There are many wonderful things to celebrate in May. The weather is warming up, summer vacation is getting closer every day, there’s Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, and Dance Like a Chicken Day (recognized on May 14th, but don’t worry if you missed it -- I’m sure a belated celebration would still be fun)!
May is also special because it is Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Even for those who do not share this heritage, it is more important than ever to recognize the wonderful contributions that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have made to American culture in the past, in our present, and the contributions they will make in the future. So let’s celebrate, everyone!
Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi (1st - 3rd gr.)
Say hello to Yasmin, an effervescent second grader who is always ready to meet everyday challenges with plenty of imagination and enthusiasm! There are many exciting volumes in this series, and readers will be eager to share in every one of Yasmin’s charming adventures!
Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan (K. & up)
Having a younger sibling can be hard, and having a mother who is not familiar with American customs can be hard as well, as demonstrated by this simple but significant story of a birthday party invitation, an ill-behaved tagalong, and a big sister who chooses kindness over payback. A sweet story with excellent illustrations and realistic characters that readers will easily connect with.
Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho (Kindergarten & up)
This is a powerful story that reminds readers to take pride in the differences that make them special and unique. Beautifully illustrated with a message to match, readers are introduced to a young Chinese American girl who notices that her eyes do not look like most of her peers -- but she tells herself that her eyes are like those of her grandmother, mother, and little sister, and the eyes of her loved ones convey devotion, strength, hope, and so much more. Their eyes are beautiful and so are hers!
Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim (PreK - 2nd gr.)
Starting school in a new country, with a language you don’t know, and rules and behaviors you aren’t used to can make any child feel left out. Nothing can keep Danbi down, though, so with a positive mindset and some ingenuity, she makes new friends and proudly claims a place for herself in her new school.
Drawn Together by Minh Le (Prek - 2nd gr.)
Making a connection across generations, through language barriers, and past cultural differences can be a challenge, but in this wonderfully vibrant and emotional tale, a young boy and his grandfather demonstrate that powerful relationships can grow in unexpected ways -- in this case, through a shared love of art. With very few words, this book tells a vibrant story.
Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look (2nd - 4th gr.)
Alvin Ho might be afraid of practically everything, but this second grader doesn’t let fear stop him from having wonderful, if ordinary, adventures! This delightful series is perfect for beginning chapter book readers, and includes six adorable and amusing titles. Want to start from the beginning? Pick up Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things!
Ohana Means Family by Ilima Loomis (PreK - 2nd gr.)
Ohana Means Family is a lovely picture book celebration of Hawiian land and culture, patterned in the same style as the traditional cumulative nursery rhyme “The House That Jack Built”. A feast for the eyes and ears, this book just might influence you to immediately book a flight to Hawaii.
Ojiichan’s Gift by Chieri Uegaki (PreK - 2nd gr.)
Ever since she was born, Mayumi has had a special relationship with her grandfather. Whenever she travels to Japan, they work together on the rock garden that he created just for her. Now that he is older, however, he must move away from his home, and Mayumi struggles to deal with this change, and find some way to hold onto the tradition she shares with her beloved grandfather.
Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang (PreK - 2nd gr.)
Get ready to get very hungry and inspired, as you read about Amy’s many attempts to make the perfect chinese Bao bun. She will not give up until she reaches her goal; and with the help of her loving family, she’s sure to find her own path to culinary perfection!
Last Modified July 29, 2021