Asian and Pacific Islander Voices: Books for Early Childhood

Updated April 18, 2024
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Drawn together
Le , Minh
When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens - with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.
Sakamoto's swim club : how a teacher led an unlikely team to victory
Abery, Julie
The inspirational and little-known story of a dedicated teacher who coached Hawaiian swimmers all the way to the Olympics, beautifully told in simple rhyme. When the children of workers on a 1930s Maui sugar plantation were chased away from playing in the nearby irrigation ditches, local science...
Where ThÆ°Æ¡ng keeps love
Buu, Thu
Inspired by the subtle yet unique differences in the notion of love between American and Vietnamese cultures, Where Thuong Keeps Love is a beautiful exploration of the nonverbal ways love is held and stored in every part of the body. "This exploration of expressing familial...
I am golden
Chen, Eva
An Instant New York Times Bestseller! This joyful and lyrical picture book from New York Times bestselling author Eva Chen and illustrator Sophie Diao is a moving ode to the immigrant experience, as well as a manifesto of self-love for Chinese American children....
Nana, Nenek & Nina
Ferneyhough, Liza
***ALA Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature honor*** Nina loves visiting her two faraway grandmas-one in Malaysia and one in England. Spot the similarities and differences between their homes in this cozy and beautifully illustrated picture book! Nina lives in...
Ho'onani : hula warrior
Gale, Heather (Children's author)
Based on a true story, Ho'onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and an empowering story of a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is - and in doing so, gains the respect of all those around her.
Aloha everything
George, Kaylin Melia
★ "A stunning tribute to Hawaiian culture and identity."-starred review, Kirkus,★ "A breathtaking picture book."-starred review, Foreword Magazine...
Leila in saffron
Guidroz, Rukhsanna
"Glorious." --Kirkus Reviews A colorful journey of self-discovery and identity, this sweet, vibrant picture book follows young Leila as she visits her grandmother's house for their weekly family dinner, and finds parts of herself and her heritage in the family, friends,...
Eyes that kiss in the corners
Ho, Joanna
A New York Times Bestseller and #1 Indie Bestseller · A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year · A School Library Journal Best Book of 2021 · Included in NPR's 2021 Books We Love List · Featured in Forbes, Oprah Daily, The Cut, and Book Riot · Golden Poppy Book Award...
Eyes that speak to the stars
Ho, Joanna
New York Times bestselling team Joanna Ho and Dung Ho present Eyes That Speak to the Stars, companion to the acclaimed Eyes That Kiss in the Corners. "A brilliant treatise to love of self and heritage." --School Library Journal (starred review) "A beautifully...
How to wear a sari
Khiani, Darshana
Sparkling with voice and charm, this picture book about a fashionable kid out to prove she's not as small as everyone thinks is perfect for kids eager to grow up, and for those who love to play dress-up. Being a little kid isn't always fun and games. Sometimes, it's...
Danbi leads the school parade
Kim, Anna
An Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book   Meet Danbi, the new girl at school! Danbi is thrilled to start her new school in America. But a bit nervous too, for when she walks into the classroom, everything goes quiet. Everyone stares. Danbi wants...
Finding Papa
Krans, Angela Pham
This poignant and lyrical debut picture book based on the author's own experience and illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Thi Bui follows young Mai and her mother's perilous journey from Vietnam to America to find Papa--who left ahead of them to start a better life for their family....
Lolo's sari-sari store
Lee, Sophia N.
A little girl holds lessons learned in her grandfather's sari-sari store close while adjusting to a new home in this sweet picture book about the joy of community, connection, and Filipino culture. For one girl, summers used to mean helping Lolo run his sari-sari store, which was...
The truth about dragons
Leung, Julie
A Caldecott Honor Winner Winner of the Asian Pacific American Award for Literature An unforgettable lyrical picture book that celebrates biracial identity from the award-winning author of Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong,...
Mommy's hometown
Lim, Hope
When a young boy and his mother travel overseas to her childhood home in Korea, the town is not as he imagined. Will he be able to see it the way Mommy does? This gentle, contemplative picture book about family origins invites us to ponder the meaning of home. A young boy loves...
A big mooncake for Little Star
Lin, Grace
A gorgeous picture book that tells a whimsical origin story of the phases of the moon, from award-winning, bestselling author-illustrator Grace Lin Pat, pat, pat... Little Star's soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake. Little Star loves the delicious...
Once upon a book
Lin, Grace
Once upon a time, there was a girl. She went to a place alive with colors, where even the morning dew was warm. Alice loves to imagine herself in the magical pages of her favorite book. So when it flaps its pages and invites her in, she is swept away to a world of wonder and...
