San Francisco Public Library

Herencia Asiática: la Experiencia Asiático-Americana

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Picture Stories

New Clothes for New Year’s Day.
By Hyun-Joo Bae.

This meticulously illustrated story shows a young girl dressing in her beautiful new clothes in preparation for the Lunar New Year. Translated from the Korean.

(jPS BAE) Ages 5-8
Hiromi’s Hands.
By Lynne Barasch.

A young woman bucks the all-male tradition to become a sushi chef at her family’s restaurant in New York. Based on a true story.

(jPS BARA) Ages 5-8
All the Way to Lhasa: A Tale from Tibet.
By Barbara Helen Berger.

The holy city of Lhasa is very far away – across snowy passes and rushing rivers. Can a boy and his yak get there before nightfall?

(jPS BERG) Ages 4-9
Ruby’s Wish.
By Shirin Yim Bridges. Illus. by Sophie Blackall.

Ruby wants a university education, not just a husband. Her grandfather, who returned to China from Gold Mountain, carefully considers the unusual request. (also available in Spanish)

(jPS BRID) Ages 5-8
Sam and the Lucky Money.
By Karen Chinn. Illus. by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu.

It’s New Year’s Day, and Sam decides to share his leisee money with a homeless man in Chinatown. (also available in Chinese and Spanish)

(jPS CHIN) Ages 4-7
The Story of Chopsticks.
By Ying Chang Compestine. Illus. by YongSheng Xuan.

A humorous tale explaining how chopsticks may have been invented.

(jPS COMP) Ages 5-8
Also: The Runaway Rice Cake; The Story of Kites; The Story of Noodles; The Story of Paper.
For older readers: Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party.
Nadia’s Hands.
By Karen English. Illus. by Jonathan Weiner.

Henna is used to decorate the hands of a Pakistani American girl for her aunt’s traditional wedding. How will her classmates react when she returns to school?

(jPS ENGL) Ages 5-8
Willie Wins.
By Almira Astudillo Gilles. Illus. by Carl Angel.

Willie is embarrassed by the alkansiya, a Philippine coconut-shell bank, given to him by his father for a school money-saving project.

(jPS GILL) Ages 5-8
Hush! A Thai Lullaby.
By Minfong Ho. Illus. by Holly Meade.
Also: Peek! A Thai Hide-and-Seek.
A Place Where Sunflowers Grow.
By Amy Lee-Tai. Illus. by Felicia Hoshino.

Heartfelt story about a young girl who grows sunflowers to brighten the barren desert landscape of her Japanese internment camp during World War II. Bilingual English-Japanese.

(jPS LEET) Ages 5-9
Uncle Peter’s Amazing Chinese Wedding.
By Lenore Look. Illus. by Yumi Heo.

Jenny, unhappy about losing her favorite uncle to his new bride, describes the traditional wedding rituals and eventually accepts Aunt Stella.

(jPS LOOK) Ages 4-8
Also: Henry’s First-Moon Birthday.
My Chinatown: One Year in Poems.
By Kam Mak.

Poetry chronicles a boy’s adjustment to life in the United States, far from his native Hong Kong.

(jPS PARK) Ages 2-5
Also: Gai See: What You Can See in Chinatown .
Bee-Bim Bop!
By Linda sue Park. Illus. by Ho Baek Lee.

A little girl helps her mother prepare a favorite Korean dish for the family’s dinner.

(jPS MAK) Ages 5-8
For older readers, see Park’s fiction: The Kite Fighters (also available in Korean); Project Mulberry; A Single Shard (2002 Newberry Award winner, also available in Korean); When My Name Was Keoko
My Mother’s Sari.
By Sandhya Rao. Illus. by Nina Sabnani.

A young girl’s exploration of a sari’s many uses is seen in this delightful offering originally published in India.

(jPS RAO) Ages 3-5
Also: My Dadima Wears a Sari by Kashmira Sheth
My Name Is Yoon.
By Helen Recorvits. Illus. by Gabi Swiatkowska.

Yoon hates her American name and longs to return to her home in Korea. (also available in Spanish)

(jPS RECO) Ages 5-8
Also: Yoon and the Christmas Mitten; Yoon and the Jade Bracelet.
Grandfather’s Journey.
By Allen Say.

A young Japanese man’s sojourn in America leaves him torn between two different countries for the rest of his life. (1994 Caldecott Award winner, also available in Japanese)

(jPS SAY) Ages 8+
Also: Emma’s Rug; Music for Alice; Tree of Cranes; Tea with Milk.
The Squiggle.
By Carole Lexa Schaefer. Illus. by Pierr Morgan.

On a class walk, an imaginative preschooler turns a piece of red string into a playful celebration of traditional Chinese sounds and images.

(jPS SCHA) Ages 3-6
Also: Someone Says.


The Breadwinner.
By Deborah Ellis.

In Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, an eleven-year-old girl must disguise herself as a boy to earn money and shop for her family following her father’s arrest. Also sequels.

(jF ELLI) Ages 10+
The Trouble Begins.
By Linda Himelblau.

