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23 Beloved Asian American Children’s Books To Empower Your Kids

As an Asian-American mom who grew up ashamed of being Asian at times, I want nothing more than to make my own daughter feel like she belongs in this world and that her culture is a blessing, not a curse.

My two favorite ways of doing that is by exposing her to Asian food (specifically Korean since we’re of Korean heritage) and Asian American children’s books.

I am an amazing asian girl and kimchi kimchi every day are two examples of Asian American children's books.
Hi I’m Korean-American. How about you? Let me know on IG @sarchetrit.

If you’re looking to diversify your child’s bookshelf with stories that reflect the Asian American experience like me, then look no further. Below are many books that offer a treasure trove of rich and vibrant narratives that celebrate culture, identity and family.

From heartwarming tales of tradition to empowering stories of resilience, these books provide young readers with windows into different worlds while fostering empathy and understanding.

Check out these wonderful books written mainly by Asian authors with Asian characters made for Asian American kids or you can see the entire list here on Amazon.

Why Asian American Children’s Books Are Important

Kimchi kimchi everyday and i am an amazing asian girl are two great asian children's books

Representation in children’s literature is incredibly important for a variety of reasons. When children see characters who look like them, come from similar backgrounds or share their experiences, it can have a powerful impact on their sense of self-worth and belonging.

I wish I had these types of books growing up! But alas, if they weren’t available for me, I’m so lucky and excited that they’re excited for my daughter.

By including diverse characters in books, authors and publishers are able to show young readers that there are many different ways to be in the world. This can help to break down stereotypes and promote empathy and understanding among children from different backgrounds.

Additionally, representation in children’s literature allows all kids to see themselves as heroes and heroines. When they read stories about characters who look like them achieving great things or overcoming challenges, it can inspire them to believe in their own potential and capabilities.

Overall, representation in children’s literature is essential for promoting inclusivity, diversity, and acceptance among young readers. By providing a wide range of perspectives and experiences through books, we can help create a more inclusive society where every child feels seen, heard, and valued.

22 Beloved Asian American Books for Babies and Children

Below you’ll find a list of Asian children’s books that include a variety of Asian heritages more or less sorted by age.

If you find a book that’s missing from this list, please comment below with it and I can add it!

10 Asian American Books For Little Foodies

A wonderful way to connect to our Asian heritage is through food. It’s a part of our culture that we can instill in our children every meal and now through reading!

Here are Asian American children’s books that focus around food whether it’s on multiple cultures or on one specific heritage.

See the entire list here on Amazon or scroll down to read what each book is about.

Little Dumplings by Jekka Kuhlmann

Little Dumplings
  • Kuhlmann, Jekka (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 24 Pages – 06/27/2023 (Publication Date) – Chronicle Books (Publisher)

“Little Dumplings” by Jekka Kuhlmann is a charming board book that introduces young readers to a variety of traditional dumplings from around the world such as bao, pierogi and samosas.

This multicultural celebration uses rhyming text and colorful illustrations to delight toddlers and preschoolers while fostering an appreciation for diverse culinary traditions.

It includes an illustrated guide to the names, pronunciations, and regions associated with each dumpling.

The book is perfect for sharing stories and bonding over food, making it a great gift for little foodies and a fun read-aloud choice​

Find it on Amazon here!

Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park

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Bee-bim Bop! Board Book
  • Park, Linda Sue (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 26 Pages – 01/03/2023 (Publication Date) – Clarion Books (Publisher)

“Bee-bim Bop!” by Linda Sue Park is a joyful picture book that celebrates food, family and Korean culture. Through lively rhymes, it tells the story of a young Korean American girl eagerly helping her mother prepare bee-bim bop, a traditional Korean dish.

The narrative follows their journey from shopping for ingredients to cooking and setting the table, culminating in a family meal. The whimsical illustrations by Ho Baek Lee, inspired by his own childhood in Korea, add charm and excitement to the story.

This book is perfect for children ages 4-7 offering a delightful mix of cultural education and fun​.

Find it on Amazon here!

ABCs for the American Born Chinese by Cathy Lu

ABCs for the American Born Chinese
  • Lu, Cathy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 29 Pages – 12/13/2020 (Publication Date) – Independently published (Publisher)

“ABCs for the American Born Chinese” by Cathy Lu is a vibrant and educational Chinese American children’s book that introduces young readers to the alphabet through the lens of Chinese American culture.

Each letter is paired with a food item or cultural reference, such as A for Asian Pear and B for Bok Choy, celebrating the unique heritage and culinary delights.

The book is beautifully illustrated and aims to teach children both their ABCs and a bit about their cultural background, making it a delightful and informative read for families looking to blend learning with cultural appreciation.

Find it on Amazon here!

