We’re always on the lookout for books that reflect authentic cultures and come from voices that are authentic reflections of the cultures about which they tell stories. May is a month designated for celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander roots in American cultures, so it’s a great time to explore kids’ books that reflect the vast array of experiences these cultures both bring to and have created in storytelling.
Author Ken Mochizuki performs his picture book Baseball Saved Us, illustrated by Dom Lee, for Live Oak Media’s collection of Read-along audiobooks. Listen and learn about where the author’s Japanese-American parents were forced to spend World War II, and how the all American sport helped government internees keep a semblance of normalcy in kids’ lives.
Illustrator Man One shows off his skills as a fine performer as he delivers author Jacqueline Briggs Martin’s Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix along with co-narrator June Jo Lee in another of Live Oak Media’s Read-alongs. Join the fun and explore Los Angeles’s Korean-American food scene!
From Pajama Press, the multi-award winning middle grade novel Girl of the Southern Sea gives us author Michelle Kadarusman’s experienced insights into growing up Indonesian. While set outside North America, this story connects with North American readers because of the author’s multicultural experiences and capacity to bridge different cultures. Follow it up with Kadarusman’s new Music for Tigers, which lets readers accompany a Canadian girl on her trip to Australia.
Also from Pajama Press, younger readers can delight in Japanese-Canadian author Raymond Nakamura’s fun twist on a Japanese folktale with his gender flipping version Peach Girl, illustrated by Rebecca Bender.
What a delight it is that have a seemingly endless supply of stories to discover! We hope that you find lots of ways to explore the world through books this month and every month.