May 23 2023

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month
Books, like mirrors, help reflect what we observe and know about the world we live in. It’s powerful to read or listen to a story about someone like you. Books also allow us to view and understand lives that are different from our own, like a window onto other experiences.

Reach Out and Read

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States during the month of May. It recognizes the contributions and influences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the culture of the United States. Not surprisingly, this blog post will focus specifically on books!

As a person of Asian descent who also has young children that share that ethnicity, I am always looking for books that feature characters that look like my children and me. The windows and mirrors concept is vitally important for all children as they read, learn, and grow.

At All About Books our main goal is to help distribute high-quality and affordable children’s books to nonprofit literacy programs in the United States. We make sure to have the widest variety of books available so that all children have the opportunity to see themselves in a book.

Here are a few titles written by AAPI authors, illustrators, or feature AAPI characters:

Storytelling Math series by Grace Lin -  New York Times Bestselling Author Grace Lin explores everyday math in her signature style. Featuring a diverse cast of characters, these titles teach math concepts that all young children need for later school success. Check out this Reach Out and Read podcast episode to hear more from Grace Lin!


My Friends by Taro Gomi - Using simple words and bright illustrations, author-illustrator Taro Gomi shows children that sometimes knowledge can come from all kinds of friends


Mama Loves You So illustrated by Simone Shin - This book celebrates a mother's love, trumping even majestic mother nature, mama's love is higher than a mountain and deeper than any stream.


Hand in Hand - A little hand holds on tight! Celebrate the special relationship every parent has with their child.


Good Night Engines / Buenas noches motores - (one of my family’s favorites!) In this rhyming bedtime book, vehicles wind down for the night and roll off to bed.


Global Babies - Appealing photos of babies from seventeen cultures around the globe are woven together by simple narration. Diverse settings highlight specific differences in clothing, daily life, and traditions, as well as demonstrate that babies around the world are nurtured by the love, caring, and joy that surround them.


My Family - With vibrant pictures that capture everyday scenes, this relatable book demonstrates the roles family plays in a baby's busy life.


Playtime with Baby - We show our love for babies through the everyday activities and moments we share. These books highlight those moments and poetically show how much we love our little ones paired with bright colors and high-contrast photos and patterns.

Look What I Can Do - Little ones will delight in seeing all the incredible things that babies can do in this adorable book that's perfect for reading with baby!

These are all great examples of books that showcase Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  Whether it be in a book that an infant can chew on or in a book that a child is reading on their own, representation is important.  What books are you reading today?


Posted on May 23, 2023

Sarah Pelkey
Hey there, I’m Sarah Pelkey

Sarah joined the All About Books Sales and Marketing team in 2014 and now manages the whole team. While the Sales Account Managers take care of most individual customers, Sarah supports their work in addition to developing and fostering relationships with coalitions all over the country.