Thank You, Mama by Linda Meeker

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Thank You, Mama (Grey & Mama)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Meeker, Linda (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“Thank You, Mama” by Linda Meeker is a delightful picture book that follows a young boy as he explores and enjoys a variety of foods from vegetables to sushi.

It’s not an Asian specific book. However, since it’s inspired by the heartwarming TikTok videos of Meeker’s son Grey expressing gratitude for his meals that ranges from sushi to noodles and has an Asian character, this book is one that mixes a variety of Asian food culture with the importance of trying new foods, gratitude, and good manners.

The vibrant illustrations and simple text make it an engaging read for children aged 3 to 7, encouraging them to be adventurous eaters and to appreciate family mealtimes​

Find it on Amazon here!

What’s in a Dumpling, Grandma? by Linda Meeker

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What’s in a Dumpling, Grandma? (Grey & Mama)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Meeker, Linda (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“What’s in a Dumpling, Grandma?” by Linda Meeker is a heartwarming picture book that follows young Grey and his cousin Mila as they learn to make bánh loc, traditional Vietnamese dumplings, with their Grandma.

This beautifully illustrated story not only celebrates the deliciousness of dumplings but also emphasizes the importance of family heritage and the bond between grandparents and grandchildren.

Through the process of cooking together, Grandma shares her cherished memories and cultural traditions, making the experience both educational and heartwarming.

The book includes a recipe for Grandma’s famous fish sauce, making it a delightful read for families who love cooking and sharing traditions​

Find it on Amazon here!

Kimchi, Kimchi Every Day by Erica Kim

Kimchi kimchi every day is a great example of an Asian American Children's book
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Kimchi, Kimchi Every Day
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kim, Erica (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“Kimchi, Kimchi Every Day” by Erica Kim is a delightful children’s book that celebrates the versatility and joy of eating kimchi.

My daughter has personally loved this story being read to her since she was six months old because of the fun illustrations and rhyming sounds.

The story follows a young Korean girl who enjoys kimchi in different dishes throughout the week, from kimchi stew and pancakes to kimbap and fried rice.

Each day features a new culinary adventure, accompanied by vibrant and cheerful illustrations made with hanji, a traditional Korean paper.

The book also includes a glossary of kimchi dishes and fun facts about kimchi, making it both educational and entertaining for young readers.

Find it on Amazon here!

Tricky Chopsticks by Sylvia Chen

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Tricky Chopsticks
  • Hardcover Book
  • Chen, Sylvia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“Tricky Chopsticks” by Sylvia Chen, illustrated by Fanny Liem, is a delightful Chinese American picture book about a young girl named Jenny Chow.

Jenny struggles to use chopsticks, feeling frustrated and embarrassed as everyone around her seems to master them effortlessly. Determined to succeed before her cousin Victor’s birthday party, which features a family chopsticks challenge, Jenny employs creative problem-solving and a lot of perseverance.

Through her humorous and relatable journey, readers learn about resilience and the value of never giving up.

The book combines elements of STEAM and cultural tradition, making it a fun and inspiring read for young children.

Find it on Amazon here!

Sale Tricky Chopsticks Tricky Chopsticks $15.72

India on a Plate! Indian Food from A to Z by Archana Sreenivasan

India on a Plate!: Indian Food from A to Z
  • Sreenivasan, Archana (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 28 Pages – 01/09/2024 (Publication Date) – Crown Books for Young Readers (Publisher)

“India on a Plate! Indian Food from A to Z” by Archana Sreenivasan is a delightful alphabet book that introduces children to a wide range of Indian foods.

Each letter of the alphabet is paired with a traditional Indian dish, making this book a culinary adventure that spans from Achaar to Zafrani Pulao.

The book is designed to be engaging and educational, mixing fun rhymes with vibrant illustrations, which might inspire young readers to explore new flavors and learn about the diversity of Indian cuisine.

This book is a tasty treat for the curious little chefs and food lovers.

Find it on Amazon here!

Asian Adventures: Delicious Asian Foods From A-Z

Asian Adventures: Delicious Asian Foods From A-Z
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Qiu, Yobe (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“Asian Adventures: Delicious Asian Foods From A-Z” by Yobe Qiu is a delightful alphabet book that explores a wide array of Asian dishes, one for each letter of the alphabet.

From bibimbap to edamame and even lesser known dishes, this book is a culinary tour through Asia, making it a fun and educational read for young food enthusiasts.

It combines vibrant illustrations with simple descriptions, making each dish come alive and providing a unique way to learn about different cultures and their cuisines.

Find it on Amazon here!

Anni Dreams of Biryani by Namita Moolani Mehra

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Anni Dreams of Biryani
  • Hardcover Book
  • Moolani Mehra, Namita (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“Anni Dreams of Biryani” by Namita Moolani Mehra is a charming picture book that captures the essence of culinary curiosity and cultural celebration.

