I don’t know a lot about Southeast Asian American children’s literature so this was fun list to research and it was fun to hunt down books I had heard about but haven’t read in a while as well as discover a few really great authors that are new to me. I asked a Mom Friend at a birthday party — we were both waiting in the car for 2+ hours while our kids jumped on gigantic trampolines — since she’s East Asian what East Asian KidLit was in her bookshelves. She said there wasn’t a lot available and it’s true.
We travel this week to Japan and go back in time with some stories of my family to the Daimyo Shogunate in Japan. I have chosen some kidlit to reflect the duality of Japan versus United States, and have featured artists who are reflected in the books including ukiyo-e masters Hiroshige and Hokusai and the father of Manga, Osamu Tezuka.
Every summer I stress out about what books to get for my kids that they will like but are also exposing them — as only books can do — to the wide world all around them both past, present and future. This summer, we are going to take a trip around the world by reading these multi-cultural books. What is great about this list is that it covers all the ages of my kids: from preschool through elementary school. I will be sneaky and check out these books for them and leave them strewn about the house for them to examine when they are bored. I will keep you posted on what books my kids actually liked because that is a whole ‘nother list! See you at the library!
Book reviews of action adventure and realistic fiction chapter books by an 11-year-old girl in 6th grade.
To cover the Culture Revolution, I selected Little Leap Forward, a chapter book about living during this time in China. Zen Shorts still remains one of my all time favorite picture books because is manages to combine Chinese Philosopher Chuang Tsu’s parables in a way that is accessible to kids and yet leave adult readers pondering Big Ideas. Finally, for everyone who has a Joy Luck Club story from their homeland, I hope that you all have had a chance to read this book that broke the ground for a new Asian American literature genre twenty-five years ago.