Books by Theme

Celebrations and Holidays: Asian Pacific American Heritage

Crouching Tiger

Crouching Tiger

By: Ying Chang Compestine
Illustrated by: Yan Nascimbene
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Vinson's grandfather visits from China, the boy has conflicting feelings about his grandfather's old ways. A visit to Chinatown to experience the lion dancers celebrate the Chinese New Year bring Ming Da (Vinson) and his grandfather closer. Watercolor and ink illustrations add power to the warm, plausible story.

Henry's First Moon Birthday

Henry’s First Moon Birthday

By: Lenore Look
Illustrated by: Yumi Heo
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Jen helps her Chinese-American family get ready for the traditional celebration of her brother Henry’s one-month birthday. Lively, stylized illustrations move the story at a quick pace to its satisfying conclusion.

Nadia’s Hands

Nadia’s Hands

By: Karen English
Illustrated by: Jonathan Weiner
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Nadia is thrilled to be the flower girl at her aunt's wedding, yet continues to worries her classmates will respond on Monday to the temporary henna tattoos (mehndi). The intricate hand decorations that wear off slowly are a tradition of the family's Pakistani background. Respect for tradition and the need to conform are at odds, but then resolved in this well-illustrated story.

New Clothes for New Year's Day

New Clothes for New Year’s Day

By: Hyun-Joo Bae
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A little girl gets ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year in this gentle and stunningly illustrated book first published in South Korea. Excitement mounts as she details how she dresses for this engaging celebration with universal appeal.

Sona and the Wedding Game

Sona and the Wedding Game

By: Kashmira Sheth
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Sona’s grandparents travel to America from India for the wedding of Sona’s sister. The Hindu wedding traditions are followed including the game in which the younger sibling hides the groom’s shoes. Richly hued illustrations depict the activities and the fun of a family celebration. 

Ten Mice for Tet!

Ten Mice for Tet!

By: Cynthia Weill
Illustrated by: Ngoc Trang, Vo Dinh Mai
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

This vibrant counting book introduces children to the rich traditions of the Vietnamese New Year. A playful village of mice lead young readers through the joyful celebration, as embroidered illustrations recreate ten scenes of preparation, gift giving, feasting, and firework displays.

Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

By: Grace Lin
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

A family shares a nighttime picnic with traditional mooncakes and other foods to honor the moon. Each silently shares a wish that is sent to the moon. The quiet celebration is presented through Lin’s signature illustrations and simple text. An endnote provides a bit more information about the festival.

Uncle Peter's Amazing Chinese Wedding

Uncle Peter's Amazing Chinese Wedding

By: Lenore Look
Illustrated by: Yumi Heo
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Jenny's favorite uncle, Uncle Peter, is getting married. Now Jenny won't be his only "special girl" any longer; she'll have to share him with Stella! But Peter's bride is as happy to have a new niece as she is beautiful and wins Jenny over. Child-like illustrations reflect the traditions and warmth of this Chinese American family.

What Will You Be, Sara Mee?

What Will You Be, Sara Mee?

By: Kate Avraham
Illustrated by: Anne Sibley O'Brien
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

On Sara Mee's first birthday, her family made sure to have a tol, a celebration based in an ancient custom that includes guests, special foods, and gifts for the child that will predict what the child will be when he or she grows up. Realistic illustrations capture the warmth of Sara Mee's family, her birthday festivity, and the warm relationship shared with her older brother. An author's note and glossary round out this attractive book

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