It follows Anni, a lively girl living in Little India, who is enchanted by the biryani made in a café across her home. Determined to discover the secret behind the delicious dish, Anni embarks on a flavorful adventure asking the café’s chef, Uncle, about his special recipe.

Through her investigative journey, the book weaves themes of persistence, culinary passion, and community, enriched by vibrant illustrations that bring Anni’s food-filled escapades to life.

This story not only delves into the aromatic world of biryani but also portrays a young girl’s love for her cultural cuisine, making it a delightful read for young children.

Find it on Amazon here!

9 Children’s Books With Asian Characters

These children’s books with Asian characters embody cultural pride and represent the unique and special connection to one’s heritage. There’s a range of books for specific backgrounds and also books that showcase Asia’s multi-faceted cultures.

See the entire list here on Amazon or scroll down to read what each book is about.

I Am An Amazing Asian Girl by Yobe Qui

I am an Amazing Asian girl is one of many great Asian American children's books to read for your Asian kids.
My 20 month old toddler loves me reading this book to her!
I Am An Amazing Asian Girl: A Positive Affirmation Book For Asian Girls (Asian Family Series)
  • Qiu, Yobe (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 24 Pages – 07/11/2022 (Publication Date) – By Yobe Qiu (Publisher)

“I Am An Amazing Asian Girl” by Yobe Qiu is an uplifting picture book designed to boost self-esteem and promote cultural pride among young Asian girls.

This affirming story follows a young girl as she explores the strength and beauty of her identity through positive affirmations.

Each page is adorned with vibrant illustrations that encourage young readers to embrace their uniqueness and recognize their worth.

It’s aimed at childrens aged 3 to 6 but currently, my 20 month old daughter loves it being read to her so it can be read at any point as long as your child is interested. This book is a wonderful resource for parents seeking to instill a positive self-image and confidence in their children while celebrating Asian heritage.

Find it on Amazon here!

I Am A Bold Asian Boy by Yobe Qui

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I Am a Bold Asian Boy: A Positive Affirmation Book for Asian Boys (Asian Family Series)
  • Qiu, Yobe (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 25 Pages – 03/05/2023 (Publication Date) – By Yobe Qiu (Publisher)

“I Am A Bold Asian Boy” by Yobe Qiu is an empowering picture book that aims to boost self-esteem and promote cultural pride among young Asian boys.

Through a series of positive affirmations, the book helps its young protagonist—and by extension, its readers—recognize their own value and strengths.

Illustrated with scenes that celebrate Asian culture, the narrative encourages children to embrace their identity with confidence and joy.

It’s designed to help children develop a positive mindset and recognize the cultural richness of their heritage, making it a great read for fostering self-worth and pride from an early age​.

Find it on Amazon here!

Sumo Counting by Sanae Ishida

Sumo Counting
  • Ishida, Sanae (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 22 Pages – 09/07/2021 (Publication Date) – Little Bigfoot (Publisher)

“Sumo Counting” by Sanae Ishida is a vibrant bilingual board book that introduces young children to numbers using the captivating world of sumo wrestling.

Through simple and engaging illustrations, readers count along with sumo wrestlers as they go about their daily routines, from one to ten, fifty, and even one hundred.

The book is sprinkled with Japanese words and cultural insights, making it not only a fun counting exercise but also a delightful introduction to Japanese traditions.

Find it on Amazon here!

Brown is Beautiful: A Poem of Self-Love by Supriya Kelkar

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Brown Is Beautiful: A Poem of Self-Love
  • Hardcover Book
  • Kelkar, Supriya (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“Brown is Beautiful: A Poem of Self-Love” by Supriya Kelkar is an empowering Indian American children’s book that celebrates the color brown through the eyes of a young girl.

As she goes on a hike with her grandparents, she observes and appreciates the brown elements in nature, connecting them to qualities like beauty, strength and wisdom.

The book uses soothing, uplifting rhymes to affirm a message of self-love and pride, turning a color often overlooked into a symbol of pride and positivity.

This story is beautifully illustrated by Noor Sofi, making it a visually appealing read that encourages children to see the beauty in themselves and the natural world​.

Find it on Amazon!

Asian Adventures A-Z by Yobe Qiu

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Asian Adventures A-Z
  • Hardcover Book
  • Yobe Qiu (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“Asian Adventures A-Z” by Yobe Qiu is a captivating educational book that takes children on an alphabetical journey across Asia. Each letter introduces young readers to Asian cities, foods and cultural traditions.

From Agra to Bhutan and áo dài dresses to bibimbap, the book beautifully combines learning the alphabet with rich, engaging insights into Asian heritage.

It’s designed to be a fun and educational experience for children, enriching their knowledge of the diverse continent of Asia​.

Find it on Amazon here!

Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho

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Eyes That Kiss in the Corners
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ho, Joanna (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“Eyes That Kiss in the Corners” by Joanna Ho is a beautifully crafted picture book that tells a powerful story of self-acceptance and cultural pride through the eyes of a young Taiwanese girl.

