Asian Culture Series: Asian Crafts and Activities & 2 Book GIVEAWAY

Asian Culture Series: Asian Crafts and Activities & 2 Book GIVEAWAY

I’m excited to announce a quarterly series with Debbi Michiko Florence, author of early chapter book series Jasmine Toguchi! We want to highlight Asian culture in a way that kids can relate to and that means … hands-on activities, food they can help prepare and eat, and a book list!

Mia Wenjen and Debbi Michiko Florence

We have crafted a series of six topics, one per quarter for the next year and a half, that explore Asian culture in a fun way: Asian New Year, Asian Drumming, Pink Flamingo Day, Picnic & Scavenger Hunt, Snow Statues and Sumo! We hope you will enjoy this series!

To kick of this series, we are also giving away two of Debbi Michiko Florence’s Jasmine Toguchi books. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom.

Asian Culture Series: Asian Crafts and Activities

November 2017: Asian New Year

We will be exploring and celebrating Asian New Year. Did you know that Japanese New Year and Korean New Year are celebrated on January 1st, but Chinese New Year and Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, is celebrated based on the lunar calendar? More Chinese New Year books here.

Recipe: Microwave Mochi
Activity: Make Chinese Red Envelopes
Japanese New Year: Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic

Chinese New Year: The Nian Monster by Andrea Andrea Wang, illustrated by Alina Chau

Vietnamese New Year: Ten Mice for Tet by Pegi Deitz Shea and Cynthia Weill, illustrated by To Ngoc Trang

Korean New Year: New Clothes for New Year’s Day by Hyun-joo Bae


February 2018: Asian Drumming

We will be making some noise in February with Asian drumming, learning about Japanese Taiko and the Chinese Lion Dance which also has drummers.

Recipe: Almond Cookies
Activities: Make an oatmeal box drum, make a hachi-maki (Japanese headband)
Taiko Drumming: Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl by Debbi Michiko  Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic

Lion Dance: Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin

Lion Dance: Lion Dancer, Ernie Wan’s Chinese New Year by Madeline Slovenz Low and Kate Waters, photographs by Martha Cooper


May 2018: Pink Flamingo Day

Pink Flamingo Day is coming up on June 23rd which celebrates the work of Don Featherstone, the creator of the plastic lawn flamingo!

Recipe: Pink Cupcakes (with a flamingo face!)
Activity: Pink Flamingo Paper Bag Puppet, Daruma Wishing Doll with paper plate
Pink Flamingos: Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic

Daruma Doll: Yoko-Chan and the Daruma Doll: The Adventures of a Blind Japanese Girl Who Saves Her Village by Sunny Seki


August 2018: Picnic and Scavenger Hunt

It’s summer so let’s go outdoors. We will be celebrating by going on a nature scavenger hunt. Why not pack a picnic as well in a bento?

Recipe: Jasmine’s Brownies without Nuts (to pack for the picnic)
Activity: Nature Scavenger Hunt, Fold an Origami Doll
Scavenger Hunt: Jasmine Toguchi, Super Sleuth by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic

Scavenger Hunt: Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Bento: Little Bento: 32 Irresistable Bento Box Lunches for Kids by Michele Olivier


November 2018: Snow Statues

It might not be snowing where you live, but let’s explore winter in Sapporo Japan where there’s a snow festival called Yukimatsuri. Let’s also take a look at ice sculptures in Boston, near where Debbi and I live.

Recipe: Tea Ceremony

Activity: Snow (or sand or dirt) Statues

Celebrating Snow: A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Celebrating Snow: Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara

Winter Adventure: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighorn George


February 2019: Sumo

My first picture book, Sumo Joe, is coming out in a few months, so I thought I’d explore sumo though it can be enjoyed year round since there are six big sumo tournaments every year that start in January and go through November.

Recipe: Sumo Rice Balls

Activity: Stomp Like a Sumo (Shiko Stomping), learn a few Japanese sumo words

Sumo: Sumo Joe by Mia Wenjen, illustrated by Nat Iwata (coming Spring 2019)

Sumo: Sumo Boy by Hirotaka Nakagawa, illustrated by Yoshifumi Hasegawa

Sumo: Sumo by Thien Pham

Rice Balls: Simply Onigiri: Fun and Creative Recipes for Japanese Rice Balls by Sanae Inada

2 Book Jasmine Toguchi Book GIVEAWAY!

We are giving away Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen and Jasmine Toguchi, Super Sleuth. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter. We can only mail to U.S. addresses. This book set will go to one winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

Asian Culture Series: Asian Crafts and Activities & 2 Book GIVEAWAY

I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay for postage and handling for my giveaways.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Didn’t realize the Chinese New Year and Tet, the Vietnamese New Year were celebrated and the dates based on the Lunar calendar. What a wonderful selection of books.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…Severn and the Day She Silenced the World by Janet WilsonMy Profile

  2. What a wonderful idea for a series! I’m looking forward to reading all the posts and cooking all the recipes. 🙂 Thank you for including The Nian Monster!

  3. My childhood favorite book was “Children of the River”, which taught me some about Cambodian culture. I discovered The Peace Tree of Hiroshima a few years ago, and love its message. I FINALLY read The Joy Luck Club this year after having it on my to-read list for way too long.
    maryanne recently posted…How To Make A Simple Carnival Game For KidsMy Profile

  4. Elisabeth

    I would love to read these books. Thanks for all the other titles.

  5. I love Roses Sing on New Year, Uncle Peters Amazing Chinese Wedding, and the Runaway Wok.
    Jen Dieleman recently posted…A Rock is Lively Dianna Hutts AstonMy Profile

  6. Hooray!! So happy to see all of the Jasmine Toguchi books along with The Nian Monster here!!! Congrats, Debbi & Mia!!

  7. This looks like a wonderful and fun plan! Thank you for sharing all these books.

  8. danielle hammelef

    My favorite book for kids to learn about Asian culture is The Last Cherry Blossom.

  9. I cannot recall honestly any particular Asian influenced books my children have read; I remember one but, not the name of the book itself.

  10. I keep seeing the Jasmine Toguchi series recommended by my fellow book lovers, I need to check them out!
    Rebekah Gienapp recently posted…Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2018 LinkupMy Profile

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