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

Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with these empowering children’s books that highlight diverse cultures, traditions, and experiences within the AAPI community, fostering empathy, understanding, and appreciation.

Grandpa Grumps cover

1. Jumpstart Curriculum Book: Grandpa Grumps written by Katrina Moore and illustrated by Xindi Yan

Daisy’s Yeh-Yeh (grandpa) comes to visit from China. Daisy is very excited to spend time with him, but a little surprised to find that he seems very grumpy no matter what fun things she prepares for them to do together. Over time Daisy learns we all express our love in different ways when she and her Yeh-Yeh connect over the joy of cooking. You can ask the child you are reading with how they feel when they get to cook or eat their favorite foods with someone they love. You could try cooking fried rice together using the recipe from the back of the book.

2. Amy Wu and the Ribbon Dance written by Kat Zhang and illustrated by Charlene Chua

The latest story about Amy Wu and her friends! In this story, she explores her love of music and dance. Amy tries out various household items as she seeks to put on a traditional ribbon dance. With the help of her mother, will she find the perfect ribbon? After you and a child read this book, you can both look for an item around the house to use while ribbon dancing to a favorite song together. Or, perhaps discover a new song by an Asian American or Pacific Islander musician.

Amy Wu and the Ribbon Dance cover
Juna and Appa Cover

3. Juna and Appa written by Jane Park and illustrated by Felicia Hoshino

In this sequel to Jumpstart’s summer curriculum book, Juna’s Jar, Juna and her father spend Saturdays at the family’s dry cleaning shop. When a customer’s jacket goes missing, Juna goes on an imaginative search through the natural world to help find the jacket. As she explores, Juna learns different ways dads throughout the animal world care for their young. After reading the book together, consider taking a walk and noticing the many ways that adults (human or not) care for children.

4. Sari-Sari Summers written and illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao

Nora spends summers with her Lola (grandmother) in her sari-sari store in the Philippines. When business is slow, they decide to make and sell mango ice pops. The community loves the ice pops and come back every day to see what new flavors Nora and Lola come up with together. Ask the child you are reading with, “Have you ever seen a problem that someone was having and helped them to come up with a solution? How did it feel to work together?”

Sari Sari Summers cover
Words Between Us cover

5. Words between Us written by Angela Pham Krans, illustrated by Dung Ho

Felix and Grandma have always lived oceans apart—until the day Grandma arrives. Felix is so excited to meet Grandma and spend time with her. Felix doesn’t know much Vietnamese and Grandma does not speak English. When Grandma decides she would like to learn English, she and Felix strengthen their relationship as they learn and spend time together.

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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