10 Children’s Books That Teach Important Life Lessons and Celebrate Asian Heritage

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we thought it would be fun to share 10 children’s books that are sure to enlighten, amuse, and excite your young ones.

1. The Name Jar

Written and illustrated by Yangsook Choi

It’s difficult enough to be the new kid at school, but what happens when no one can pronounce your name? The Name Jar is a sweet story about a young girl at school who learns to appreciate her Korean name, find the courage to be herself and be proud of her heritage.

2. Laxmi’s Mooch 

By Shelly Anand, Illustrated by Nabi H. Ali

This joyful book teaches kids to love their bodies through the young Indian American girl’s journey to accepting her body hair and celebrating her heritage after being teased about her mustache. With her parents’ help, she learns that hair isn’t just for heads, but that it grows everywhere, regardless of gender. 

3. My Monster and Me 

By Nadiya Hussai, Illustrated by Ella Bailey

A heartfelt story to help give children and parents the tools they need to talk about worries and anxieties, to ensure that no child suffers in silence, no matter what shape their “worry monster” may take.

4. How to Solve a Problem

By Ashima Shiraishi, Illustrated by Yao Xiao

Children will learn from Ashima Shiraishi, one of the world’s youngest and most accomplished rock climbers, about strength and perseverance in facing rock climbing and real-life’s boulders, obstacles, and the moment of success.

5. The Seed of Compassion

By His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Illustrated by Bao Luu

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks directly to children, teaching them about peace and compassion through stories from his childhood in a small Tibetan village, where his mother was his first great teacher of compassion.

6. Tomatoes for Neela

By Padma Lakshmi, Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

The book takes young readers on an intergenerational journey filled with delectable flavors and fun food facts that connects us with other cultures and celebrate a family’s heritage and treasured recipes. 

7. Fauja Singh Keeps Going 

By Simran Jeet Singh, Illustrated by Baljinder Kaur

The true story of Fauja Singh, who broke world records to become the first 100-year-old to run a marathon, shares valuable lessons on his courage and determination to overcome obstacles, and commitment to positive representation of the Sikh community.

8. Notable Native People 

By Adrienne Keene, Illustrated by Ciara Sana

Readers of all ages will be inspired by the lives, stories, and contributions of Indigenous artists, activists, scientists, athletes, and other changemakers. It also addresses critical Indigenous problems such as colonialism’s legacy and cultural appropriation, as well as food sovereignty, land and water rights, and more.

9. Fatima’s Great Outdoors 

By Ambreen Tariq, Illustrated by Stevie Lewis

An immigrant family embarks on their first camping trip in the Midwest. Children will enjoy Fatima’s amusing family adventure and learn that nature belongs to us all.

10. Kudo Kids: The Mystery in Manhattan 

By Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani, and Michelle Schusterman, Illustrated by Yaoyao Ma Van As

An unforgettable mystery that will leave the young readers guessing until the very end. The book is a fun-filled, fast-paced middle-grade mystery from the two-time Olympic bronze medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani.