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Celebrating Diverse Books: AANHPI Heritage Month

Representation Matters

Children’s books are an easy way to showcase rich and diverse cultures. Through these books, children can learn about traditional practices and beliefs, discover new foods and customs, and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the diversity within Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities. Reading books featuring a diverse cast can help foster empathy, promote cultural awareness, and provide representation for children who may not often see themselves reflected in mainstream media.

This AANHPI Heritage Month, take the time to explore the wonderful world of children’s literature and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of these vibrant communities.

Storytime with Pua Aquino

Join Aunty Pua Aquino, Hawaiian Cultural Specialist for the Partners in Development Foundation, as reads her book, “My Kalo Has Lau, Big and Green.” 

Follow along as a young girl explores how her kalo patch is nourished by the nature that surrounds her island. Written in a mix of Hawaiian and English, this story teaches children about the natural world and exposes them to new cultures.

Read Aloud with Angel Halo Chang

Join “mauthor”(mother + author) and illustrator Angel Halo Chang and friends as they read aloud from “ABC: Adobo, Boba, Chai”

This board book is a journey from A-to-Z that celebrates Asian American values for all families to enjoy. This is the first book of Angel’s new collection that are inspired by #VeryAsian values. 

Our Picks: Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Hertiage Month Children's Books

ABC: Adobo, Boba, Chai by Angel Halo Chang

This alphabet board book highlights Asian American values in a fun and entertaining way. This book also features Asian grandparents from different cultures as a sign of respect for the elders. Also included is a glossary as a great learning tool for new vocabulary in the Asian culture.

Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park

In bouncy rhyming text, an excited and hungry child tells about helping her mother make bee-bim bop: shopping, preparing ingredients, setting the table, and finally sitting down with her family to enjoy a favorite meal.

The energy and enthusiasm of the young narrator are conveyed in the whimsical illustrations, which bring details from the artist’s childhood in Korea to his depiction of a modern Korean American family.

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.

Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages.

Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho

“Monkey, monkey, don’t come swinging. Can’t you see that baby’s sleeping? Monkey, monkey, don’t you cry. My baby’s sleeping right nearby.” One by one, A mother asks a lizard, a monkey, and a water buffalo to be quiet and not wake her sleeping baby. Each animal makes its own gentle sound before being silenced. 

My Kalo has Lau, Big and Green by Pua Aquino

My Kalo Has Lau, Big and Green book walks keiki(children) through how each part of a Kalo plant is symbolized by the different generations within the Hawaiian ‘ohana (family).

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar

Harpreet Singh loves to change the color of his patka (turban) to make sure it matches his outfit. But when his family moves to a gray and snowy city, how will he bring color into his life again?

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

This bi-lingual counting board book pairs traditional Chinese food items with number words in Mandarin and English. Numbers are shown in both simplified and traditional Chinese and English, making learning both easy and fun.

Too Many Mangos by Tammy Paikai

Based on the author’s childhood experiences, Too Many Mangos is the story of two young Hawaiians, Kama and Nani, who help their grandpa pick mangos from the giant mango tree. They pick large, small, ripe, half-ripe, and even green mangos. But this time, they’ve picked too many, so it’s time to load up the wagon and share the tasty treats with friends and family. Along the way, they show young readers the many ways to enjoy the treasured island fruit, and introduce their friendly neighbors around the block.

Raise children who will stand up against racism and injustice.

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