A Vietnamese fifth grader’s adjustment is difficult when he and his grandmother finally rejoin the rest of his family in America following ten years in a refugee camp.

(jF HIME) Ages 9-12
1001 Cranes.
By Naomi Hirahara.

Twelve-year-old Angela must get used to the idea of your parents’ impending divorce while living with grandparents whose Japanese ways she is slow to appreciate.

(jF HIRA) Ages 10+
By Cynthia Kadohata.

Relocated to an Arizona Indian reservation during World War II, a twelve-year-old Japanese-American girl struggles with boredom and keeps hope alive through friendships with a Mojave boy and an elderly neighbor.

(jF KADO) Ages 11+
Also: Kira-Kira (2005 Newbery Award winner).
See also: The Journal of Ben Uchida, Citizen 13559 by Barry Denenberg
Kimchi & Calamari.
By Rose Kent.

An adopted fourteen-year-old knows a lot about his Italian American heritage but little about his own Korean ancestry, until a school assignment prompts him to learn more. Told with honesty and humor.

(jF KENT) Ages 10-13
By Milly Lee. Illus. by Yangsook Choi.

Will twelve-year-old Sun correctly answer the Angel Island immigration officials’ questions so that he may join his father in San Francisco? Quiet tension marks Lee’s story of her own father-in-law’s experience.

(jF LEE) Ages 7-10
Also: Earthquake.
The Year of the Rat.
By Grace Lin.

Pacy matures during a year of change when her best friend moves, and she decides to someday become an author/illustrator. Sequel to The Year of the Dog.

(jF LIN) Ages 8-10
For younger readers, see picture stories that Lin has written and/or illustrated: Fortune Cookie Fortunes; Lissy’s Friends; One Is a Drummer by Roseanne Thong; The Seven Chinese Sisters by Kathy Tucker.
Alvin Ho, Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things.
By Lenore Look. Illus. by LeUyen Pham.

The author of the popular Ruby Lu stories introduces a unique second grader who never speaks at school but plays action hero at home.

(jF LOOK) Ages 7-10
The Gold-Threaded Dress.
By Carolyn Marsden.

The only Thai student in her fourth grade class, newcomer Oy struggles to fit in.

Also: When Heaven Fell.
By Laurence Yep.

A Chinese boy sails to San Francisco, lives through the 1906 earthquake, meets his father for the first time and helps him build a flying machine. (also available in Chinese). See the other titles in Yep’s The Gold Mountain Chronicles.

Also: ; The Dragon’s Child: A Story of Angel Island; The journal of Wong Ming-Chung; The Tiger's Apprentice trilogy.
(jF YEP) Ages 9+


Children of the Dragon: Selected Tales from Vietnam.
By Sherry Garland. Illus. by Trina Schart Hyman. Harcourt, 2001.

Six folktales are accompanied by source notes and explanations of Vietnamese history and culture.

(j398.2095 GARL) Ages 8-11
Suho’s White Horse: A Mongolian Legend.
By Yuzo Otsuka. Illus. by Suekichi Akaba. Translated by Richard McNamara and Peter Howlett. R.I.C. Publications, 2004.

Classic story about the origin of the horse-head fiddle, first published in Japan in 1967. This reissue includes a CD.

(j398.2095 OTSU) Ages 6-9
Also found under the call number j398 Ot. See also: Horse Song: The Naadam of Mongolia by Ted and Betsy Lewin
(j306.0951 LEWI).
Filipino Children’s Favorite Stories.
By Liana Romolu. Illus. by Joanne de Leon. Periplus, 2000.

Classic story about the origin of the horse-head fiddle, first published in Japan in 1967. This reissue includes a CD. Also found under the call number j398 Ot. See also: Horse Song: The Naadam of Mongolia by Ted and Betsy Lewin

(j398.2095 OTSU) Ages 6-9
The Tale of the Lucky Cat.
By Sunny Seki. East West Discovery Press, 2007.

Picture book retelling of a Japanese folktale that explains the origin of the waving cat statue, “Maneki Neko,” a story of a good deed rewarded. Bilingual English-Japanese.

(j398.2095 SEKI) Ages 5-9
The Gift of the Crocodile.
By Judy Sierra. Illus. by Reynold Ruffins. Simon and Schuster, 2000.

An Indonesian version of the Cinderella story.

(j398.2095 SIER) Ages 6-9
Other Asian variants include: Angkat: The Cambodian Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn; Anklet for a Princess: A Cinderella Story from India by Meredith Brucker; Jouanah, a Hmong Cinderella by Jewell Reinhart Coburn; The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo; Tam Cam: The Vietnamese Cinderella Story by Nguyen Thi Nhuan; Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie.
Thai Tales.
By Supaporn Vathanaprida. Edited by Margaret Read MacDonald. Illus. by Boonsong Rohitasuke. Libraries Unlimited, 1994.

A varied collection of 28 Thai tales, with information about Buddhism in Thai life.

(j398.2095 VATH) Ages 10+
Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China.
By Ed Young. Philomel, 1989.

