Blogger | Teacher
Vice President Kamala Harris put it beautifully when she said "The American Dream belongs to all of us." During the month of May, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time to appreciate the amazing accomplishments of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders throughout history. In order to better educate your children on the cultures and life experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, we have compiled a list of wonderful books to read to open up the conversation about the amazing things experienced and done by people of different cultures and from different parts of the world.
Written by Akiko Yabuki
A warm, sweet picture book about an optimistic rock named Ishi (which means "rock" in Japanese) who teaches us the value of finding joy in life and the importance of choosing happiness. The book is meant to be passed between readers, with a FROM/TO page on the inside cover to show how kindness and joy can be passed between all of us.
Written by Deven Jatkar
On the day before India's Festival of Colors, Holi, and Maya is looking forward to splashing and spraying colors with your family and friends. But she falls on her head and wakes up to a black and white world where colors are in chaos! Will Maya be able to participate in Holi even in this new, confusing world?
Let's Sing Songs From Around the World (Joyfully Bringing the World Together, One Song at a Time)
Not directly a book, but this collection of sing-a-long songs features popular children's songs from all over the world. These songs will help your child or students learn about all different cultures through song, all the way from China and Japan to Greece to the Phillippines. Your children will love singing along to these culturally diverse songs, while you can rest easy knowing that they are learning valuable lessons about different cultures and countries all around the world.
The Adventures of Penny & Tubs: The Crystal Waterfall
Written by Marcie May and Margaret Zerhusen
In this new adventure of Penny and Tubs, the two explorers visit Hawaii, where they learn the story of the Crystal Waterfall and go to a luau. This book is a fun way for your children to learn more about Hawaiian culture, and also includes some common vocabulary and common phrases. Penny and Tubs provide a great way to open up the conversation between you and you're child about diverse cultures and languages.
Here I Am
Written by Patricia Hee Kim
After coming to America from a faraway land, a boy and his family are introduced to the lights, sounds, and traffic of a busy US city. The boy is afraid of the unknown sights and confusing language, and clings to the keepsake he brought from his homeland, wondering how he will find happiness in his new home. You and your child can follow along in his shoes as he takes his first steps into this new, unknown country.
Balarama's Story: An Elephant's Journey
Written by D.K. Bhaskar and Alladi Jayasri
Elephants are a huge part of India's culture, religion, and environment, and this book tells the biography of an uprooted elephant from its natural home in the forest. He gains an iconic status as a "royal elephant" in the Dasara festival of the once Royal Mysore. Follow the journey of Balarama and learn about the daily lives of elephants and how important they are to mankind.
Super Simple Sumi-e
Written by Yvonne Palka
A delightfully simple instructional book on the culturally important art of sumi-e (Asian brush painting). This book will help teach kids (and adults) how to capture the spirit of many charming animals, from pandas to swallows and rabbits to dragons!
The Name Soup
Written by Sandhya Sameera Pillalamarri
"The Name Soup" centers around the story of Leela, a second-grader who loves adventuring and hanging out with her three best friends. However, she has a big problem - her last name is really long, hard to say, and just plain weird! At least that's what she thinks at first. But during the story, she meets lots of amazing people, experiences exciting adventures, and learns that her name has a history and meaning that makes it special. This story is a great way to teach your children about the wonderful things that we can discover about the things that make us different.
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.