Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

3d book cover image collage highlighting titles written by Asian Americans


Celebrate Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month!

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an opportunity to celebrate the rich history, cultural diversity, and achievements of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States. The AAPI community includes nearly 50 countries and ethnic groups with their own distinct histories, cultures, traditions, languages, and dialects. With the dramatic surge in anti-Asian violence, amplifying AAPI voices and bringing attention to their experiences is more important than ever before.

Join us in lifting up and celebrating the AAPI community this month and throughout the year. We’re spotlighting essays about representation from Capstone authors Saadia Faruqi and V.T. Bidania, as well as featuring some of our favorite book recommendations by Asian American authors and fun freebies for your classroom or library.

Children from all backgrounds benefit from learning more about the culture and contributions of Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Two amazing online resources we recommend exploring are the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Envisioning A More Inclusive World

Author Bao Phi with TODAY Show co-host Craig Melvin shares his inspiration behind writing A DIFFERENT POND and HELLO, MANDARIN DUCK!, why Representation Matters in children’s books, and why messages of kindness and inclusivity are so important for children to experience.  “Let’s make it normal for kids to stand up against injustice and for what’s right. Let’s make it normal for kids to envision a better world for all of us,” said Bao.

Ensuring Accurate Representation During AAPI Month

Image of Yasmin author Saadia Faruqi

By Saadia Faruqi, author of the Yasmin series

"Some will argue that labels don’t matter. I disagree. Labels are important for a number of reasons, specifically as they relate to young readers. After all, accuracy and authenticity are both part of representation, and if we cannot correctly define the heritage of our readers, how can we ensure that the rest of their representation is correct? If we count certain reader populations as Asian, but not others who fall by right in that definition, what message are we giving to those left out?"

What Astrid and Apollo Mean to Me and Why Representation Matters

Image of Astrid and Apollo author V.T. Bidania

By V.T. Bidania, author of the Astrid and Apollo series

"When I decided to write books for children, Hmong representation was at the forefront of my mind. . . . I would write about Hmong heroes and heroines. My books would reflect the specific and universal experiences of Hmong people. But it would take well over a decade before my writing would get published; the rejections I received often said the same things: there is no place for Hmong stories in the market and books with Hmong people will not sell."

Books to Celebrate AAPI

To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we’ve curated a list of our books written by Asian American authors. From the 2018 Caldecott Honor Book A Different Pond to sci-fi adventures on Mars in Redworld, there’s something for every reader in our booklist.

Collage image of book covers for Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month written by AAPI authors

Educator Resources & Downloadables

Thumbnail image of Find It At Your Library Downloadable Poster
Find It At Your Library! Poster
Thumbnail image of Hello, Mandarin Duck! Downloadable Poster
Everyone Is Welcome Poster 
Thumbnail Image of Astrid and Apollo Downloadable Bookmarks
Reading With Astrid & Apollo Bookmarks
Infographic of Author Q&A With V.T. Bidania
Q&A With Author
V.T. Bidania
Infographic Q&A With Author Bao Phi
Q&A With Author
Bao Phi
Infographic Q&A With Author Debbi Michiko Florence
Q&A With Author
Debbi Michiko Florence
Thumbnail Image of A Different Pond Reader's Guide
A Different Pond
Reader's Guide
Thumbnail image of Here I Am Reader's Guide
Here I Am
Reader's Guide
Thumbnail image of Yasmin Reader's Guide
Reader's Guide