Dramatic pastel and watercolor art illustrates the tale of three sisters who outwit a menacing wolf. The 1990 Caldecott Award winner.

(j398.2095 YOUN) Ages 6-9
Also found under the call number: j398 YOUN. Also: Cat and Rat: The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac
(j133.5 YOUN); Beyond the Great Mountains: A Visual Poem About China


The Ramayana for Children.
By Bulbul Sharma. Illus. by K.P. Sudesh.

A lively retelling of the ancient, beloved epic of India. Prince Rama’s adventures are filled with gods, heroes and monsters, romance and war.

(j294.5922 SHAR 2003) Ages 9+
The Hmong of Southeast Asia.
Sandra Millett. Lerner, 2002.

An aboriginal people found across several Asian countries, the Hmong observe varying customs and traditions while speaking the same language.

(j305.8959 MILL) Ages 9-12
Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats.
By Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz and The Children’s Museum, Boston. Illus. by Meilo So. Harcourt, 2002.

Five major Chinese festivals are highlighted through tales, recipes and activities.

(j394.26 SIMO) Ages 9-12
Floating Lanterns and Golden Shrines: Celebrating Japanese Festivals.
By Rena Krasno. Illus. by Toru Sugita. Pacific View Press, 2000.

Overview of Japanese and Japanese American cultural life. From the same publisher: Kneeling Carabao and Dancing Giants: Celebrating Filipino Festivals; Exploring Chinatown: A Children’s Guide to Chinese Culture; Made in China: Ideas and Inventions from Ancient China; and A Thousand Peaks: Poems from China.

(j394.2695 KRAS) Ages 8-12
Asian Kites.
By Wayne Hosking. Tuttle, 2005.

A noted kite authority introduces 15 kite projects, with clearly written directions and easy-to-obtain supplies, from China, Malaysia, Thailand, Korea, and Japan. Part of the Asian Arts & Crafts for Creative Kids series.

(j629.1333 HOSK) Ages 7-12
Cooking the Vietnamese Way.
By Chi Nguyen. Lerner, 2002.

Popular recipes from Vietnam. Also in the Easy Menu Ethnic Cookbooks series: China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and Thailand.

(j641.5959 NGUY) Ages 9+
Come Look with Me: Asian Art.
By Kimberly Lane. Charlesbridge, 2008.

Interactive introduction to the broad spectrum of Asian art through twelve representative works, from an 11th century Indian sculpture to a 21st century Japanese acrylic painting.

(j709.5 LANE) Ages 8+
A Song for Cambodia.
By Michelle Lord. Illus. by Shino Arihari. Lee & Low, 2008.

The life story of Arn Chorn-Pond who survived the harrowing Cambodian killing fields thanks to his musical ability. He grew up to become a human rights leader, also working to revive Cambodian traditional arts.

(j780.2 CHOR) Ages 8-11
Cool Melons – Turn to Frogs!
By Matthew Gollub. Illus. by Kazuko G. Stone. Lee & Low, 1998.
(j895.6143 GOLL) Ages 8-11
For a poetic form that originated in Korea, see Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems) by Linda Sue Park
Myanmar in Pictures.
By Tom Streissguth. Twenty-First Century, 2008.

A general introduction to the land, history and government, people, cultural life, and economy of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Part of the newly revised Visual Geography series.

(j959.1 STRE) Ages 9+
Asian Indian Americans.
By Carolyn P. Yoder. Heinemann, 2003.

Examines immigration history and contemporary life. Part of the We Are America series.

(j973.0491 YODE) Ages 8-11
Also: Chinese Americans; Filipino Americans; Japanese Americans; Korean Americans; Thai Americans; Vietnamese Americans.
Dia’s Story Cloth: The Hmong People’s Journey of Freedom.
By Dia Cha. Stitchery by Chue and Nhia Thao Cha. Lee & Low, 1996.

Along with Hmong history, Cha recounts the story of her family’s journey from Laos to America. Based on art by her aunt and uncle.

(j973.0495 CHA) Ages 8-11
A Kid’s Guide to Asian American History.
By Valerie Petrillo. Chicago Review Press, 2007.

History is enlivened by more than 70 activities from the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Asian Indian, Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian American cultures, including arts and crafts, sports and games, dance, theater and recipes.

(j973.0495 PETR) Ages 8-12
Confucius: The Golden Rule.
By Russell Freedman. Illus. by Frederic Clement. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2002.

Carefully chronicles the life, times and surprisingly modern ideas of the Chinese philosopher who lived more than 2,500 years ago.

(jB CONF) Ages 9-12
Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story.
By Paula Yoo. Illus. by Dom Lee. Lee & Low, 2005.

A Korean-American boy worked long, hard hours to become an Olympic diving gold medalist and physician.

(jB LEE) Ages 7-10
Escape from Saigon: How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy.
By Andrea Warren. Farrar, 2004.

This photo-essay recalls the courageous story of an eight-year-old Amerasian who was brought to the United States in 1975 as part of Operation Babylift and adopted by a family in Ohio. He has since become an emergency room doctor.

(jB STEI) Ages 10+