'Ohana means family
Loomis, Ilima
Join the family, or ohana, as they farm taro for poi to prepare for a traditional luau celebration with a poetic text in the style of The House That Jack Built. An American Library Association Notable Children's Book "This is the land that's never been...
Tala learns to siva
Netane, Kealani
A lovingly empowering story about finding courage and strength in your family, history, and community through a traditional and cherished Samoan dance, taualuga. Written by debut author, Kealani Netane, and illustrated by New York Times bestselling illustrator, Dung Ho. Tala wishes that...
Bee-bim bop!
Park, Linda Sue.
A Korean American girl celebrates food and family in this cheerful book about cooking a special meal by Newbery Medalist 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,...
A different pond
Phi, Bao,
A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls "a must-read for our times," A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and...
Salma the Syrian chef
Ramadan, Ahmad Danny.
"Sure to become a favorite book about overcoming hardships and helping others. This is truly one story not to be missed." --Provo Library Children's Book Reviews 17 awards, nominations, and distinctions! Newcomer Salma and friends cook up a heartwarming dish to cheer up Mama. ...
Bilal cooks daal
Saeed, Aisha
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019 An Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book 2019 Six-year-old Bilal introduces his friends to his favorite dish--daal!--in this charming picture book that showcases the value of patience, teamwork,...
Festival of colors
Sehgal, Kabir
Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from bestselling mother/son duo Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal. Spring is here, and it's almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers...
The rice in the pot goes round and round
Shang, Wendy Wan Long
Sing along to this delicious twist on "The Wheels on the Bus" and celebrate the food, laughter, and love of a multigenerational family meal! * "Artfully brings an authentic expression of family love...an utterly charming [twist] to a familiar tune." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred...
Amazing : Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who inspire us all
Shibutani, Maia
From Olympic ice dancing medalists Alex and Maia Shibutani, this beautifully illustrated picture book highlights the achievements of many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have made invaluable contributions to the world. Inclusivity sets this beautifully illustrated...
That's not my name!
Syed, Anoosha
A debut picture book about loving your name, finding your voice, and standing up for yourself from the critically acclaimed illustrator of Bilal Cooks Daal and I Am Perfectly Designed. Mirha is so excited for her first day of school! She can't wait to learn, play,...
My love for you is always
Sze, Gillian
Warm like tea? Sweeter than red dates? A mother shares her love for her child as the two prepare a delicious meal together--perfect for fans of Guess How Much I Love You, Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You, and Mama, Do You Love Me? What is love? a...
Wishes
Van, Muon
An arresting, poetic journey and a moving reflection on immigration, family, and home, from an acclaimed creative team. Wishes tells the powerful, honest story about one Vietnamese family's search for a new home on the other side of the world, and the long-lasting and powerful...
Gibberish
Vo, Young
BEST OF THE YEAR Kirkus · Parents · Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association · Chicago Public Library · Washington Post · Evanston Public Library · Los Angeles Public Library Charlotte Huck Recommended Book Common Sense Media...
Luli and the language of tea
Wang, Andrea
Though they may speak different languages, kids from all over the world come together to enjoy the shared pastime of tea in this delicious book for young readers. When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can't speak...
Watercress
Wang, Andrea
Caldecott Medal Winner Newbery Honor Book APALA Award Winner A story about the power of sharing memories-including the painful ones-and the way our heritage stays with and shapes us, even when we don't see it. New England Book Award Winner A...
Kapaemahu
Wong-Kalu, Hinaleimoana
An Indigenous legend about how four extraordinary individualsof dual male and female spirit, or Mahu, brought healing arts from Tahiti to Hawaii, based on the Academy Award-contending short film. In the 15th century, four Mahu sail from Tahiti to Hawaii and share their gifts of...
Snow angel, sand angel
Yamanaka, Lois-Ann
A celebration of home, family, and finding beauty in your heritage, beautifully illustrated by the artist behind Anti-Racist Baby. Claire has been surrounded by the deep blue waves of Hapuna Beach and the magnificent mountains of Hawai'i all her life, but has never,...
A boy named Isamu : a story of Isamu Noguchi
Yang, James
Awarded an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Picture Book Honor, this stunning picture book brings to life the imagination of Japanese American artist, Isamu Noguchi. (Cover image may vary.) If you are Isamu, stones are the most special of all. ...
From the tops of the trees
Yang, Kao Kalia
Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the Picture Book Category "Father, is all of the world a refugee camp?" Young Kalia has never known life beyond the fences of the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp. The Thai camp holds many thousands of Hmong families who fled in the...
Yes we will : Asian Americans who shaped this country
Yang, Kelly
From #1 NYT bestselling author Kelly Yang comes a gorgeously illustrated picture book about Asian American changemakers doing everything they dreamed of and inspiring all of us to reach for new heights! From creating beautiful music like Yo-Yo Ma to flying to outer space...

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