Books That Celebrate Asian Heritage and Culture

Over the past several months, there has been a disturbing increase in hateful actions toward people of Asian descent. Most of us watch the news in horror, and while we disagree with what’s happening, it can be hard to know what actions to take.

We believe one of the most powerful social justice actions parents can take is to instill positive values in our children. Kids are never too young to learn about acceptance, equity, and the beauty in humanity’s differences.

This is why we would like to share this very special book list: A Celebration of Asian Heritage and Culture. Children’s books should be both a reflection of who they are and their life experiences, but also an illuminating peek into the lives and experiences of others. No one explains this better than children’s author Grace Lin. The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child's Bookshelf | Grace Lin | TEDxNatick

Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho, illustrated by Holly Meade

A Thai mother and her gentle exasperation plead with various animals to please stay quiet as her baby sleeps. They stomp and shriek past her home, and she meets each one in turn asking them to hush. Finally, as the moon rises above them, she falls asleep with her head resting on the windowsill, with (of course) her smiling and wide-awake baby beside her.

Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Grace Lin

Round, square, rectangle...young children love to notice shapes around them in their everyday lives. The main character in this book is no exception. A beautiful blending of her family’s heritage and their modern life, she notices shapes in traditional Asian items as well as everyday ones that we are all familiar with.

We Are Inspiring: The Stories of 32 Inspirational Asian American Women by Angel Trazo

Author/illustrator Angel Trazo created this book to celebrate Asian heritage while being accessible to multiple age groups. Perfect for upper elementary students to read on their own, it can also be used as a read aloud book for younger children.