All posts in Asian American Children’s Books

My Chinese Silk Road Heritage

My Chinese Silk Road Heritage

I covered my Japanese Daimyo family history and my husband’s Chosun Dynasty family history on his father’s side, so I thought I’d cover my Chinese family history today. My father immigrated from China before the Communist Revolution to attend UCLA for a PhD in mathematics. He was asked to return to China right as the war began, but he decided to stay in Los Angles instead. A wise move in hindsight, given the Cultural Revolution that lay ahead. As an educated professional with family roots in the silk trade, he would have not fared well. Indeed, when we visited relatives in the 1980s, I met our Chinese relatives and heard the sad stories of what happened to his favorite nephew.

The Old Silk road

But I never knew much about the family silk business which I assumed was vertically integrated — from silk worm to silk thread to silk fabric to the Silk Road. I find that when I go to my public library, I always grab a few picture books that catch my eye that are on display. Read more…

A Survey of Lunar New Year Traditions by Janet Wong

Janet Wong on Lunar Year Traditions with Book List!

Did you know that Tibetan Losar, the Mongolian Tsagaan Sar, and the Vietnamese Tết occur at the same time as the Chinese and Korean lunar new year holidays? Janet Wong shares a book list and lunar new year traditions over at Multicultural Children’s Book Day Blog here:

I grew up celebrating the lunar new year mainly with the Chinese traditions of my father and his parents—firecrackers at midnight, the Chinatown parade, red envelopes, eating fish for wealth and lo hon jai, the monk’s noodle dish made with 18 different vegetables, for health. What I remember most, though, was our whole family frantically cleaning the house the evening before, to get rid of all the dirt and bad luck of the past year and make room for good luck in the new year. This illustration by Yangsook Choi from our book This Next New Year perfectly captures the frenzy:

A Survey of Lunar New Year Traditions by Janet Wong

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Top 20 Classic Books for Kids

Top 20 Classic Books for Kids #LoveThriftBooks

Thank you ThriftBooks.com for sponsoring this post. Click here to check out the 7 million quality, used books on their shelves!

For summer reading with your kids, why not stock up on Must Read classics especially when they are at bargain prices through Thrift Books? What’s the deal, you ask? Thank you for asking!

Any title marked with a DEAL tag on the detail page is priced:

  • 2 books for $7.00
  • 3 books for $10.00
  • 4 books for $12.00
  • each additional is $3.00

At these great prices, it’s easy to find fifteen twenty classic books for kids. These are the books I would buy even if it’s a few years before my kids can read them. Because at these prices, who can resist?! I can’t!!  Here are my picks! Read more…

Picture Book of the Day Celebrates Women's History Month

Picture Book of the Day Celebrates Women’s History Month

I’m thrilled to be participating in KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month, run by Margo Tanenbaum, of The Fourth Musketeer, and Lisa Taylor, of Shelf-employed. I met Margo at KidLitCon in 2012. Their great blog celebrates women in history by organizing a month of guest posts about women in history. My post on Anna May Wong was on March 11th.

Anna May Wong

 image from Wiki Commons

I am also chosing Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story for Picture Book of the Day today, and I include a short interview with author Paula Yoo. You might remember her for her wonderful post on Best Biographies for Kids. Read more…

10 books for kids to explore China and Chinese New Year

12 Books to Explore CHINA for Chinese New Year

My kids do a country unit on China in second grade where they spent a day celebrating Chinese Culture with Red Envelope Crafts. My kids also studied Mandarin Chinese and my oldest middle school Chinese language teacher also did a Chinese New Year celebration with crafts and food.

Last year was The Year of the Horse, this year Chinese New Year falls on February 19 and is the Year of the Sheep.

Will you celebrate Chinese New Year with books and crafts? Our favorite Chinese New Year books are here and I have 10 more newly published books on China to explore for the year to come!

Read more…

Top 10 Ninja Books for Kids

Top 10 Ninja Books for Kids Ages 4 through 16

My kids are one-quarter Japanese and they wish that their Japanese ancestry is steeped in the way of the ninja. It’s not. Their heritage is actually that of Daimyo, a feudal landowner/warlord,  and our ancestors are located about one hour outside of the city of Hiroshima.

I can see the appeal of the ninja over that of warlord, though. It’s that martial arts thing mixed with mystery and powers that border on mystical. Very appealing!

For today, October 10th or 10/10, I have 10 ninja books ranging from picture books, early chapter book, chapter books, and young adult. So it’s 10 on 10/10!

What is your favorite ninja book for kids? Please share! Read more…

Ninja family reading with flashlights, free book from scholastic and eveready batteries

Ninja Pajama Family Reading Time: FREE Book From Scholastic

My kids are one-quarter Japanese and my mother’s side is from the Daimyo class, which is to say that they were feudal landowners located one hour from Hiroshima but this system changed starting in 1868 with Meiji restoration. I personally like reading about this ancient time in Japan but Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix have never shown any interest in that or anything ninja. My Japanese side has no real connection to ninja, a mercenary, than perhaps to have used them but my son loves all things ninja and we’ve progressed from ninja picture books, to ninja early chapter books, to now this action adventure chapter book:

 

Moonshadow: Rise of the Ninja by Simon Higgins

Set in Japan during the time of the Shogun rule, Moonshadow is an orphan adopted into the Grey Light Order, a secret ninja group loyal to the Shogun. He must stop a hungry Daimyo (warlord) from developing a powerful new weapon from the west that would threaten the fragile peace finally established in Japan. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

Read more…

Multicultural Kids Blog: Read Around the World Summer Reading Series

Read Around the World Summer Series

I’m part of the Read Around The World Summer Series hosted by Multicultural Kid Blogs. Today, I wanted to introduce you to a Young Adult (YA) find that had me riveted!

read around the world series, Jet Black and the Ninja Wind

Jet Black and the Ninja Wind by Shogo Oketani  and Leza Lowitz

Husband and wife team joined forces to write this action adventure YA novel that has a bit of romance as well. Jet Black was raised on a Navajo reservation and is secretly trained in the middle of the night in the ways of the ninja which includes mastering how to walk on wet tissue paper without tearing it or making a sound. Jet never really understands why this is happening, but when her mother dies, she is sent on a mission to save the family treasure back in Japan.

There are bad guys out to get her and her new found Japanese family (also well trained as ninjas). But why is the person who is responsible for capturing her so alluring? This YA action adventure love story is non-stop action as Jet fights to save a sacred mountain in Japan.

Looking for more multicultural books for summer reading? Check out our Read Around the World Summer Reading Pinterest board!  You can also join the discussion on our Facebook page and G+ community.

What books from around the world are you enjoying? Please share!

Read more…

Mei-Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles PARTY GIVEAWAY!

Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles PARTY GIVEAWAY!

I’m so excited for this giveaway from the nice folks from Tuttle Publishing! They sent me a party box centered around Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles to giveaway to YOU!

Lately, my kids enjoy Dim Sum but balk at Cantonese-style Chinese Seafood which is what my husband and I love most. But Chinese noodle dishes are one constant that they have eaten and loved since they were little. Some years, the noodle preference changes: wide rice noodles versus yellow curly wheat noodles. And sometimes, the green vegetables get picked out and cast aside. Still, it’s good to know that they are increasing their good luck as they fill their bellies! Read more…