

Published by HarperCollins, 2023

Reem Faruqi tells the story of her grandmother, who grew up in India in the early 1900’s and defied expectations by becoming a teacher and opening girls’ schools in Pakistan. 40 pages; grades K-4.

The Cat Man of Aleppo by Irene Latham and Karim Shamsi-Basha, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu

Published by G. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2020

How Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, a.k.a. Alaa, worked to save cats abandoned during wartime in his hometown of Aleppo, Syria. As his work becomes well-known, donations pour in that he is able to use to help the animals and people of his city. 40 pages; grades K-4.

The Fearless Flights of Hazel Ying Lee by Julie Leung, illustrated by Julie Kwon

Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2021

Chinese American Hazel Ling Yee fell in love with flying as a teenager and worked to pay for flying lessons. She signed on as a WASP in World War II, becoming one of the few women to fly high-powered fighter jets. A radio tower miscommunication resulted in a fatal crash, and her family had to appeal all the way to the White House for her to be buried in the whites-only cemetery. 48 pages; grades 1-5.

Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist by Julie Leung, illustrated by Chris Sasaki

Published by Schwartz and Wade, 2019

When Wong Geng Yeo and his father immigrated to the U.S. from China in 1919, they were not members of the Chinese class that was allowed to immigrate, so they had to take on different identities. His name was Americanized to Tyrus, and he went on to become an animator at Disney, most notably contributing the Chinese style of painting he knew to the film Bambi. 40 pages; grades K-5.

It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Julie Morstad

Published by HarperCollins, 2019

Gyo Fujikawa had to overcome prejudice as a Japanese American woman in the 20th century (her parents and other family members spent time in internment camps during WWII). She became a beloved children’s book illustrator, one of the first to portray children of different races. 48 pages; grades K-5.

Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story by Marc Tyler Nobleman, illustrated by Melissa Iwai

Published by Clarion Books, 2018

Twenty years after a failed attempt to bomb Oregon during World War II, Nobuo Fujito was invited by the Jaycees of Brookings, Oregon to visit the U.S. It was the beginning of a remarkable friendship between Nobuo’s family and the people of Brookings that continued for 35 years. 40 pages; grades 1-6.

The Floating Field: How a Group of Thai Boys Built Their Own Soccer Field by Scott Riley, illustrated by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien

Published by Millbrook Press, 2021

How a group of boys built an ingenious soccer field in their Thai village and created a championship soccer team. 40 pages; grades 2-6.

The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Claire A. Nivola

Published by Candlewick, 2018

After Nek Chand was forced to leave his home following the partitioning of India and Pakistan, he created a secret kingdom on some abandoned land using trash he found around his city. When it was discovered, officials wanted to destroy it, but the people of his city rallied and preserved it. 48 pages; grades 2-5.

111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl by Rina Singh, illustrated by Marianne Ferrer

Published by Kids Can Press, 2020

Growing up, Sundar Paliwal witnessed how hard his mother’s life was; as an adult, he experienced the grief of losing his daughter. He decided to plant 111 trees to honor any girl born in his village. He was elected head of his village and continues to plant trees and make sure girls have the same opportunities as boys. 36 pages; grades K-5.

Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon by Simran Jeet Singh, illustrated by Baljinder Kaur

Published by Kokila, 2020

Feeling lonely after moving from India to England at the age of 81, Fauja Singh saw people running on TV and decided to try it himself. He ran a little further each day, and eventually became the first 100-year-old to run a marathon. 48 pages; ages 4-104 (and up).

Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea: How a Science Project Helps One Family and the Planet by Elizabeth Suneby, illustrated by Rebecca Green

Published by Kids Can Press, 2018

Iqbal’s science fair project to create a solar cooker helps his family solve the health problems they’ve been experiencing from their smoky cookstove. 32 pages; grades 2-5.

Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa’ Tarnowska, illustrated by Vali Mintzi

Published by Barefoot Books, 2022

Cousins Nour and Damir start a secret library for their neighbors during the long war in Syria. 32 pages; grades 1-5.

Love In the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Yas Imamura

Published by Candlewick, 2022

Maggie Tokuda-Hall tells the story of her grandparents, Tama and George, who met while working in the library at Minidoka, a prison camp for Japanese Americans, during World War II. 40 pages; grades 2-6.

Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuko Ando by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz

Published by little bee books, 2019

How Momofuko Ando was motivated by the hunger he saw in postwar Japan to invent ramen noodles. 40 pages; grades K-5.

A Boy Named Isamu: A Story of Isamu Noguchi by James Yang

Published by Viking Books for Young Readers, 2021

The story of Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi as a child, quietly observing the world around him and seeing sticks, pebbles, and shells as gifts to him from the forest and the sea. 40 pages; ages 4-8.