She initially notices how her eyes are different from her peers’, but grows to appreciate that her eyes are like those of her mother, grandmother, and sister, reflecting beauty and strength.

The narrative, enriched with lyrical descriptions and vibrant illustrations, celebrates Asian features and the deep, meaningful connections within a family.

This book is not only a tale of personal growth but also a homage to the unique features that connect us to our heritage and loved ones​

Find it on Amazon here!

I Am Golden by Eva Chen

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I Am Golden
  • Hardcover Book
  • Chen, Eva (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“I Am Golden” by Eva Chen is a heartfelt picture book that celebrates the identity and self-worth of Chinese American children through the eyes of a young girl named Mei.

Illustrated by Sophie Diao, this story explores themes of self-love and the immigrant experience, weaving a narrative that connects Mei’s personal reflections with the broader Asian American community.

It is a vibrant manifesto for children to recognize and affirm their cultural heritage and personal value​

Find it on Amazon here!

Sale I Am Golden I Am Golden $10.81

American Desi by Jyoti Rajan Gopal

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American Desi
  • Hardcover Book
  • Gopal, Jyoti Rajan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“American Desi” by Jyoti Rajan Gopal is a vibrant picture book that explores the bicultural identity of a young Indian American girl.

Through lively rhymes and colorful illustrations, the story portrays the girl’s journey of embracing both her American and Indian heritage. She learns that she doesn’t have to choose between the two cultures but can celebrate and embody aspects of both.

This book is a celebration of being bicultural, encouraging young readers to appreciate their own diverse backgrounds​.

Find it on Amazon here!

Sale American Desi American Desi $12.99

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

The Name Jar
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Choi, Yangsook (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi is a touching story about Unhei, a young girl who has just moved from Korea to America. Feeling uncertain about fitting in, she contemplates choosing an American name to help her new classmates pronounce her name easier.

Throughout the story, Unhei is supported by her classmates and a new friend, which leads her to appreciate her own Korean name and its unique significance.

This narrative not only explores the themes of self-acceptance and cultural pride but also delves into the challenges of assimilation and identity that many immigrants face. The book emphasizes the importance of embracing one’s heritage and the value of one’s name in shaping personal identity.

Find it on Amazon here!

3 Children’s Books About Asian American History

Going beyond our cultural ties, these books share a history of Asian American history and specifically the people who shaped it.

See the entire list here on Amazon or scroll down to read what each book is about.

The ABCs of Asian American History by Renee Macalino Rutledge

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The ABCs of Asian American History: A Celebration from A to Z of All Asian Americans, from…
  • Hardcover Book
  • Rutledge, Renee Macalino (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“The ABCs of Asian American History” by Renee Macalino Rutledge takes young readers on an alphabetical journey through the diverse cultures and significant contributions of Asian Americans, from A to Z.

It covers a wide range of topics including famous personalities, cultural traditions, and key moments in Asian American history.

It’s designed to be an engaging learning tool for children, encouraging them to appreciate and understand the rich diversity of the Asian American community/

Find it on Amazon here!

An Asian American A to Z: A Children’s Guide to Our History by Cathy Linh Che

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An Asian American A to Z: A Children’s Guide to Our History
  • Hardcover Book
  • Linh Che, Cathy (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“An Asian American A to Z: A Children’s Guide to Our History” by Cathy Linh Che and Kyle Lucia Wu is a vibrant picture book that dives into Asian American history with a focus on key figures, movements, and cultural milestones.

It uses a blend of storytelling and illustrations to highlight the resilience and achievements of Asian Americans across various fields.

This book not only educates but also inspires pride and a deeper understanding of the Asian American experience from A to Z​.

Find it on Amazon here!

The Great Book of Asian American Heroes: 18 Asian American Men and Women Who Changed American History by Bill O’Neil

The Great Book of Asian American Heroes: 18 Asian American Men and Women Who Changed American…
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • O’Neill, Bill (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

“The Great Book of Asian American Heroes” by Bill O’Neil is an inspiring collection that highlights the lives and achievements of eighteen notable Asian Americans who have significantly impacted American history.

The book showcases individuals from diverse backgrounds and fields, illustrating their unique contributions and the challenges they overcame.

It aims to educate and engage readers by celebrating these heroes making it more than just a historical read but also a source of inspiration​.

Find it on Amazon here!


I hope this list of Asian American children’s books help you and your children connect to your culture and the Asian heritage as a whole.

If you think there are any children’s books with Asian characters or themes missing, please comment below and I’d be happy to add them!

Thanks for making it all the way down to the end of this post.

If you found it to be helpful, you might like what I share on my Instagram @sarchetrit.

Till then, thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!

xo,
Sarah


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23 Asian Children’s Books

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