Jumpstart’s Book Recommendation for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Jumpstart's Book Recommendation for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! This May, we want to uplift Asian American and Pacific Islander (AA&PI) stories. Jumpstart’s Education team suggests the following books that you can share with your child:

  • Ramen for Everyone written by Patricia Tanumihardja, illustrated by Shiho Pate
    Join Hiro and his dad as Hiro attempts to make his first batch of ramen for his family. Hiro’s ramen does not come out the way he expected, but after adding his own twist to the recipe, Hiro’s ramen is appreciated by the rest of his family. Encourage your child to think about one of their favorite family recipes. Ask your child, “How would you change the recipe to make it your own, new way?”
  • Punky Aloha written and illustrated by Shar Tuiasoa
    Enjoy this story where we meet Punky Aloha as she goes on an adventure to bring home butter and make some friends along the way. Even though Punky used to be shy, her adventure helps her feel brave and proud of herself. Ask your child, “When was a time you felt proud of yourself for being brave?”
  • How We Say I Love You written by Nicole Chen, illustrated by Lenny Wen
    While Hana’s family might not always say the words, “I love you,” her family always makes her feel loved through their actions. Invite your child to think about the ways they show love and care for someone in their life. Ask your child, “What are some ways you can show your love for someone else?”
  • I am Golden written by Eva Chen, illustrated by Sophie Diao
    In this celebration of self-love, Mei hears about all the different reasons she is special through the eyes of her parents and her ancestors. This affirming book is a great way to practice affirmations with your child. Encourage them to say some positive affirmations, for example, “I am strong. I am smart. I am kind.”
  • Holi Hai! written by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Darshika Varma
    Holi Hai! shares one of the legends of Holi as a family prepares to celebrate the holiday. Gauri gets mad and must decide if her anger will get in the way of the celebration. A Holi celebration is full of different colors. Ask your child, “How does the color yellow make you feel?”
  • When Lola Visits written by Michelle Sterling, illustrated by Aaron Paul Asis
    Summer is finally here! The young main character knows it’s summertime because her Lola, grandmother, is visiting. This sweet story shares the ways this family enjoys spending time together when Lola is in town. Encourage your child to think about how they like to spend time with their loved ones. What is their favorite activity to do with their family?


Additional Book Suggestions from Jumpstart’s AAPI Affinity Group:

  • The Twins’ Blanket – written by Hyewon Yum
  • Dear Juno – written by Soyung Pak, illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung
  • Bee-Bim Bop! – written by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
  • The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh – written by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Alea Marley
  • Wishes – written by Muon Thi Van, illustrated by Victo Ngai
  • Priya Dreams of Marigolds and Masala – written and illustrated by Meenal Patel
  • My First Day – written and illustrated by Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien
  • Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao – written by Kat Zhang, illustrated by Charlene Chua
  • Ohana Means Family – written by Ilima Loomis, illustrated by Kenard Pak
  • Eyes that Kiss in the Corners – written by Joanna Ho, illustrated by Dung Ho
  • Dim Sum for Everyone – written and illustrated by Grace Lin
  • Sandwiches and Samosas – written by Suhani Parikh, illustrated by Reshma Srinivas
  • Dancing Devi – written by Priya S. Parikh, illustrated by N. Dejeshwini
  • I Dream of Popo – written by Livia Blackburne, illustrated by Julia Kuo
  • Juna and Appa written by Jane Park, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino
  • Everyone Loves Lunchtime But Zia written by Jenny Liao, illustrated by Dream Chen
  • Holding On written by Sophia N. Lee, illustrated by Isabel Roxas
  • Love Makes a Garden Grow written and illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
  • Eyes that Speak to the Stars written by Joanna Ho, illustrated by Dung Ho
  • Snow Angel, Sand Angel written by Lois-Ann Yamanaka, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky
  • Amy Wu and the Warm Welcome written by Kat Zhang, illustrated by Charlene Chua
  • Where Three Oceans Meet written by Rajani LaRocca, illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan
  • A Home Under the Stars written and illustrated by Andy Chou Musser


For over 29 years, Jumpstart has been fueled by the core belief that providing high-quality educational opportunities to all young children prepares them for academic and economic success later in life. Jumpstart advances equitable learning outcomes for young children by recruiting and supporting caring adults to deliver high-quality programming and drive systems change through teaching, advocacy, and leadership. Jumpstart has trained more than 60,000 college students and community volunteers, preparing over 140,000 children for kindergarten success. Jumpstart’s program is replicated across the country in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more at jstart.org 

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