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Book Nook

10 Children’s Books To Read This AAPI Heritage Month

Whether they’re acting as “windows” or “mirrors,” these beautiful picture books will help your family learn about and celebrate Asian and Pacific Island cultures and experiences

Written By
Marnie Schwartz

"Eyes That Kiss In The Corners" by Joanna Ho

With poetic text and beautiful illustrations, this story of a young girl learning to love and celebrate her Asian-shaped eyes teaches the beauty of diversity and self-love to all kids.

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Book cover of Eyes that Kiss in the CornersBook cover of Eyes that Kiss in the Corners

"Home Is in Between" by Mitali Perkins

This story gives readers a child’s perspective on the experience of immigrating to the United States, navigating two cultures, and deriving a rich experience from blending two backgrounds and homes.

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Book cover Home is in BetweenBook cover Home is in Between

"Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon" by Kat Zhang

In this follow-up to Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, Amy struggles to craft the perfect dragon. She draws inspiration from a dragon costume used during Chinese New Year and adds elements of dragons more typical in Western culture. The end result is the perfect patchwork.

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Book cover Amy Wu and the Patchwork DragonBook cover Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon

"Drawn Together" by Minh Lê

A young boy and his grandfather become frustrated and silenced by their lack of a common language. But when they discover a mutual passion for art, they find that they can communicate through drawing and are able to connect.

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Book cover Drawn TogetherBook cover Drawn Together

"Juna’s Jar" by Jane Bahk

Juna and her best friend Hector have adventures together and collect things in empty Kimchi jars. When Hector suddenly moves away, Juna copes by using her imagination and her special kimchi jars to search for her friend. This touching book and its dreamy illustrations will help kids feeling lost after a friend moves away.

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Book cover Juna's JarBook cover Juna's Jar

"The Most Beautiful Thing" by Kao Kalia Yang

Based on the author's experiences as a Hmong refugee, this story explores themes of resilience, gratitude, and the beauty of intergenerational familial love—and depicts them with incredible mixed-media visuals.

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Book cover The Most Beautiful ThingBook cover The Most Beautiful Thing

"Mela and the Elephant" by Dow Phumiruk

In this contemporary fable set in Northern Thailand, Mela refuses to take her little brother along with her on her adventures. When her boat is swept downstream, she learns her lesson, and the importance of kindness and generosity, among other things.

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Book cover Mela and the ElephantBook cover Mela and the Elephant

"Sumo Joe" by Mia Wenjen

Two forms of Japanese martial arts—sumo and aikido—are set against each other. So are Joe’s love for Sumo and devotion to his younger sister in this tale of sibling rivalry and inclusion. The book includes an illustrated glossary for readers unfamiliar with Japanese culture.

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Book cover Sumo JoeBook cover Sumo Joe

"Ohana Means Family" by Ilima Loomis

A poem in the style of “The House That Jack Built” explores the importance of the Hawaiian staple of poi as well as the plant it’s made from, kalo, and Native Hawaiian cultural traditions and values. The book includes an author's note about kalo and poi, as well as a glossary.

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Book cover Ohana Means FamilyBook cover Ohana Means Family

"When Lola Visits" by Michelle Sterling

Filipino traditions and the staples of an American summer come together in a book that engages all the senses. When Lola comes from the Philippines for the summer, she brings the aroma of mango jam, songs sung in Tagalog, and the strong bonds of intergenerational family love. (You can preorder it now—it comes out May 18th.)

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Book cover When Lola VisitsBook cover When Lola Visits