Picture Books To Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month

By Chelsea Condren, Early Literacy Coordinator
April 27, 2022
collage of four book covers

April is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and the Library is excited to celebrate alongside you! For our littlest readers, we’ve put together a list of picture books that celebrate the rich cultural traditions of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in New York and around the world!

For a fresh take on the favorite childhood song "The Wheels on the Bus", we suggest The Rice in the Pot Goes Round and Round, written by Wendy Wan-Long Shang and illustrated by Lorian Tu. Aaron Mesho’s Take me Out to the Yakyu is another story that will inspire childhood nostalgia, as a boy learns about baseball from his grandfathers in America and Japan. 

Eva Chen’s I Am Golden, illustrated by Sophie Diao, is a manifesto of love for all immigrants, especially Chinese-Americans. If you loved Joanna Ho and Dung Ho’s Eyes that Kiss in the Corners, its follow up, Eyes that Speak to the Stars, is another jubilant ode to being proud of who you are.

Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow’s Abdul’s Story, illustrated by Tiffany Rose, is a beautiful story that will encourage all future authors to tell their stories. Our other favorite from Thompkins-Bigelow, Mommy’s Khimar, illustrated by Ebony Glenn, features a little girl trying on a headscarf and imagining herself as the sun, a superhero, and more, as she feels closer to her mother!

Narisa Togo’s When the Sakura Bloom, adapted by Michael Sedunary, is a beautiful meditation on the importance of cherry blossom season in Japan. In Ojiichan's Gift by Chieri Uegak, illustrated by Genevieve Simms, a young girl finds a way to give the gift of a traditional Japanese garden back to her grandfather. 

Holy Hai!, by Chitra Soundar and illustrated by Darshika Varma, tells the story of a little girl who is excited for Holi and must learn a lesson about how to overcome her anger. Finally, Bracelets for Bina’s Brothers, written by Rajani LaRocca and illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat, is about how a girl celebrates a holiday especially for brothers and sisters.