There is an abundance of delightful picture books to teach children about Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which is in May.  Here are three we recommend throughout the year.

“Sometimes you don’t need words to find common ground.” is the theme of “Drawn Together” by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat.  The story is about a Vietnamese American boy who only speaks English and his Grandfather who only speaks Vietnamese.  They seem frustrated by their inability to communicate, but then they start to draw and together they create a world where they communicate beyond words.

Suki insists on wearing her kimono on the first day of school, even though her older sisters warn her that kids will laugh at her and she should wear something cool. Even though her sister’s predictions come true, Suki stays true to herself and shares with the class that her Obachan gave her the kimono and how she and Suki danced at a street fair. On the walk home, Suki dances, while her sisters complain that no one complimented their cool sweater and shoes. “Suki’s Kimono” by Chieri Uegaki and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch is a great book to encourage children to be true to themselves and follow their heart.

Kalish lives in India and Elliott lives in America; together these pen pals learn how they are “Same, Same, But Different,” written and illustrated by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw.  The boys learn about each other’s families, homes, and even traffic, as it is all similar, but in subtle ways different.  This book encourages children to recognize how we are the same, celebrate our differences, and illustrates how we can be friends, even when we are on opposite sides of the globe.

Check out these books and more at your local library or bookstore.  If there is a topic you would like to see, please let us know. We would love to hear from you.

And now for a HERO update.  We are pleased to welcome Bob Lawrence of Lago Vista, Texas as Secretary of our Board! Bob will use his years of business expertise as a CEO to help build HERO.  He is dedicated to teaching kindness, and especially to encouraging teenagers in his own neighborhood to treat wildlife with respect.  As we continue with our story time and crafts in Los Angeles and Mullica Hill, New Jersey, we will keep you informed when we launch another story time in Texas.  Thanks to your continued support we continue to grow.