30 Children's Books to Celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month

I received a free preview of the "Fish Tales & Rhymes" series and a free copy of "Kai The Dancing Butterfly" but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used in this post. You can read my full disclosure here.

Children Book's are a wonderful way to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month! Here are 30 books we loved organized into four categories: 

Children's Books With AANHPI Culture 

1. Kai the Dancing Butterfly and A Unicorn Named Rin by Crystal Z. Lee

Kai the Dancing Butterfly tells the story of a migrating dancing butterfly traveling through Taiwan. This is a great book to introduce children to Taiwan!

A Unicorn Named Rin is about a qilin, a Chinese unicorn that looks very different from the western world's unicorn, on a quest to find the Royal Phoenix. A great book for introducing mythological Chinese creatures to children. 

Both are great for ages 4 to 8.

2. Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon and Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang

In Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon, Amy's class is drawing dragons. Amy draws a traditional Chinese dragon, but the other kids tell her it's not a dragon. It's too long and wingless. She tries to draw one like theirs but it does not feel quite right. It's not her dragon. After school, her grandmother tells her story and Amy gets an idea of how she can make the perfect dragon.

In Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, Amy is trying to make the perfect bao (Chinese steamed bun) but they come out too small, lumpy, or have tears. Using problem-solving skills, Amy comes up with an idea to make the perfect bao.

Both books are great for ages 4 to 8.

3. A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

A Big Mooncake for Little Star gave me The Very Hungry Caterpillar feels. It's about a little girl named Little Star who makes a big Mooncake with her mom. Her mom tells her not to eat it but every night she can't resists and takes a bite until all that is left is crumbs. Now they must make another mooncake! This is a fun story to teach kids about mooncakes, which are traditionally eaten during the Mid Autumn Festival, and the phases of the moon.

This one is recommended for ages 3 to 5.

4. Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie 

You may be familiar with the western Cinderella who loses a glass slipper, but did you know there was always a Chinese story that was very similar, except instead of a fairy godmother, there was a magic fish! This is a wonderful retelling of Yeh-Shen for kids and a great way to introduce them to Chinese folktales. 

Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story is recommended for ages 4 to 8 but is a longer read, so I feel it is better suited for the older kids as it did not hold our 5-year-old's attention.

5. Asian Holiday Series by Yobe Qiu

This series is a great way to introduce popular Asian holidays to children! 

These books are great for ages 3 to 10. 

6. Niki Nakayama: A chef's Tale in 13 Bites by Jamie Michalak and Debbi Michiko Florence

Thie picture book biography tells the story of Niki Nakayama, a Japanese American chef, and her dream of serving kaiseki, a traditional Japanese feast with many courses that aligned with the seasons.

Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

7. Amira's Picture Day by Reem Faruqi

This fun book gives readers a glimpse into the Eid holiday as Amira struggles with the idea of missing school picture day. In the end, she manages to find a way to attend both!

Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

8. Ohana Means Family by Ilima Loomis

A Hawaiian family gets ready for a luau showing how nature and food are connected to family.

Recommended for ages 4 to 8, but due to its short nature, I would say younger kids 2 to 5 would enjoy it more.

9. Chaiwala by Priti Birla Maheshwari

A short fun book about an Indian mother and daughter who stop for a cup of chai. A great way to show kids how to enjoy simple moments. Loved seeing mixed media as the art! Reminds me of Eric Carle's style.

Recommended for ages 3 to 7, but due to its short nature, it would probably appeal to younger kids more.

10. Let's Go Yum Cha! by Alister Felix

This cute little book is a great way to introduce kids to Dim Sum and they will learn some Cantonese phrases along the way. 

Recommended for ages 4 to 7. 

Bilingual AANHPI Children's Books 

1. My First Book of Chinese Words: An ABC Rhyming Book by Faye-Lynn Wu 

A great first book to introduce your child to Chinese words!

Great for ages 3 to 8.

2. Mina Learns Chinese bilingual children's book series by Katrina Liu

We have Mina's Ups and Downs and Mina's Scavenger Hunt. Both stories are told in English and Chinese, great for those who are learning or have kids learning Mandarin Chinese. Traditional and Simplified Chinese character versions are both available.

Recommended for ages 2 to 6.

3. My First Mandarin Words with Gordon & Li Li and Gordon & Li Li Celebrate Chinese New Year by Michele Wong McSween


These English and Chinese Mandarin word board books are a great way to teach your child some new words in both languages. 

Great for ages 3 to 5.

4. Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes by Faye-Lynn Wu 

This book includes a CD so your child can listen and sing along to nursery rhymes in both English and Chinese! We have the 2010 version (blue cover), but the newer 2018 version (yellow cover) appears to be very similar. 

Recommended for ages 2 to 8.

5. Fish Tales & Rhymes series by Angelina Wong-Jardin

This new series of books feature children's songs that are easy to sing along to in Chinese! Each interactive book includes 8 songs written in English, Chinese characters, and pinyin. 

