Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Celebrate Asian American & Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month!
May is Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month, an opportunity to celebrate the rich history, cultural diversity, and achievements of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI) in the United States. The AANHPI community includes over 50 ethnicities in the U.S. with their own distinct histories, cultures, traditions, and languages. With the dramatic surge in anti-Asian violence, amplifying AANHPI voices and bringing attention to their experiences is more important than ever before.
Join us in lifting up and celebrating the AANHPI community this month and throughout the year. We’re sharing a preview of award-winning author Bao Phi’s picture book poem, You Are Life, essays about representation from 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.
Meet Jina Jeong!
New series debuts in Fall 2023!
When Jina Jeong has an idea, she doesn’t hesitate to act. Whether it’s steps for saving energy, helping save an endangered animal, or helping out classmates, Jina makes a plan and follows through with it – sometimes with unexpected results.
Korean American author Carol Kim has created charming stories centered around a Korean American female character in the new Jina Jeong series for grades 1-3. Centering on stories of young children involved in local volunteerism may just inspire readers to become involved in their own communities and causes that are important to them! The series launches in August 2023 with four titles, but you can get a sneak peek at one of the titles now!
You Are Life
Every child is full to bursting with amazing things! This joyful poem celebrates the wonderful and complex identity of children of immigrants and refugees, embracing all that they are—a dancer, a shining light, a K-pop song—and promising what they will never be: invisible.
In Bao Phi’s picture book, You Are Life, he reminds young readers that who they are and what they love will always be enough. Learn more about the inspiration behind his poem and take a sneak peek inside the book.
Envisioning A Better World
“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.”
—Bao Phi on the TODAY Show
Accurate Representation During AANHPI Month
In this essay from Yasmin author Saadia Faruqi, she explores what it means to be Asian American and stresses the importance of sharing the myriad of cultures and ethnicities they encompass.
"We want all our children to feel welcome and part of the diverse community they live in. We want them to know that we see them, know who they are, and what identities they possess."
Why Representation Matters
Author V.T. Bidania shares her experiences trying to get her books published and the multitude of reasons why representation in literature, specifically children’s literature, is so important for children.
“Inside their hearts and minds, children are overflowing with stories. Their imaginations are jam-packed with ideas, adventures, and their own journeys. To never see their experiences reflected when they have stories bursting to come out is why it hurts so much to be excluded from books.”