As a mom of biracial children living in a very white community, I make an effort to teach them about other races and religions beyond ours. One way I have found to introduce the concept of race and traditions is through books, always having a wide array of books showcasing characters of different races, backgrounds, physical abilities and religions. It has become an even more important task given the recent events happening in the US, the most recent being the Atlanta shooting that targeted the Asian-American community. Because of that, I rounded up books that celebrate the Asian community in a positive way. It is more important than ever to celebrate and support the AAPI community in the country, integrating the culture into our bedtime routines.

Here are some of the best books featuring Asian protagonists:

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

We Are Inspiring: The Stories of 32 Inspirational Asian American Women “Designed for reading-with your child or for children ages 10+ to read independently, “We Are Inspiring” brings to life the inspiring stories of Asian American women. This work encompasses API femmes of various ethnicities, professions, and body sizes, and is inclusive of LGBTQ folks, immigrants, and mixed-race women.”

The Most Beautiful Thing

The Most Beautiful Thing “A warmhearted and tender true story about a young girl finding beauty where she never thought to look.”

The Name Jar

The Name Jar “Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning.”

Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again “Inspired by the author’s childhood experience as a refugee–fleeing Vietnam after the fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama–this coming-of-age debut told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child’s-eye view of family and immigration.”

Bee-Bim Bop!

Bee-Bim Bop! “In bouncy rhyming text, a hungry child tells about helping her mother make bee-bim bop: shopping, preparing ingredients, setting the table, and finally sitting down with her family to enjoy a favorite meal.”

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao

Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao “Amy loves to make bao with her family. But it takes skill to make the bao taste and look delicious. And her bao keep coming out all wrong.”

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners “A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.”

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas “It’s Chinese New Year, and Goldy Luck’s mother wants her to take a plate of turnip cakes to the neighbors. The Chans aren’t home, but that doesn’t stop Goldy from trying out their rice porridge, their chairs, and their beds—with disastrous results.”

Pan de Sal Saves the Day

Pan de Sal Saves the Day: An Award-winning Children's Story from the Philippines “This colorfully illustrated multicultural children’s book presents an entertaining story from the Philippines in both English and Tagalog.”

Dim Sum for Everyone!

childrens books asian protagonists 9 “A Chinese American family sits down to enjoy a traditional dim sum meal. Dumplings, cakes, buns, and tarts are wheeled out in little dishes on trolleys, and each family member gets to choose a favorite treat!”

Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom

Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom “Meet Wu Chien Shiung, famous physicist who overcame prejudice to prove that she could be anything she wanted.”

A Different Pond

A Different Pond “As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family.”

I Dream of Popo

I Dream of Popo “This delicate, emotionally rich picture book celebrates a special connection that crosses time zones and oceans as Popo and her granddaughter hold each other in their hearts forever.”
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