The books will not be available until August, but I was able to get a sneak preview of what one looks like and got to listen to some of the songs. Many of the songs my daughter actually sing in her preschool, so this is a great way to give her extra practice at home. 

I would say they are best for ages 2 to 8.

Preorder is available at Fish Tales & Rhymes online shop!

Children's Books by AANHPI Authors

1. I Wish You Happiness and I Will Always Be Proud of You by Michael Wong


Both of these books have gorgeous illustrations and share a beautiful message to kids. 

Recommended for ages 3 to 8, but would say these are better suited for the younger kids, 2 to 5 as they are more meant for the parent to read to the child. 

2. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi 

This was a beautiful story about a Korean girl named Unhei who moves to America with her family. When her teacher and classmates can't say her name, she decides to pick a new name and her class creates a name jar where other kids can write names on a piece of paper but none of the names speak to Unhei. She befriends a boy named Joey, who learns to pronounce her name and tells her he likes her name. In the end, Unhei learns to love her name and she helps the rest of her class pronounce it correctly. 

Best for ages 5 to 9.

3. Eyes that Kiss in the Corners and Eyes That Speak to the Stars by Joanna Ho

Both of these books focus on Chinese American children who notice that their eyes are different from their peers, but by the end of the book, they realize just how special they are. These are great books about accepting differences and self-love. 

Both books are great for ages 4 to 8.

4. Apple Pie Fourth Of July by Janet S. Wong

A young Asian American girl does not believe Americans eat Chinese food on the 4th of July, yet her parents' market remains open and she later learns an important lesson. It's a great book showing the blend of Chinese and American culture.

Recommended for ages 4 to 7.

5. Grandpa Grumps by Katrina Moore

Daisy is excited that her grandpa is visiting her from China, but when he arrives, she finds that he never smiles and does not speak much English. Daisy tries to show she loves him in other ways such as drawing and eventually they cook Chao Fan together. The recipe is included at the back of the book. It's a beautiful book showing how families can still love each other despite being far apart and from different worlds. 

Recommended for ages 4 to 8.

6. My Tree by Hope Lim

A Korean boy who moved to America misses his home in Korea. He befriends a tree in his yard that reminds him of the one he had back in Korea. The tree eventually falls down and the boy and his friends have fun with the fallen tree until it is time for it to be removed. Later, the boy's family plants a new tree, and a new friendship blooms. It's a great metaphor for the struggles immigrant children go through.

It's recommended for ages 4 to 8.

7. Grandmother's Visit by Betty Quan

A heartwrenching story about a girl and her Chinese grandmother. It's a great book to introduce the topic of grief to children or to help a child who is experiencing the loss of a loved one. 

Recommended for ages 4 to 7.

8. Soomi's Sweater by Susie Oh

This is an adorable tale of a little girl who can't wait to wear her new sweater even though it's too big. She wears it to school and it ends up getting a hole in the sleeve but her mom shows her that it's easy to fix with some fabric, a needle, and a thread.

Recommended for ages 4 to 10. 

9. Danbi Leads the School Parade by Anna Kim

It's Danbi's first day at her new school in America. She struggles to fit in at first but when her classmates see her lunch and want to learn to use chopsticks, suddenly she is leading a parade and ends the day with a new friend. A great book showing kids how to be brave and accepting of others.

Recommended for ages 3 to 6.

10. Laxmi's Mooch by Shelly Anand

Where was this book when I was a kid? This body positivity book is all about girls who have some hair on their upper lip, which the book calls a mooch instead of a mustache. Laxmi feels she is being made fun of because of the hair on her body but after talking to her parents, she decides to own it and even points out to her friends that they have mooches too and those that don't start drawing fake ones on their faces. 

Recommended for ages 4 to 8, but as body hair usually happens during puberty for girls, I would say this could be a good read for up to age 10. 

Children's Books Featuring AANHPI Characters

1. You Be Daddy by Karla Clark

A beautiful book about a father's love for his children featuring an Asian family.

Recommended for ages 2 to 6.

2. Mei's Little Box of Big Feelings by Aimee Murata

For Turning Red fans, Mei's Little Box of Big Feelings is a great way to teach them emotions and provide tips on how to handle those big feelings without becoming a giant panda.

Recommended for ages 3 to 5. 

3. How to Catch a Dragon by Adam Wallace 

A fun book about the Chinese New Year! There's a dragon on the loose and some kids are trying to catch it but the dragon is too clever and avoids all their traps. Do you have what it takes to catch a dragon?

Recommended for ages 3 to 8.

4. Disney/Pixar Bao Little Golden Book by RH Disney

Disney/Pixar's Bao is now available in book form! It tells the story of a Chinese mom struggling with her son growing up. She gets another chance to be a mom when a bao comes to life but she soon realizes that nothing stays little forever.

Recommended for ages 3 to 5.

5. Moana and The Ocean by Heather Knowles

A beautifully illustrated story told from the Ocean's point of view about Moana. 

Recommended for ages 3 to 5.

For more AANHPI children's books, check out my Amazon Shop!